Thoughts on the shopping game: Is there a need for change?

This is something we have never spoken about before, going to be super informative. Do you know what is thrifting or anything about a thrift store? If not. Here we go, Thrifting refers to the act of shopping at a thrift store, flea market, garage sale, or a shop of a charitable organization, usually with the intent of finding interesting items at a low price. A larger philosophy permeates the act of thrifting which celebrates the recycling of formerly-owned items, finding new use and a new love for vintage material goods which had been thrown out, and the thrill of imagining what the former life of the item was like. In short, it is buying second-hand or pre-loved clothes, accessories, or anything. When I first learned about it, I was not very much sure if anyone would ever want to buy second-hand clothes and thought it was a flop idea. This is an obvious thought, but when I searched a little bit about it on the internet, I found out why do we need to support this thrifting business, what it actually is, and why it is important? Ever heard of fast fashion? Y’all might have heard about it, but probably don’t know what it means. Fast fashion is a term used to describe a highly profitable business model based on replicating catwalk trends and high-fashion designs and mass-producing them at low cost. The clothes we usually buy from h&m, max, lifestyle, etc. fall under the category of fast fashion. Now that we know what fast fashion is, we need to know is it good or bad? Let’s first start with the positives: is a boon for retailers because the constant introduction of new products encourages customers to frequent stores more often, which means they end up making more purchases. The speed at which fast fashion moves tends to help retailers avoid markdowns, which cut into margins. Moving forward to the negatives: not paying fair living wages to workers, poor working conditions, child labor, environmental destruction from hazardous chemicals, plastic-derived materials, and increasing amounts of water pollution and textile waste. To sell the produced clothes at a low price the manufacturers have to cut down on paying enough to their workers, which is extremely disingenuous. Talking about environmental destruction, many companies drop new products almost every week, which is promoting over-consumption. As a result, a huge amount of clothes are thrown away, creating a lot of waste. Polyester is one of the most popular fabrics derived from fossil fuels and it is non-biodegradable, and you know what that means, how bad it is for our environment. Not only these synthetic fabrics but natural fabrics such as cotton is also harmful as it requires a lot of water and pesticides. The dyes which are used to dye the fabric pollute the water sources due to the disposal of harmful chemical. This is alarming and as you might know, the fashion industry is one of the biggest growing industries and the global apparel market is projected to grow in value from 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars in 2020 to about 2.25 trillion dollars by 2025, showing that the demand for clothing and shoes is on the rise across the world. Imagine the pollution that would be caused by 2025. To solve this issue leading companies and experts have come up with the concept of sustainability, which is the manufacturing of products in the most sustainable manner possible, taking into account both the environmental and socio-economic aspects. These companies and the industry itself are making their possible moves, but we on a personal level can do a few things too like donating clothes, buy less, think if you need it (do you see yourself wearing it at least 30 times?), or just go for thrifting. Thrifting is an option that is in trend right now, I have seen many influencers promoting various thrift stores on Instagram. Thrifting is not a bad option because the brands themselves check the hygiene aspects, wear and tear, usability aspects of it. It is not the only solution, the previously mentioned ways can also create a huge change. Think about it, you are a part of this revolution, and don’t hesitate to contribute. This is an important issue and support and awareness are required. Good day.