The case for the "second-hand" closet
Reusing and recycling clothes have become more common and accepted as consumers are attracted to a sustainable and minimalistic closet. Although my viewpoints of consignment or second hand clothing are now positive, that wasn't always the case. I used to scowl at the idea of wearing someone else's hand-me-downs or old jeans. I rarely liked walking into a thrift store or searching through consignment racks.
As I've pondered the "why" of responsible style, my opinions have changed by seeing the true value these shops have for the fashion consumer. Since the start of 2017, I'm fully embracing the idea that the 90's "mom jeans" are making a come back and bringing past styles back into our closets may be even better than shopping new. The key that seems to be present in wearing those older pieces is how to restyle them with our current wardrobes.
Whenever I find a vintage piece like the oversized blazer above- I always look to layering. Whether that's with accessories or layered items of clothing like extra sweaters, flowy tops, or scarves. There's a lot of room to play and make fun choices to recreate your closet in a fun and sustainable way.
So for those of you that are looking to be more sustainable and ethical with your purchases- consignment, thrifting, vintage shopping as well as reusing the pieces in your closet are the way to go. You save money AND help awesome causes like protecting the environment and promoting ethical fashion.
WHY DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE
I had a friend recently ask me, why shopping consignment can make a difference as an ethical shopper - Aren't they just the same brands that may be causing problems for not being transparent or ethically focused?
It's true - a lot of the brands that consignment stores hold are large companies that sell millions of garments per year like fast fashion retailers, H&M, Old Navy, Ann Taylor, Zara and even Anthropologie. But the importance of shopping consignment is that it slows down the consumer cycle.
SLOW IT DOWN
This leads to the biggest not-so-secret fact behind these large companies, is that if the shopper doesn't buy... the company doesn't make money. Not a shocker right? But the bigger detail is - we as consumers have the power to sway what the company creates and sells, simply with our wallets! If we don't buy, they don't use the factory that doesn't pay it's workers fairly. Or if we don't buy, the retailer will have to switch gears to make their product better for the environment.
So with shopping these larger, fast fashion brands by consignment and second hand, we shop to slow down the waste factor in the cycle that these companies continue to create. And that's how second-hand shopping and restyling can make such a big difference. This season, we can make a conscious effort to try shopping second hand through vintage, consignment or even your mother's closet! You will be helping to make a small impact for the ethical fashion industry.