Is it Ok to Thrift Fast Fashion?

Whereas there is a lot of information out there about all the options and all the things we can do to beat the Fast fashion Industry there is a topic that for me seems to be Important, and I feel like sometimes is missing.

With all the information, every day there are more people aware of the harm that is behind the Fast Fashion Industry nowadays. And I have to say that makes me so happy to see all that people willing to move towards a more sustainable way of living.

While there are a lot of stylists and people not just in Instagram but in all the social media platforms (including myself), promoting the slow fashion movement sharing information and our passion, with just the intention to help people to make the transition in to the movement in a smooth way, there is something that for me is like a kind of a “Big Elephant in the Room”….

“What to do with all the Fast Fashion Already Made and donated?”

With a global production now exceeding 100 billion garments, a year it seems naive to think that Op shops are full of Vintage stock only. BBC

In the meantime, the Vintage market and second-hand clothing are expected to make 1/3 of wardrobes by the year 2033. 

It took me a while to decide if I should write about this or not, since you already know I’m a fashion designer and I know all the job that is behind every garment we buy, and I’m aiming to help the Slow fashion movement to grow, nevertheless I’m not perfect at all, and I’m not here to tell you that all my clothes are from designers and either all my thrifty finds are Vintage or designer items, simply because they are not! 

And I know it can be overwhelming if you are about to start thrifting, and see people in social media posting about their amazing Vintage finds for a few dollars only, and then you realize is not always like that, as your expectations can be high if you are focus on finding Vintage or designer brands only. Of course, you can find Vintage pieces in the Op shops, but there are fast fashion garments as well. Remember that consignment shops and Pop Up shops are another excellent source of second-hand pieces also.  And in any of these cases, sometimes you have to be patient and know what you are after.

The question is: Is it ok to thrift Fast Fashion? 

Well, I think there are a lot of people that we are trying the best we can but, I have to confess that 2 of the items you see in this post are from Fast Fashion. (second –hand but, fast fashion).

One are my leggings and the second ones are my shoes, the same you have seen many times in my feed, and do you know what? I love them! 

I bought these shoes about 2 years ago from Vinnies (as far as I remember) in Dubbo. I don`t remember how much exactly they were, but I can say they were less than 10 dollars. I took them to the repair shops a few weeks ago since they broke, and I can tell you I paid more for them to be repaired that how much I paid for them in the first instance. 

Some people may think is silly, paying for repairing a fast fashion pair of shoes, that on top of that are a thrift find, but do you know what? is worth it! 

Is worthy to repair the things we love regardless they are fast fashion or not, is worthy to save them from landfill, but is even better to know that regardless of your budget as soon as you know your personal style, thrifting becomes easier, as you would be looking for things that will suit you and you will keep longer. 

But on the other hand, there are people who don`t want to “support” fast fashion in any way and don’t thrift any fast fashion item at all, and that is completely fine But:

Did you know that your unwanted pair of jeans have just 1 in 3 chance of finding a new owner in store and, 2 in 3 chances only of being sold to textile merchants who either ship them across the world, chop them up into rags or recycle the fibers?

Where all the unwanted fast fashion Items go?

If they are not sold, then they are sent overseas, to developing countries where they dominate the local market stalls in sub-Saharan Africa. Across the African continent, second-hand clothes play an important role of informal traders. In Nigeria, they are known as kafa ulaya (the clothes of the dead whites) and roupa da calamidade (clothing of the calamity) in Mozambique.

In Xipamanine Market, Maputo, Mozambique, a used pair of jeans will typically cost £2.90 and a T-shirt £1.50. Selling clothes does provide some jobs but there are also negative impacts since local products find hard to compete with these low prices. the hidden trade 

What is the solution then?…

The truth is, there is no one solution only for this massive problem since even lots of Vintage Fashion same as Fast Fashion is made of synthetic fabrics, that are bad for our environment as well. ( due to the microfibers )

My advice would be, focus in your style first, not in brands when thrifting and the best thing is that Op shops and consignment shops are full clothes with everyone’s style. know what you love and ask yourself if is something that you will wear many times. Read your labels, know what they are made off and what is the best way to look after them as the good friends they are, think that they are here to cover you and protect you from the wind and the sun. Go with an open mind when op shopping, play around with different shapes and colors.

Through this post, I’m not saying that you should go and buy brand new fast fashion and then donate it for others to thrift! Please don’t take me wrong, I’m trying to be the most transparent as I can since I think that maybe sharing my journey can inspire you at a certain moment of yours.

But most Important thing, be aware that every little change and effort you are doing now has an impact, even if you think you are small and your actions don’t count much, let me tell you they do!  you are creating a change on a bigger scale 

What do you think? Do you have any preference when thrifting? Let me know if you have any question in the comments! I’m always happy to help and learn from you as well.