Benefits of Shopping Secondhand: The Environment
Second-hand clothing is considered slow fashion, and it's Trending!
Slow fashion is driven by style, durability, and the 3 R's reduce, reuse, recycle. It's a great way to save money, and to protect the environment for your baby.
Feel PROUD about your second-hand purchase!
Feel PROUD about your second-hand purchase! Why? Because you’re using less water, exploiting less natural resources, releasing less pollution into the world, and dropping your carbon footprint.
You’re Saving Our Planet
There are enormous benefits for our environment when you choose clothing that’s been previously loved. Read on and you'll be really impressed by everything you've accomplished simply by purchasing part (or all) of your maternity wardrobe from us!
Because You’re Using Less Water
We can’t live without water, our bodies need clean drinking water to survive and thrive. Tons of water goes into the clothes we wear. From the farms that grow the fabrics, to the factories that produce the textiles and dies, water is consumed at every step of the production process.
How much water?
On average it takes 400 gallons (1514.16 Litres) to produce one white t-shirt and 1800 gallons (6813.74 Litres) to produce one pair of jeans.
What does that mean?
An average person drinks about 0.66 gallons (2.5 litres) of water per day. In a year, an average person consumes 241.06 gallons (912.5 litres) of water.
Making one pair of jeans and one t-shirt consumes more water than a years supply of drinking water for one person.
Let that sink in for a second.
How many years of drinking water are in your closet right now?
And You’re Reducing the Amount of Water Pollution
Treating fabrics and dying them results in a lot of water pollution. Chemicals are used during fiber production, dyeing, bleaching, and wet processing of each piece of clothing.
The industrial process of the fashion industry is responsible for 20% of the worlds water pollution. In countries with no strict environmental regulations untreated wastewater is dumped untreated, back into the local waterways. This contamination eventually reaches the ocean and spreads globally.
Another source of water pollution is during the farming process. The use of fertilizers for cotton production heavily pollutes runoff waters and the water that evaporates back into our atmosphere.
Food for thought.
If the first world hadn’t moved its manufacturing and industrial farming to third world countries, would these businesses still be operating the same way? Would they pollute and exploit their own backyards like they have foreign soil?
Don’t forget the plastic in our ocean
Every time you wash a synthetic fibre like polyester (rayon, nylon ect.) microplastics are released into your water. These microplastics are making their way into our diets through the food chain and accumulating in our bodies.
Since the release of microplastics from our clothes diminishes during a piece of clothing’s lifespan, the older a piece of clothing is the less plastic it sheds back into our water. This isn’t true of all synthetic fabrics, some shed the same throughout their lifespan, but it’s great to know your efforts are reducing microplastics.
Food for thought.
Do you know where your drinking water comes from? Do you know where your wastewater is released? Is your waste water treated before it’s released?
And the Waste Created by Synthetic Fibers that Aren’t Biodegradable
Fast fashion is creating clothing that is disposable. How? The quality of clothing doesn’t allow it to be worn for long and has no life left to be passed on. This clothing ends up in our landfills. This trend is on the rise. It’s estimated that only 15% of clothing is re-worn or repurposed, the other 85% is thrown away. Why? Quality, it cant’ be reworn and human nature, people won’t recycle if it’s not convenient. According to the US Environmental protection agency, textiles have one of the poorest recycling rates of any reusable material.
Synthetic fibers make up about 72% of our clothing. These fibers are made from fossil fuels and are essentially plastic. Synthetic fibers like polyester, can take up to 200 years to decompose.
Food for Thought.
Do you know what your local thrift store or SH store does with clothing that isn’t suitable to be re-worn or repurposed? Are they adding the clothing to the landfill or using textile recycling?
You’re Lowering Your Carbon Footprint in a BIG WAY
The fashion industry accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions. These greenhouse gasses are produced during production, manufacturing, and transportation of the millions of garments produced each year. Most of the clothing we wear is produced in China, Bangladesh, or India. These countries (parts or whole) are still coal powered. Coal burning is a big polluter and producer of carbon emissions.
You don’t have to worry about any of this when you shop second-hand. Your clothing isn’t traveling the world, and by increasing the life cycle of the clothing you’re wearing, your reducing the impact its production had. Your extending the life of that environmental cost.
And You’re Saving the Rainforest
I’m sure you’ve heard about the rapid loss of the rainforest for mass farming operations that feed the first world. But did you realize that some of that deforestation is for plantations of trees that are used to make wood-based fabrics such as rayon, viscose, and modal? We hadn’t.
The loss of the rainforest endangers ecosystems, and indigenous populations. It also has global implications. The loss of these trees changes weather patterns, endangers global water supply, and fast tracks climate change.
Trees absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale, but they also absorb some of the greenhouse gases that we produce. Greenhouse gasses trap heat. As these gasses enter the atmosphere, global warming increases.
According to Ruth Nogueron, a researcher for World Resources Institute’s forest program, since the demand for paper products has diminished as technology allows offices and communications to go digital, “the paper companies are looking for alternative markets. Because setting up a pulp and paper mill is a big investment, and you need to have a long-term financial strategy. The emergence of markets for new pulp products like textiles has been growing over the past couple of years.”
Read on and you’ll be amazed by the impact your shopping decisions have on our planet and our economy. To keep things light and to give you as much information as possible, we’ve decided to break this info up into multiple blog posts.
Here's the link to the other posts in this seriesMoney & Community