Thrifted clothing is stylish and environmentally friendly


Photo by Chrissie Kremer on Unsplash

Purchasing recycled clothing is better for the environment.

Jaqueline Flores, Reporter

While growing up, I developed a relationship with clothes, shoes and anything I could play dress up in. Little did I know, my relationship with fashion would grow into a passion worth pursuing.

Fashion is a form of expressing yourself, and it has even become a popular lifestyle. Advancements in technology and the internet also continue to have a direct influence on increased online shopping.

As I started doing more research on the fashion industry, I decided I should try to find more sustainable ways to shop. I first thrifted eight years ago and haven’t stopped since.

The fashion industry’s large carbon footprint has contributed to the climate change crisis. It’s not just the shipping that’s creating waste–it’s the entire supply chain.

According to a Forbes article from 2019, “One of the biggest culprits in the fashion industry is “fast fashion,” or clothes made cheaply to meet demands for the hot new styles. However, fast fashion is putting our future planet at risk.”

Cheap materials cause clothing items to quickly wear down, and fast fashion brands continue to advertise new seasonal trends.

Both of these dynamics contribute to our society’s recently developed behavior when purchasing clothes–we act as if there is no such thing as too much.

I think it’s beneficial for us to reduce our carbon footprint by consciously thinking about our consumption and shopping habits.

One great way to reduce our carbon footprint is by thrifting.

Thrifting is similar to recycling because people that no longer have a need for certain items donate it and give to someone else in need.

When going into thrifting, it can be overwhelming. Thrifting is more time consuming and sometimes can be a bit unorganized. However, there is a little magic when you find just the right item.

 “I’ll buy shoes new but everything else I thrift. I realized how much textile waste is involved in how much resources it takes to make clothes in general. The number of gallons of water it takes to make a fabric is insane,” said Kimberly Lee, California Lutheran University alumna and former co-president of But Make It Fashion club.

Lee recommends shopping at Buffalo Exchange or at thrift stores on Main Street in Ventura.

“Because a lot of sustainable businesses are kind of more expensive, right now I don’t shop at any sustainable fashion business but I am pretty content with the second hand clothing scene right now,” Lee said.

Owning pieces that are original and unique is just another bonus on top of recycling clothing items to reduce waste from fast fashion.

Lee said she enjoys vintage pieces a lot more than current trends, and she spends a lot of free time working with fashion and selling vintage pieces on Instagram.

Personally, every time I thrift I know exactly what I have in mind. Sometimes I find it and other times it’s not my lucky day. That’s why it’s fun to make a day of it and treat thrifting like a journey.

For those who like luxury brands but want to shop sustainably, The Real Real is an online store that carries consigned luxurious brands of all sorts for more than half off. Anyone that signs up also receives $25 off their first purchase.

Another online thrift option is Thredup. You can also shop for recycled clothing online at Poshmark, Depop, and eBay.

I know it’s hard to stop shopping from fast-fashion brands. I am still guilty of that, but it is still possible to practice sustainable shopping.

You don’t need to break the bank by shopping at expensive sustainable brands. You can start by thrifting and you’ll find yourself creating your own unique style, plus knowing that you’re helping reduce our carbon footprint.