By Amanda Joerndt
When you think of the words “second-hand” or “up-cycled” shopping, what comes to mind? Used, old or maybe even dirty, pop in your head. With the fashion industry on the rise all around the world, shopping through an up-cycled or second-hand company may be the last thought running through your head.
Most shoppers aren’t aware of the benefits and luxuries that circulate around this in-style and modern fashion trend. Shopping from an up-cycled company can produce more environmental wellness and efficiency in the long run.
Fast fashion, a chain reaction of products making their way down the runway, transported to retailers then making it’s final stop to a consumer’s closet, has shoppers purchasing products, only to throw them away when the upcoming fashion trends peak around the corner.
With fast fashion taking reign in the fashion industry, this process can cause distress to the consumer and the planet along the way.
A continuous cycle of purchasing retailer items at a low price can ultimately cause environmental harm with synthetic fibers being released into landfills and textile waste being unable to decompose.
Alternatives such as second-hand or up-cycled shopping can not only help you shop affordably, but help put an end to the “fast fashion era.”
Here are three takeaways for the average consumer to consider when making their next purchase:
1.) Eco-friendly shopping
We all learned what the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” means in our sixth grade science class in relation to waste management. But think about the phrase in relation to our daily, weekly or monthly clothing purchases.
The three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, come into play when describing an “up-cycled” product. A consumer can reduce the emissions released into the air by purchasing through thrift or consignment outlets, reuse clothes through trendy “hammy down’s” and recycle those products back into the fashion realm.
One of the biggest pollution causes fall under the fashion industry, contributing to climate change disasters.
Participating in up-cycled fashion trends reduce the amount of energy used during the production of the latest seasonal collection.
2.) Pocket saving, money savvy shopping
Saving a buck or two when on the hunt for the perfect outfit might not be a top priority for some, but being aware of how often you’re swiping your card for the “to die for” outfit, can be a real eye-opener.
Shopping through a second-hand collection usually gives shoppers generous discounts for excellent condition products.
Being able to purchase through small, local businesses, especially in Youngstown’s diverse market, can help you score major deals that you wouldn’t snag through name brand retailers.
Once you get in a limbo of purchasing well-rounded items at a valuable price, you’ll never want to go back.
3.) Keeping a local business on their feet
Supporting self-starting, local businesses can make all of the difference for both you and the supplier.
Purchasing through a small business can help keep one’s family and livelihood afloat. For many local businesses, their business operation may be their sole source of income, allowing them to put their heart and soul into their business.
Providing for their customers is considered a top priority, making the service exceptional and an experience to remember.
Building a one-on-one relationship and friendship with the business owners and their mission statement can go much further than a weekly purchase.
Just by taking a minute, or even a second, to change your viewpoint on how your purchase can make an impact on the world around us, can help break the cycle of being a “fast fashion junky.”
You can help the planet and your pocket all come out on top.