Hi, my name’s Emilia and welcome to my thrifty fashion blog
I’ve always loved shopping second hand. In quite a few of my free periods during sixth form college around 5 years ago The Salvation Army charity shop in Colchester was my favourite distraction from going to the library and memorising quotes from The Tempest. Fast forward to my final year of University; I became time-poor and much more interested in the convenience of shopping online, ending up committing the cardinal sin of buying from fast fashion websites. You know, the ones which always seem to have at least 50% off, but two thirds of what arrives ends up being half the amount of fabric you thought it was, or the cut looks like some kind of shapeless Jedi robe. Well, I guess I got what I deserved.
Basically, I was mindlessly buying out of laziness, boredom, and not really thinking about the consequences of supporting fast fashion sites and brands. Recently, there’s been more awareness about how these companies operate, it’s not just the relatively newer dodgy online shops, even familiar high-street brands such as H&M are also guilty of feeding into the trend of turning over masses of new designs quickly at lower costs. But how does this affect the rest of the world?
This post by The Green Hub reveals some staggering truths:
- “Global clothing production has doubled in the past 15 years, with garments on average being worn much less and discarded quicker than ever before.” – Ellen MacArthur Foundation
- “We are increasingly disconnected from the people who make our clothing as 97% of items you’re overseas. There are roughly 40 million garment workers in the world today; many of whom do not share the same rights or protections that many people in the West do. They are some of the lowest paid workers in the world and roughly 85% of all garment workers are women.” – The True Cost
- “Nearly 70 million barrels of oil are used each year to make the world’s polyester fiber, which is now the most commonly used fiber in our clothing. But it takes more than 200 years to decompose.” – Forbes
- “The fashion industry is designed to make you feel “out of trend” after one week. Once upon a time, there were two fashion seasons: Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. Fast forward to 2014 and the fashion industry is churning out 52 “micro-seasons” per year. With new trends coming out every week, the goal of fast fashion is for consumers to buy as many garments as possible, as quickly as possible.” – Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
- “Only 10% of the clothes people donate to thrift stores or charities get sold, the rest goes to landfill.” – 1 Million Women
The bottom line is that clothing is being made and discarded at an alarming rate, which is destroying the environment, depriving workers of fair pay, and making us feel more and more obsessed with the ‘latest and greatest’ styles for the cheapest price possible.
So why not shop second hand? There’s already enough clothing in the world, why create a demand for even more? Fast fashion is affordable? I bet that charity shops, Ebay and Depop will find you outfits you love for even less, and without supporting unethical practices.
Thrifty Things is a commitment from me to shop second-hand, a return to what I’ve always loved, although I lost sight of it briefly. You don’t have to sacrifice your own personal style for sustainability, and I’ll be proving it by blogging my affordable outfits made up of second hand pieces in the hopes of inspiring others to do the same.