You know, when I started thrifting it wasn’t for the planet, it was for my wallet. I could find really interesting, one of a kind things, without having to spend a ton of money. Eventually, though, I learned that by me shopping second-hand, not only was I saving money, but I was also making a huge difference on the planet too. Shopping my old fast fashion ways was not mindful– it was hurting other people and our planet.
Learning how to make a difference, after already making the difference seemed to be a consistent and recurring theme in my early twenties. It happened with veganism too. I attempted veganism and stayed vegan for my health. But again, not long after, I learned that agriculture was the most polluting industry in the world. I was feeling healthier and again, making a huge difference for the planet. And after that, there truly was no going back to my old way. Selfish maybe, but I made these initial changes for myself. But the reality is, it probably doesn’t matter why you make the change, as long as you do make the change. I had my own valid reasons for starting, but I continued to actively participate in these food and shopping changes because I wanted to make a difference in the planet— for me, for my kid, and for all people and animals sharing our Earth.
The thing is making changes for the planet doesn’t have to be crunchy. And you don’t have to start wearing a recycled sack (though that’d be totally cool imho) to counter the fashion industry. You can start small. One day I woke up and said, “from now on, I will not buy any more clothes unless they are organic, sustainably made, or secondhand.” And I stuck to it.
And don’t get me wrong, buying organic and sustainably (and ethically) made things are cool— but, honestly, at this point, it’s sort of not enough. It still puts a dent into our growing problem. We need to use what we have. And if you don’t have what you NEED, then the rule should always be secondhand first. If you can’t find what you need, then (and only then), buy something organic and sustainably made. (But you’ll find secondhand to be the much, much more affordable option).
Do you hate flipping through rows of used clothes in thrift stores? ME TOO. Gosh, I really don’t enjoy it like some people do. But the thing is… that doesn’t have to be a problem. There’s a good chance you like flipping through things on the internet… right? Great! (I’ll assume you said yes, or at least that you don’t mind it) — I’ve already shared this with you, but: thredUP is an amazing solution to all of this. They are the largest online thrift store with up to 90% off estimated retail (keep reading for an extra discount on your first order). You can, without a doubt, find really affordable clothes, look fantastically cute, and not create more waste on our planet.
This Express top + Uniqlo shorts combo cost me 24$ est retail is $66.
TWENTY FOUR DOLLARS. You would pay more even if you bought this from the mall with fast fashion prices. But buying it secondhand from thredUP: creates less waste and only cost me 24$. And you know, I’m not ashamed to say that I think it looks damn cute on me. Even Alex was like, “Oh! Those shorts are cute! on you. You look great!” — and he’s not one to compliment me on my clothes haha.
Not only does thredUP have amazing women’s clothing items, but they have huge selections of bags, shoes, accessories too! Oh and kids, maternity, and plus sizes too! And with thredUP offering over 35,000 different brands and thousands of items added daily, you can truly find any of the items you could ever need secondhand… first.
Ps. Still not a fashion blogger– just doing my best in these photos, haha.
So yeah, fashion blogging is hard for me– but finding cute clothes online? Not so bad!
Amazingly comfortable Grana silk shorts: 13.99$ est retail is $36.
Sleeveless /backless Urban Outfitters top: 13.99$ est retail $36.
28$ total. That’s it.
So let’s say I mixed and matched the shorts and tops I got in my order: that means I would have created 6 different rotating outfits for about 50$ Now that’s a good deal. And a deal that the earth surely appreciates– as it means that less chemical dyes had to be spilled into the waters, less energy had to be used in the factories, less pesticides needed to be sprayed on your clothes (before sewing and after sewing too) and more. Sure, the clothes do have to travel a bit more with shipping since shopping online is not shopping locally, but overall I still think it’s the smarter purchase for the overall waste problem of the planet.
This Calvin Klein bag was a bit more of a splurge at 49$ (est retail $148) –but I thought it was fine to spend a bit more on a good quality item…since I have used a faded and stained fabric tote bag for maybe two years now, haha. Super happy to finally have a real bag, it was probably about time.
Again, there are A LOT of things available on thredUP— my best bit of advice for shopping via thredUP is to put in your sizes right away. From there I like to go through the filters even more– to find specific types of clothing. If you know there is a brand you already love, you can go ahead and type the brand in the search field!
Try to do that in a thrift store, haha. You cant. Seriously, I support all kinds of secondhand shopping, but the online convenience of thredUP makes it crazy impossible to not try shopping secondhand first.
You know, I’m not perfect in the world. I’d like to be. And I surely do my best (the solar panel on my car makes me smile every time I see it), but there is always room for improvement– in all of us. The ideal solution to the waste and pollution problem we have with clothes is for all of us to stop shopping. But I think we can all nod our heads and agree, that everyone giving up shopping is not happening in our lifetime. Changes can and will happen in baby steps. You don’t have to go emptying your closets and becoming an extreme minimalist to make a difference (it’s actually counterintuitive to empty your closet). You don’t have to stop buying things all together to make a difference. But you can mindfully and actively decide to not create a demand in the fast fashion world. You can choose the future you want with your purchase. And it’s just too easy these days to not buy secondhand first. You truly should.
Looking for a specific items for work, a wedding, or need to replace a favorite item that maybe recently broken beyond compare? Want to give secondhand a try?
thredUP is offering the first 100 Oh Dear Drea readers an EXTRA 30% off your first order! Click HERE and use my code DREA30. That’s an additional 30% off their already super low prices, so definitely take advantage!
T&C’s: Offer applies to new U.S. and Canadian customers only. Applies to items $150 and online only. See site for full terms.
Need more reasons to stop buying fast fashion?
Facts About Shopping Secondhand vs. Our Current Fashion Industry System:
- If everyone in the US bought just one item used instead of new in 2019, it would save nearly 6 billion lbs. of carbon emissions. That’s the equivalent of taking over half a million cars off the road for an entire year!
- Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world and the textile industry will account for 25% of the global carbon budget by 2050.
- The equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or incinerated every second.
- 26 billion pounds of clothing are sent to landfills each year and 95% of them could have been reused or recycled.
- Buying secondhand extends the life of an item by 2.2 years AND reduces its eco impact by 73%
There are already enough awesome clothes on the planet. Let’s put them to good use and not in our landfills, k? Can we do that together? Decide today to make a difference– then don’t look back. I KNOW you guys can do it!!!