Do you want to wear my old clothes?
This one was challenging for me because I am not a big fan of wearing other people’s clothes. Plus, I don’t like shopping for clothes, and if you enter a second-hand shop, you need to be going through a lot of clothes to find just a few items. So, what are the alternatives? How about buying second-hand clothes online?
Why is it important?
The clothing industry is the second most polluting industry after oil. From growing the actual cotton plants to harvesting, dyeing, and manufacturing clothes, it is crazy how many people are involved in making our clothes. Often child labor and trafficking are part of the industry.
A simple step we can take to tackle a complicated problem is to shop second-hand clothing.
My wife managed to get me into a second-hand shop. I still make comments about the smell in those shops, and often the characters that are wandering through the aisles are great material for a comic. Well, now I am part of it too.
It may take a while!
We split up, and after 15 minutes, I arrived with about ten jumpers and a couple of pants; I know right, I clearly overcame my fear of second-hand shopping.
She still only had only one dress in her hands.
Anyway, I pushed through the feeling of discomfort, wearing other people’s clothes, and tried them on. I did like some of the stuff, but most of it went back on the hooks.
While I have to say you can find the occasional gem in there, it is still not my favorite way to go shopping for clothes. Particularly because I feel I can spend my time better than filtering through old clothes.
I wore the same pants and the same shoes and the same shirts for most of my life. A few big brands that I am no longer supporting because of their environmental footprint. Yeah, I was part of it, and while it is really hard sometimes to realize this and change, I feel better now that I have done it.
Alternatively, I shop online, and while online shopping always comes in plastic packaging except for this one company in Europe that lets you send the packaging back for reuse.
Repack is such a clever way to deal with overpackaging. Once you receive your package, fold it, and send it back to them for reuse.
But since online shopping is super convenient and definitely on the rise, we can now do second-hand shopping online.
Yeah, to me, that is a win-win—no more smelly mothball shops. No more searching for hours and then leaving empty-handed. But buy your second-hand clothes online, and you are done.
I guess the only bummer is that you can’t try the clothes on and perhaps you need to send more back than usual. Here is a list of apps that I’ve found to help you with your online second-hand shopping adventure.
Second-hand shopping Apps:
The biggest one and the most interesting one I’ve come across is Poshmark. Since they actually have a section just for men.
The second biggest one is ThredUp, but they are not interesting to my online second-hand journey since they don’t have a men section, and I only wear women’s clothes to a weird dress-up party once a year 🙂
What annoys me with Poshmark is that you are covered for damaged or missing items under the posh-protect scheme even though you are covered for damaged or missing items. If the clothes don’t fit, that’s too bad for you. They say to relist it on their platform.
That could be a big no go for many people.
Something I think you could benefit from is the App/Website GoodOnYou
They are aiming to give you the most ethical brands via search. So if you are not sure whether your favorite brand follows ethical procedures in their manufacturing process, punch it into GoodOnYou and see what they come up with.
I have to say their search engine needs a lot of work because when I want to look for men’s shoes, it often shows me brands that don’t even make shoes. Or I can select that they ship to Canada, but how about not shopping at all? Perhaps locally made? So I think it still needs a lot of improvement, but it is a great idea, and I have found some cool brands like Indosole, that make thongs (flip flops) from car tires.
Here is a list of reasons why we need to do more second-hand clothes shopping. On or offline:
- 80 million garments are being produced each year
- We make 400% more clothes than we used to 20 years ago
- On average, we only wear garments seven times before we get rid of them.
- Wastewater from garment production is directly pumped into the rivers.
- 20% of industrial water pollution comes from textiles and dyes.
- 200.000 tones of colors are lost to effluent each year.
- 90% of wastewater in developing countries is discharged in rivers without treatment.
- 1.5 trillion liters of water are used by the fashion industry every year.
- 2.6% of global freshwater is used to produce cotton.
- Seven hundred fifty million people in the world do not have access to drinking water.
- Up to 20.000 liters of water are used to produce only 1kg of cotton.
And there is more, but I hope you get the point. So if you have never gone second-hand shopping, try it out the next time you need a pair of pants or a shirt. Also, look at the second-hand online shopping options, perhaps you prefer shopping from the comfort of your own home, like me.
I would love to see the gems on my Instagram. Hashtag #zerowasteman
Let me know if you have found any better ways to do online second-hand shopping, and until then, goodbye.