Fast Fashion or Good Fashion

Fashion. Trends. In this world of trend following we are always looking for cheap affordable clothing to be fashionable. We want to be the most fashionable, most unique and yet with so many different trends to keep up with every season, we are forever looking for cheap fashion we could buy, online or offline.

We purchase a huge number of clothing every year. In the world of over-consumption,  "Fast Fashion" enabled us to simply manufacture more garments than we can consume, thus impacting on the environment and conditions of the factory workers. in order to reduce labour cost and increase turnover time. According to recent research, we are buying five times the amount of clothing than we did in 1980. The staggering amount of clothing we purchase annually resulted in more and more textiles being discarded yearly, ending up in landfills. Sadly majority of the clothing that is discarded into the landfills is often made from synthetic or inorganic materials which prevents these textiles from being able to degrade properly. Producing clothing also requires the use of chemicals, for instance for the dyeing process. These chemicals pose a threat to the water, the air and the earth but also to the people working with those chemicals. By buying used clothing, we can reduce the impact on the planet.

Consumers are slowly becoming more concern about the sweatshop conditions of where there garments are produced. People wanted to know that the garments and accessories they purchased are from ethical manufacturers. Around the world organisations such as Tear Funds begin to produce Ethical Fashion Report to tell consumers how ethical are the manufacturers behind the clothing they buy. Recently Tear Funds New Zealand published the 2017 Ethical Fashion Report for New Zealand brands which attracted a lot of discussion in the mainstream society.

Once upon a time, secondhand clothing is not highly regarded. Buying clothes from an op-shops or flea market are often seen as a sign that you could not afford clothing. And they sometimes come with that musky smell. Yet many charities rely on secondhand clothing to raise funds.

Then there are also secondhand clothing stores like Recycle Boutique, Paperbag Princess, Tatty's that people have been making some money from their unwanted fashion. A little bit of spring clean can turn into cash to buy more was the way many people have been operating. All a sudden the secondhand clothing stores are rejecting the type of clothes they will accept. Charities and Op-Shops are saying they have too many clothing and some have stopped taking clothes.

So why should we look at purchasing secondhand items? Not only because it is more ethical, environmentally friendlier, and more affordable, you are also helping a charity or small business owners. More importantly, it is super fun to go through the treasures and not only that you could find something uniquely yours, find a real vintage or two and be very creative. And you know that the 80s and 90s fashion are back and where else can you find genuine clothing from that era but secondhand shops!

Have fun fashion hunting!