Decades ago, hand-me-downs were utterly typical. While it wasn’t considered glamourous to be the last one in the family to wear a comfy sweatshirt that was once your brother’s, then your sister’s, before it was finally yours, it was the norm. Back in the day, clothing was made with longer-lasting materials and there wasn’t pressure to never be seen in the same outfit twice. There were no ‘micro seasons’ or constant influx of new items in shop windows, and of course, there was no social media or ability to shop online.
Nowadays, with the increasing presence of consumerism marketing and ever-lowering cost of fast-fashion clothing, it’s becoming the norm to just throw out old pieces when they need repair, no longer fit, or are just “out of style” because it’s cheap enough to buy something new. But this transition has wide-ranging impacts on the planet and those who inhabit it.
Workers in garment factories around the world frequently suffer hazardous factory conditions for minimal pay and very little or no employee protection. And as consumers, we lack appreciation for the clothing we own, as marketing constantly tells us to consume more and more. The human cost of fast-fashion has many rethinking how important it is to keep up with the trends.
The more you learn about fast-fashion, the more frustrated you can become. It is the second most polluting industry on earth. The textile industry emits more greenhouse gasses than international shipping and aviation combined. As the production of clothing increases, so does the amount of items ending up in our landfills. The environmental damage continues to be heightened with the passing of each fashion season.
In spite of all the negativity of the fast-fashion industry, an opportunity has emerged in the return of second-hand. There are so many beautiful clothes out there already that can be rescued, saved, and worn again and again. And with each item recycled or upcycled , there are no additional gasses released into the environment, no forced labor and no over active consumerism.
WHW’s Deja New, our retail boutique, gives new life to all your favorite brands at low prices and provides the opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint. Stocked 100% with donated clothing and accessories, our social enterprise is a unique community gem. Afterall, where can you go to find beautiful garments at a great price, support local job seekers and help save the planet too!