How to balance between the fashion trend and sustainability?

Today we hear a lot about responsible consumption and how we can contribute to sustainability by changing our lifestyle and habits. One of the key actions carried out lately is purchasing second-hand items.

The second-hand market is blooming and one of the reasons why is the opportunity to obtain quality at a low cost price. However now, more and more people tend to support the collaborative consumption because of social-motivation to contribute to the sustainability, becoming aware of the environmental issues. In this article we would like to emphasis on the second-hand clothing – a niche that is getting more and more popular among the young generation.

Driven by new technologies and millenials

New technologies and the trends of sustainable fashion have made the second-hand market:

  • more visible within society;
  • more accessible and easy to purchase;
  • trendy among young people.

One of the examples are online platforms and marketplaces like Micolet UK where it is possible to obtain or sell second-hand clothing of brands by giving a second life to the clothes that, in most cases, are barely used.

The impact of fashion towards the environment

Did you know that the textile industry is the second most polluting industry of our planet? Imagine that every year thousands of millions pieces of clothes are produced and sold around the world meanwhile the media and advertisements are telling us to – need more,buy more, consume more. In those false needs of consumption, we do not see the other side of this world – the world of pollution, cheap labour force and unfair trade conditions – issues that are caused by our false needs of irresponsible consumption where the new is prevalent and the old is thrown away.

How to contribute?

Well, firstly, we have to understand that there are a thousand of tons of old clothing that are not use anymore. Yes, a part of it is probably in your wardrobe! To make a better use of it we should follow the 3R ́s: reduce, reuse and recycle.

And here we have 3 ideas on how to start:

  1. Reduce your consumption and be more aware by buying what you actually need (not what advertising is telling you to need). Make a list when going to shopping, start to pay attention to the background of your clothing. Where do they come from? What materials are used? Are you going to wear it enough to buy it ? In that way, you will reduce the number of your unused clothes.
  2. Do not throw your clothing away. If you want to get rid of your things, think of how they could be used the second time. While you don’t need them probably someone does. You can always extend the lifetime of your clothes by giving them to another person, donating to an organization or even selling them on second-hand shops and online platforms. What was old for you, can become something new for someone else.
  3. Purchase second-hand yourself. Second-hand clothing is not only the key to sustainability and quality at low cost, it is an opportunity to find unique items you won’t see in the first shopping mall you enter.

Is the old-fashioned becoming more trendy? Definitely! But you need to stay aware, paying attention to the conditions of selling and buying second-hand as well in order to make sure that they correspond to the environmental thinking. For example, one of the collaborations these platforms can make, is donating unsold clothes to an NGO or donating a percentage of the income. Usually, all those activities are mentioned in corporate responsibility and terms of use of these enterprises and Web platforms. As well, some companies are using recycled materials for shipping and many more ways to contribute to sustainability with every action. By supporting their services you support their ideas!

And finally, for all the fashion and social media lovers, pay attention to fashion and lifestyle influencers who contribute to these ideas, selling their clothes to such businesses and donating their clothes to NGO`s. By breaking through stereotypes and the fast-consumption world, give a try to second-hand fashion to see that there is nothing old till it finds new hands who can wear it. Responsible consumption is the new trend so stay curious and aware of what you wear and how you can contribute to the planet with style.

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