Image c/o weheartit
This was before fast fashion unfolded to be more of an unethical practice, with many high street retailers employing under paid workers, quite often children, to sew clothing for a ridiculous low wage. Many people, such as I, are now aware of such working practices, and choose not to buy new clothes in their own effort to protest against high profiting fashion retailers. Some go one step further, such as Edinburgh's Finlay Ross, who protested in front of the Arcadia Tower in Edinburgh back in 2007 (an article found on fashioncrazy.net):
“It is obscene that Topshop CEO Philip Green’s bonus in 2005 was enough to double the wages of the entire Cambodian garment workforce for 8 years! Improving labour standards would clearly not break the bank. We hope our actions will expose this injustice and force the company to make a serious commitment to workers’ rights, such as a living wage and the right to organise in a trade union”.
Protesting students c/o fashioncrazy.net
Lets not forget about our growing landfill problem, with an estimated 30-40kg of clothing per person ending up in landfill every year. *fact from spookmag. With plastic based (polyester) fabric taking many years to decompose; a material quite often associated with fast fashion garments.
A 2005 study by the Australia Institute found $10.5 billion is spent yearly on throwaway fashion. Read more here: news.com.au
Image c/o wikimedia
Having become more environmentally aware, my mindset has changed. I still seek out fashion (and other) items second hand because I enjoy the hunt, and it is rewarding finding something special for small change. I do however, also appreciate that buying second hand really is an ethical, environmentally friendly way of buying 'new' things.
Sure, thrifted clothing will end up in landfill one day, but at least by choosing second hand clothing, the time garments end up in landfill will be be stretched for a while longer. Refashioning damaged or unwanted clothing into new items also delays the necessity to trash fashion.
Readers, a poll for you, why do you buy second hand? Is it to save money? For moral reasons? To save fashion from landfill? Another reason?