Using Slow Fashion and Thrift Stores to Support Sustainable Fashion

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Green clothing’s rise to popularity has and make a difference in the world. However, people still affected by textile production are struggling to stay nourished and clothed. As sustainable clothing increases in popularity, the well-being of the affected population will improve, Those with influence and even those without can make a difference in the world if they choose to wear ethical and sustainable clothing. Celebrities such as Emma Watson. Olivia Wilde and Miranda Kerr are walking the red carpets in a sustainable fashion (Sarah Spoliaric. n.d) These influencers are pushing green fashion and creating a shift in the industry. However, companies are refusing to go green and are disguising themselves as sustainable textile producers thus creating more issues for the workers in textile production. To reduce the need for production and to improve the lives of the workers, choosing slow fashion is an easy solution.

Finally. thrift shops reduce the need for more textiles as well as clothing the poverty-stricken population. Thrift shopping is becoming a popular activity that supports those in need and by supplying cheaper clothing at lower prices. Thrift shops are secondhand clothing stores with endless outfit opportunities. With much lower prices it is easier for the less fortunate to stay clothed and yet still fashionable. Australia alone has 13.3% or 2.9 million people living below the poverty line. This population would struggle enough trying to buy food and pay for a place to sleep let alone afford necessary clothing. Thrift shops allow these people to purchase cheap and sustainable clothing. By donating your used clothes, you aid those less fortunate, thus improving their wellbeing in an economically challenged lifestyle. By saving money they can buy more food and stay well- nourished.

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Thrift shopping also improves the wellbeing of people who are malnourished and underpaid because of textile production. Because of the increase in thrift shopping, there would be less demand for textile production. The process of making clothing and farming cotton takes up approximately 5,300 gallons of water to grow one kilogram of cotton and 21.6 gallons per pound in the production process. If more people recycle their used or unwanted clothing, less new textiles will be purchased thus reducing the need for production and more water can be preserved for the 780 million people without access to safe drinking water. If more water can be preserved by recycling used clothing instead of discarding it the wellbeing of those without access to water and below the poverty line will improve, This issue could also be resolved by purchasing a slow fashion that is sustainably sourced to reduce the effects of textile production.

In 2013, 15,1 million tons of textile waste was produced, and 12.8 million tons of that waste ended up in landfills. Every year 95% of clothing that ends up in landfills could have been recycled. This waste created by the fashion industry effects those in the areas where textile production is high such as India, Bangladesh and China. Water sources and food is poisoned with waste chemicals and other pollutants. This issue comes back to the continual promotion of fast fashion and its cycles that call for more textile production and more pollution. However, the implementation of more slow fashion trends could slow the production of pollution. Slow fashion warrants more wear out of clothing and more time between shopping trips. If a large enough population begins to wear slower fashion items, textile waste could be reduced and the wellbeing of those in danger of thirst and famine as a result of this pollution can be improved.

When choosing slow fashion, it is important to take into consideration the source of the clothing and how ethical the company really is. Some companies lie about the sustainability of their clothing. Passing off their clothes with the promise they obtain environmentally friendly textiles. This causes more textile production and more pollution. This only decreases the wellbeing of those affected by the fashion industry. The increase in this sustainable trend has called companies to go green to fit in with the movement. However. some companies lie to save money and increase profits. One big company accused of greenwashing is H&M. Last year, they were accused of burning old unsold clothing instead of recycling them into new textiles. Unfortunately, this was one of many cases of companies burning product to save money on recycling. Ways companies claim to have improved their sustainability by waste production by minimalizing packaging and saying they recycle equipment, yet they still create chemical waste and other pollution that poisons their water sources.

These incidences of companies lying to the public only continue to harm the people behind the production of the clothing and the environment they dwell in. Because of greenwashing, companies continue to exploit their workers. For example, Kmart and Big W are paying their workers in Vietnam and Bangladesh 51 cents per hour. By disregarding their employee’s wellbeing to make more money, this highlights the problem with ethical textile production. Doing research on companies can make a big difference and mean supporting truly sustainable and ethical brands. Looking for brands that use organic and ethically farmed cotton and other materials, fairly pay their workers as well as recycle excess clothing, ensures that you are supporting the right people. If more companies realize that consumers see through the greenwashing. hopefully, they will make an effort to reduce their waste production and improve the wellbeing of their workers. In conclusion, the fashion industry has begun to become more sustainable with the new trends however, corruption and lies remain.

Greenwashing still an issue with companies trying disguising themselves as a sustainable option yet they continue to pollute water sources and severely underpay their employees. Slow fashion plays a role in reducing waste and damage with a decreased need for new clothing more often as the styles do not go out of style as quickly as regular fast fashion. Lastly. the increase of thrift shopping has decreased textile waste in landfills and provided a cheap and wide range of choices for those without. Furthermore, the influence of celebrities and consumers can cause a difference in the world. Just by choosing to shop green has brought about the new trend of sustainable clothing found in both second—hand shops and in retail stores. This effect will eventually see the transformation of the fashion industry with the improvement of lives everywhere as textile pollution and the number of unethical businesses will decrease.

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Using Slow Fashion and Thrift Stores to Support Sustainable Fashion. (2023, May 10). Retrieved from

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