Let’s have a show of hands to see how many of us have at least attempted to declutter & organize our closets. Most of us are still holding onto our high-school dresses and tees, waiting for them to sparkle us with a feeling of nostalgia- Are we right or are we right?!
Our closets are filled with a bunch of clothes that we have probably outgrown in terms of size and style and we have no idea what we’re going to do with them. Cue, a magic phrase- Yep, you guessed it right- “Thrift it!”
And that is where your preloved clothes become somebody’s new love!
So...what is Thrifting?
Do you want to live more sustainably while on a budget? Well, thrifting is one of the best ways to do so. The act of 'Thrifting' refers to buying and selling preloved, gently used and unused items from people’s closets, flea markets or garage sales. Thrifting helps young individuals and families access affordable yet stylish clothes. Add to that the absolute thrill of scoring a rare gem or an amazing branded piece, and one can see why the idea of thrift has taken over the world and recently, India!
In India, thrifting became a major hit in the Covid-19 lockdown period thanks to Millennials & Gen Z fashion enthusiasts who understood the need to start making planet-friendly decisions. Many celebrities like Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Dia Mirza, and Sonakshi Sinha joined the bandwagon and took steps to minimize fashion wastage by opening up their personal closets to the public.
How does shopping secondhand benefit the environment?
The fashion industry is one of the most polluted industries in the world, contributing extensively to water, air and soil pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 17 million tons of clothes end up in landfills, resulting in occupying nearly 5% of all landfill space. Fast Fashion companies (You know who they are!) play a massive role in producing carbon emissions due to overproduction, bypassing environment laws and using low quality chemicals. Due to the recent wave of support for sustainable and humane practices, youngsters have become aware of the truth of the fashion industry and have started demanding change.
By thrifting, we vote for sustainability. If we #ShiftToThrift, we save millions of clothes from ending up in landfills, help discourage the constant demand for ‘new’ and force fast fashion brands to make a change to their production practices. The next time you’re bagging up a new dress from a fast fashion brand that will harm you (Hello? Toxic chemicals on your skin?!) and the environment, think of thrifting a dress instead!
The social impact of Thrifting
The working conditions of labourers and workers at fast fashion companies are often absolutely atrocious with poor safety measures, minimal wages, bonded labour, lack of ventilation and hygiene, child labour and inhuman working hours. Female workers, often the only earning members of their families, face added problems such as being paid lower wages than their male counterparts, sexual harassment and exploitation. Add to that the fact that most fast fashion brands are multinational corporations which outsource their production to poorer, developing nations such as India, Bangladesh, Bahrain and Pakistan in a bid to exploit the weaker labour and environment laws in these nations.
In comparison, thrift stores are small businesses run by conscious individuals trying to do their bit for the world. This entrepreneurial spirit, especially in the younger generation, adds value to the country’s economy and furthers the message of sustainability.
So the question is, who would you give your hard-earned money to?
Let’s get personal: How does choosing to thrift benefit you?
Apparel and home goods are often rather pricey, especially when you want to be more sustainable and shop from transparent, ethical brands. So, what would strike a comfortable balance between shopping at cheap fast fashion brands and super expensive ethical brands? But of course- “thrifting!”
The best part? Thrift fashion is pretty much always more affordable than anything you can buy at Zara, H&M or Forever 21. These days, many online thrift stores provide affordable vintage, retro, Y2K collections, corsets, denim jackets and Korean beauties. Essentially, you're getting unique, rare clothing at insanely low prices. So, what's not to love?!
We can safely conclude that shopping preloved, thrifting clothes and supporting green small businesses is a win for our planet, our community and our wallets. Now there’s something that sparks joy!
So what are you waiting for? Get started on your thrifting journey with ReThought, where you can explore more than 100 online thrift stores and influencer's closets-all in one place!