There’s no doubt that op shopping and buying clothes and other fashion-related items secondhand has absolutely taken off in the recent years.
While there are a number of positives when it comes to purchasing clothes secondhand, whatever avenue you choose, there are also a number of offsetting factors that the industry is now facing.
Fashion sustainability platform Good On You, who are known for being a fashion brands fashion sustainability guide not only rate brands on a scale of five different ratings, from the best to the worst, have now also pinpointed specific factors which are causing shopping secondhand to become less and less sustainable.
We all know that shopping secondhand is the most sustainable option when it comes to buying clothes, but in today’s climate, its sustainability levels are dwindling. Check out the reasons below.
Poor quality fast fashion
The low quality of fast fashion means that even once it’s donated, the chances of the new buyer getting a lot of wear out of it is pretty low. As Good On You put it, shopping fast fashion secondhand is better than buying it brand new, but technically it still means we’re filling our wardrobes with fast fashion.
Outsourcing to developing nations
Countries like Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda have banned or are in the process of considering banning donated clothes as they are struggling to deal with the donation overload. It’s also having an affect on their local clothing market.
Raiding op shops for its cheapest (and most likely coolest or nicest) clothes, then reselling them for a triple profit is making op shopping inaccessible for the disadvantaged. Even the purchasing of large sized clothing to wear as an ‘oversized fit’ or to ‘upcycle’ by chopping it up is contributing to the problem.
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