sweater on chair

As a fashion enthusiast, I have to admit, I tend to purchase clothes every other month, and this is a bad habit, especially when I am on a strict budget. I would follow popular trends I’ve seen on social media and purchase unnecessary items simply because they were affordable, convenient, and accessible. The dispensable items in the back of my closet are filled with clothes that have been worn once and some bear price tags. 

As I was cleaning my room and my closet, I realized that I’ve become somewhat of a hoarder. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve been obsessively buying clothes from fast-fashion retailers such as Forever 21, H&M, and Zara. And I am not alone… 

As the fashion industry continues to expand, it has become a negative impact on the environment. Although the reason being is the cheaper alternatives from designer brands, it has now become one of the biggest polluters, as new trends always emerge from nowhere, resulting in old clothes from past seasons being thrown away. The industry is draining non-renewable resources, transmitting gases, and chemicals into the air. 

Recently, I have started to become eco-conscious of my surroundings and even managed to change my habits through an eco-friendly lifestyle. One of the many eco-friendly practices we can enforce is to shop wisely to maintain sustainability. Shopping at thrift stores is the best way to save money on clothes while reducing the water footprints, repurposes clothes which keeps clothes out of landfills. 

Thrifting is defined as shopping at second-hand shops, vintage clothing stores, garage sales, or charitable organization clothing stores. I started thrifting a few months after the start of the pandemic. Because I live in Queens, some of the local thrift stores I go to a lot are Goodwill and Steinway Thrift Shop. There are also many amazing thrift stores in NYC like Beacon’s Closet, Goodwill, and L Train Vintage. Buying second-hand clothing allows me to make thoughtful purchases, knowing that I am helping the environment by purchasing quality, second-hand clothing. These garments are more affordable compared to shopping retail. 

Avoiding artificial fabrics that are man-made like polyester, rayon, acrylic, nylon are one of the many reasons you should start thrifting. Many articles of clothing found at thrift stores consist of leather and wool fabric. These types of materials are the best way to prevent microfibers from escaping into the water, eventually making its way to the ocean. 

Purchasing unique vintage pieces from thrift stores has inspired me to start selling my old clothes. Just a few months ago, after cleaning out my closet, I was recommended by my friend to recycle my clothes by selling them on this e-commerce platform called Depop. Seeing customers purchasing my clothes shows that there are many ways to purchase items at an affordable price while reducing the impact on our environment as well.

We can start becoming eco-friendly by making simple choices and adjustments to our daily lives. We can make a conscious progression to become actively environmentally friendly. By being cautious of the clothes we’re buying, we’re not only saving money, but also contributing an impactful change in our lifestyle. So switch your shopping habits to thrifting and reselling to avoid landfills!

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