Do your part: shop secondhand

Lexikay Stokes, Campus Carrier Opinions Editor

On any given day, an estimated 2/3 of my outfit is comprised of items I got from Goodwill. I love that place. It’s my favorite place to shop. Everything is unique, a lot cheaper than any other brand name store, and it’s kind of like a scavenger hunt. All in all, it’s the best. More than that, though, places like Goodwill are a helping hand in sustainable fashion.

You may not think about it, but the textile industry has a heavy impact in our environment. Clothes, shoes, and accessories require resources and energy to produce. After they’re produced, their life cycle is pretty short as fashion trends are ever changing, and articles of clothing, after going through so much to be produced, end up as trash. Fast fashion, as its called, is harming our environment in a big way.

Think about how often a new trend comes about. Our fashion industry is rooted in quick, overturning products, manufactured with little to no attention to the environmental effects of its by-products. As inhabitants of Earth, and consumers of these products, we should care a little bit more about how our clothes are made, and how long they’ll be around afterwards.

Textile dyeing is the second largest contributor to water pollution, according to University Institute of Fashion Technology. Cotton requires an absurd amount of water to grow in order to be used for textiles. In fact, the cotton in just one cotton t-shirt requires so much water, that one person could live off drinking that same amount of water for up to 2 ½ years. (World Resource institute). Other synthetic materials such as polyester, may seem like a better alternative to thirsty land-grown materials. But, those synthetic fibers then contribute to the emission of green-house gases. Seems like a lose-lose. Not to mention the general amount of natural resources it requires to produce clothing, depleting from our already hurting Earth.

Sustainable fashion is just one part of the ever-growing number of actions we can take to help better our environment. This one just happens to be pretty fun.

You can shop from clothing brands which are ethically and environmentally sound, donate your own clothes, and shop second-hand. Any of these actions are better than buying an item brand new, only to wear it twice and then have it thrown away.

Second hand clothing prevents clothes from ending up in a landfill somewhere and helps your wallet. Buying clothes from thrift stores, such as Goodwill, extends their life cycle,

However, there are brands that work to counter-act the fast fashion industry by creating environmentally and ethically sound products. Brands such as Everlane, Patagonia, People Tree, and many others are trying to change the industry through fair-trade and sustainable production, marketing, and selling of their products.

Like I said earlier though, one of the easiest ways to partake in sustainable clothing is to shop second hand. Give a t-shirt a new life, save some money on a pair of jeans, or find an awesome vintage dress, all the while doing a small part in counter-acting the fast fashion industry.

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