Thrifting has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years, especially in the video age of social media. I’m talking reels, Tik Toks and of course, the original video platform, YouTube.
But as more and more people are rightfully calling out fast fashion and fast fashion hauls, people have begun gravitating towards thrifting.
Is thrifting the new fast fashion?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love thrifting and I post thrift hauls from time to time. But it can be dangerous when it’s at the rate of fast fashion.
Thrifting is inherently sustainable. You’re taking something that has already been made and giving it a second life, keeping it out of the landfill. You’re also not creating any demand for anything new. Both of these are amazing acts of sustainability.
The problem arises when we view thrifting as we often view fast fashion. Cheap and disposable. Because yes, second-hand clothing is naturally less expensive than new clothing. But the prices at the thrift store are often on par with the likes of Forever21 and H&M. These stores are primarily used to purchase large quantities of cheap clothing.
So you can see how viewing thrifted clothes this way might pose a problem. Because of the price point, they’re often seen as disposable rather than forever pieces. Especially in the age of online hauls where stores like Shein dominate, thrifting isn’t too far behind.
So how can we keep thrifting sustainable? It’s quite simple really.
1. Slow our consumption
In order for thrifting to not become fast fashion, we can’t treat it like fast fashion. Just because it’s more affordable doesn’t mean we need to buy in excess or use it as retail therapy or worse, use it for content. Buying second-hand clothing at a decreased rate will help keep it a sustainable sport.
2. Buy only what you need
This should always be the rule when it comes to shopping. Heck, even if you were only buying fast fashion and only buying what you need, it would be a LOT more sustainable. The same goes for thrifting. This is how we can prevent ourselves from buying in excess and shopping just because we feel like it.
3. Look for quality items
While you’re bound to come across and even buy fast fashion at the thrift store, (and that’s totally fine!) it doesn’t hurt to look for quality items that will last a long time. This further breaks the cycle of constant shopping, even if it is second-hand.
I hope this post gave you a few things to think about and perhaps reframed the way you see thrifting. At its core, it’s sustainable so let’s do our best to keep it that way!
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