Why They’re Fashionable *and* Sustainable

When I was in elementary college, my preferred manufacturers had been Abercrombie and Juicy Couture. Putting on a shirt with just one of all those brand names created throughout my upper body like a label created me experience proud—and it manufactured my peers gasp at how I, a fourth-grader, could receive these neat clothes. Or perhaps a far more accurate description would be high-priced, new apparel.

The fact? Most of my dresses ended up hand-me-downs. Significantly the kinds from all those perfectly-regarded manner brands anyone was talking about.

Observing my older cousin meant receiving a bag comprehensive of dresses that no more time fit her and components she no extended employed. She’d show up to my home like Santa Claus, letting my young sister and I dig through the piles upon piles of apparel that had been fantastic as new, just a dimensions as well modest for her.

I got a new wardrobe—and it was my mystery. I did not tell the young children at university my velour Juicy Couture sweatpants basically belonged to my cousin. In its place, I permit them think my mom had bought me model new garments. Why? Due to the fact hand-me-downs have been unneat. They typically intended you couldn’t manage new apparel or they intended you were putting on articles that have been out of design and style and outdated. At a young age, I regarded our buyer-primarily based society, and I preferred to conform to it.

Now, my secret’s out: I liked my hand-me-downs. And I however do—my buddies and family members proceed to move along the dresses we no for a longer period will need or want. Here’s why hand-me-downs are neat and why they are in fact eco-pleasant.

The Environmental Impression of Rapidly Style


It is genuine: Acquiring new clothing can be remarkable and satisfying, especially when we eventually locate the excellent outfit that can make us not only glimpse good but also come to feel very good. Having said that, our procuring practices appear at an environmental cost. The speedy trend sector, along with trending garments hauls on social media, has a considerable influence on the atmosphere.

The manner field accounts for about 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions, pollutes oceans with plastics and harmful chemical substances, and has a enormous h2o footprint. Exclusively, the fashion business accounts for about 20% of the world’s drinking water squander.

Amongst output emissions, nonrenewable sources, excessive energy and drinking water usage, and over-all pollution, the vogue industry’s environmental footprint is large. Why? There’s a substantial desire for fashion—and speedy manner makes like Shein have mastered how to mass-develop trend for a low cost.

But for the reason that of this high demand from customers, many speedy trend corporations are putting the setting (and the men and women) on the back again burner: They may possibly pick out unsustainable and unethical company methods to satisfy the superior demand from customers.

Although procuring at sustainable brands is a excellent way to create a demand for goods that prioritize the world and the people today, a additional sustainable way to take in is to consume preowned. Thrift purchasing is the most well known way to do this—and it’s truly inspired. Thrift hauls are trending, and vintage garments are all the rage.

If you love thrifting, vintage finds, and sustainable living, it is time to proudly don hand-me-downs—and time to proudly go along the aged outfits in your closet, much too.

Why Hand-Me-Downs Are Sustainable

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Acquiring (and wearing) secondhand dresses is not just a trend—it’s a usage design we can adopt to reduce the desire for rapidly trend. Secondhand clothing has already been created, so lengthening the life of preowned clothes eradicates creation emissions, h2o squander, and other unsustainable practices that come with the vogue field.

Moreover, obtaining, marketing, and regifting secondhand apparel retains textiles out of landfills. About 85% of all textiles get despatched to landfills each yr, contributing to an maximize in greenhouse fuel emissions that add to international warming.

Nonetheless, if we pass alongside our preowned outfits and welcome preowned outfits with open up arms, we can battle the mass numbers of textiles acquiring despatched to landfills just about every 12 months. A minimize in waste suggests a lessen in emissions—which in the end suggests extra sustainable living!

The Takeaway


My closet nonetheless is composed of hand-me-downs. Some pieces appear from my mom, other folks from my father. My cousin nonetheless allows me sift as a result of luggage of her old dresses that are going to get donated one particular way or a further. Even my younger sister and I bounce apparel again and forth among our closets. And someway, we constantly discover a way to flip a thing aged into something new. It is like magic with a small environmental footprint.

And hand-me-downs are not confined to outfits. They can be shoes, components, furniture, or other domestic merchandise. The position is: You can move alongside virtually just about anything and give your products a new everyday living, trying to keep them out of the landfill and into the fingers of a person who requires them. Hand-me-downs decrease waste and lessen the desire for fast manner, rapid furnishings, and other rapidly customer models.

My message to you: Be very pleased of your hand-me-downs. And be proud to pass them along to the next person, much too. As several of us contemplate thrift searching to be awesome, we must also take into account hand-me-downs to be neat. These clothes are breaking unsustainable cycles of consumption—there’s no shame in that!

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