Because don’t you want to save the earth?
You’ve heard it all before, but I’ll say it again. And I’ll probably say it next week too.
No joke, fast fashion is the second largest polluter on this earth, second only to the oil industry. To put this into perspective, we as a race consume 80 BILLION pieces of clothing every year, that’s up 400% from only 20 years ago. Although many of us donate our clothes to the local thrift store, only 10% end up there with the rest ending up in landfill (or drowning markets in third world countries, only to destroy the local industry) Source – (True cost the movie)
Let’s talk landfill (sorry gross) Synthetic products are non-biodegradable, meaning they don’t decompose, only adding to the millions of tonnes of waste on earth. The products that do decompose (think wool) produce and release huge amounts of methane into the atmosphere which contributes significantly to global warming.
If landfill wasn’t enough maybe the billions of liters of water used to produce clothing might be, or the poisonous greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide (N2O) emitted during manufacturing (which by the way has almost 300 times the impact that one pound of carbon dioxide has on global warming) Source – (theconversation.com.au)
Ahh but don’t forget the poisonous pesticides used in cotton farming or the highly toxic dyes used during the manufacture process or the unsustainable use of natural resources when shipping, farming and processing.
So whether or not you give a shit about the environment (um you should) your next purchase will either be supporting the destruction of the planet or making that tiny bit of difference in creating change. Yep, that’s some thickly slathered guilt right there!
Fashions fade, style is eternal
It’s no secret that the fast fashion machine pumps out trends for the masses, turning us all into clones. Clothing is the ultimate form of non-verbal communication and what you choose to wear everyday paints a picture of who you are. Whether or not you make a conscious decision each day to express your individual style, you are unconsciously communicating with those around you.
Not only is op-shopping the more sustainable choice, it’s a great way to really define and shape your own personal style through unique handpicked items that have character and a story to tell.
You’re a unique one of a kind babe, so why would you shop any other way?
Cos you ain’t made of money
But even if you were made of money, you probably have better things to spend it on, you know, like wine?
Op-shopping is affordable, especially when you stumble across those hidden gems in small country towns. You can find unique, great quality clothes that won’t break the bank with the added bonus that a percentage of the money you spend usually contributes to a charity. So not only are you saving the mula, you’re also contributing to a positive cause!
You can’t get that shopping at H & M!
It’s all about the thrill of the hunt
There’s a lot to be said for the hunt. Searching through racks of clothing is always worth it when you find that one of a kind, vintage designer piece for less than you would pay for lunch. Shopping first hand just never offers the kind of satisfaction you get from finding a one of a kind piece. Not to mention that there’s nothing cooler than when people ask “Where did you get that amazing jacket?” and you get to tell them you scored it for a fiver.
Take that fast fashion!
Shop local to support local
By shopping at your local op-shop you are supporting the local economy and when you support the local economy you are in turn supporting your local community rather than the unethical, international fast fashion giants who generate billions in profit at the expense our beautiful planet and even people’s lives
Support humane working conditions
If you don’t buy brand new clothes from ethically sourced brands, there’s a good chance you’re buying clothes made by underpaid workers who work slave like hours in unsafe conditions. By op-shopping you are no longer directly contributing to this type of exploitation. Instead as noted above, you are supporting your local op-shop and in turn the people in the community.
There is enough clothing in the world already
80 billion pieces of clothing are added to landfill every year on this earth, so I think it’s safe to say we have enough clothing to go around. It’s all well and good to buy clothing from ethical brands, but the last thing we need is ANOTHER clothing brand producing MORE clothes. Whether or not that new brand is sustainable, the resources and energy used to produce the clothing might be less but are still impacting this earth and of course decrease the chances of second hand clothing have a second life. That’s not to discredit all of the amazing sustainable fashion brands out there because reality is, we are never going to stop producing and creating, I mean what else are we going to do? But if you can buy the piece of clothing you are after second hand rather than first, do it. Do it, do it, do it!