With all that’s been going on over the past three months, my little challenge to myself to only buy second hand clothing for one year hasn’t stopped. I’ve been keeping to the challenge and with the exception of underwear and socks I haven’t bought any brand new clothing since January. I’ve been sent a few items of undies from my Amazon wish list but otherwise all my clothes this year have come from gift bags or thrift stores.
For those of you who need to catch up on the challenge, the rules are simple. The goal is to reduce my carbon footprint. So I’m making no brand new clothing purchases except for undies and socks for one year.
Thrown away clothing is a massive environmental hazard with fibres, chemicals from dyes and all kinds of other waste products making their way in to our food sources and environment.
It’s also a good chance to unlearn some bad shopping habits. Although I’ve never been very fashionable I do sometimes make impulse purchases. Consumption culture is most evident in the fashion industry. We constantly buy in to looks that pass quickly and pick up things that we only wear once. Travelling over the last five years has taught me that I don’t need a lot of stuff to get by. A good suit, a pair of light and dark jeans and a few basics will get you through any situation. In fact the less stuff I have the less stress I feel about having to move around.
Now that COVID restrictions are being eased I’m able to do one of my favourite things again and go hunting for treasure in second hand stores. First day out I managed to score three Adidas T-shirts and a new windbreaker. Adidas gear is always hard to find and it’s pricey even second hand, especially the genuine vintage stuff. It’s now become a bit of a fetish for me, the fit Chavs in London really got me interested. I’m pretty much in some kind of Adidas everyday now.
Check out this article on unenvironment.org for some interesting stats on the environmental impacts of the fashion industry.
“The fashion industry produces 20 per cent of global wastewater and 10 per cent of global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping. Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of water globally and it takes around 2,000 gallons of water to make a typical pair of jeans.”
Putting the breaks on fast fashion.