The lifetime impact of buying second-hand clothing saves more than 8 pounds of CO2e emissions and 88 gallons of water.
SEATTLE — From brands like Gucci to The Gap, the cost of a fashion business isn’t always easy on the wallet – and according to the data, it’s not easy on the environment either.
The fashion industry accounts for up to 10% of human-generated global carbon emissions each year.
And Liz Fikejs of Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) says textile waste is substantial.
Fikejs mentions SPU studies on what goes to the trash: “Textiles that will be trashed in one year’s time are about 8.8 million pounds by 2020.” “And that number has grown to 38% since we last did this study in 2014.”
Celebrities and trend-setters are hoping to reduce that number by making the recycling, reuse and rental of clothing more popular, and businesses are capitalizing on the trend.
The global second-hand market is expected to double, reaching $350 billion by 2027.
“It’s young people,” said Susie Cohen, co-owner of Seattle-based luxury consignment store The Refind Closet. “If young people catch up with the trend, it will shift and it will be young people who are environmentally conscious,”
Jeannine Christofilis is a co-owner of The Refind Closet, which focuses on in-person social shopping events.
Christofilis said that while its customers are looking for good deals on luxury items, they are also looking for sustainable fashion.
“Designers are conscious of the materials they’re using, where they’re made,” says Christofilis, adding that they feel better about buying because they’re buying to resell.
Production of clothes and shoes stress resources. Cotton needs a lot of water to grow and chemical dyes emit greenhouse gases.
“But if we replace that new shirt with something that’s already been used, those things won’t be created,” Fikejs said.
According to ThredUP, the long-term impact of buying second-hand clothing saves more than 8 pounds of CO2e emissions and 88 gallons of water.
As thrift becomes more common, the hope is that clothing companies will reduce the amount of clothing they produce.
“There is no need to produce much in the world,” says Christofilis. “If you buy something that you love and you invest in it, it will probably stay in your closet for 20 years.”
While donating is better than throwing away used clothes, Fikejs says preserving that shopping experience for friends, the community and locally is the best way to reduce your environmental impact. a person while shopping.
“Donating helps, but what we don’t know about donations is that they also send large amounts of clothing overseas,” says Fikejs. “And we don’t know what will happen when it goes overseas.”