Why Shop Second Hand?


 Buying new can indeed bring hefty price tags, so can buying from ethical clothing shops simply because we are used to buying and consuming cheap clothing in massive amounts. Clothing has no longer become an investment. Buying second-hand allows you to keep within budget, keep your moral compass and look amazing! 


The fashion industry stops for no one (haven't you seen the Devil Wears Prada?!) therefore it often dictates what we wear, how we wear it and when. Buying second-hand gives us the freedom to buy whichever colour or style we want, whenever we want. By doing this, we can impact the minds of generations after us so they can adopt their own personal style rather than what new style they need to buy.


Having known what the industry is doing to our planet for years, it still shocks us just how monstrous the effects are of fast fashion. Textile Waste is a big one. The majority of fast fashion retailers work with synthetic products which can take up to hundreds of years to decompose in landfill! On average, we throw away 36kg of clothing each per year! We also buy 60% more clothing but keep them for about half as long as we did 15 years ago - that's a big heap on the landfill! Once on the landfill, chemicals can leak into the air, water and ground supply causing serious health impacts to the local communities. It takes no convincing to buy second-hand when reading these astronomical figures and stark realities! 


This is a controversial one. We all heard about the incident at the Rana Plaza, Dhaka Bangladesh in 2013 where over 1000 workers died and over 2,500 people were injured due to a collapsed building where workers were grafting for the likes of H&M, Zara, Primark, Monsoon etc.. Literally, cracks appeared and bosses threatened no pay to those who wouldn't come into work and meet production deadlines. Not only that, their wages were horridly low. This is merely one factory in one country - can you imagine all the factories and workers that we don't hear about? 


It takes around 1,800 litres of water to make a single pair of denim jeans. This can hydrate and provide drinking water for someone for around 5-6 years. Purchasing second-hand saves the water consumption and frees it up for other, more essential uses such as drinking water.


Unfortunately, your appearance is a key factor in areas such as job interviews. You can meet all the criteria but if your job requires you to wear a black suit and you cannot afford it, then you're screwed. Low income workers cannot drop a large sum on such things like clothing, therefore creating a recycling system gives everybody the change (and right) to be a part of the social system that we have created thus creating better opportunities for themselves. This directly gives people with little money a face and personality of their own whilst keeping the costs low.
You are mistaken if you believe buying second-hand cannot be fashionable. At GPS Vintage, you can get anything from Levi's jeans to Ralph Lauren polo-shirts at a fraction of the cost when buying second-hand.