Why Secondhand Wins First Place
Sustainability and fashion haven't always gone hand in hand. Only in the last couple of years has the industry realised that the new wave of consumer wants to shop with brands that are kind on the earth and are good to the garment workers who make them.
Even when the industry and/or brands catch up to the consumers wants, there is still a ranking for the best way to consume. And I am here to give away the award!
Coming in first place for being the most ethical way to consume anything is - ladies and gentlemen, please clap your hands for : Secondhand!
Let's break it down, and start with the two obvious ones:
Secondhand shopping (whether for vintage clothing, or purchasing that sexy thermomix that's almost-new on Trade Me), is the most ethical way to purchase anything. This is because all of the resources it takes to manufacture anything has already happened. Meaning you have not contributed to any greenhouse gases, and, by extending the use of an item and keeping it out of landfill, you reduce your own carbon footprint! What a green queen.
Nobody gets hurt
Rest easy knowing that you do not have any blood, sweat and tears on your hands (or being worn on your body) because you have opted out, baby!
In New Zealand we say opportunity shopping, and in the states they say thrifting - and both are so accurate. You get the opportunity to buy goods at a very thrifty price. In fact, I make money by shopping secondhand as I buy for such a good price, that if or when I'm done with it, I can sell on either at Designer Wardrobe, Trade Me, Tatty's, and other consignment stores. Which you might save for important things, but for me it further funds my second hand shopping.
When you're op-shopping, there is so many items that you can choose that as you start to thumb your way through the racks doing the ol' "no, no, yes, no" schtick, you find yourself stopping on some items thinking, 'ooo maaaybeee'. These moments are gold! You start to consider a new idea, cut, colour, and wonder how you would style it. This is where self expression and personal style starts! It is invaluable and should be mandatory for every tweenager in the art of self discovery. Any junior schools hiring a life coach?
And look baby, shopping second hand gives you a rare opportunity to find one-off, unique pieces. With fast fashion chewing through the market, and vintage importers bringing in the same ol' branded 90s streetwear, everyone ends up looking the same. When you thrift, you set yourself apart. That's not important for some, but for me, it's one of my favourite parts!
Please enjoy this ridiculously cute picture of my child self wearing secondhand, as I always have!