7 Reasons Why Buying Second Hand Clothing Helps The Environment

7 Reasons Why Buying Second Hand Clothing Helps The Environment

Cover Picture made by: Karolina Grabowaska

Did You Know? Buying Second-hand Clothing Offers Several Benefits to The Environment

Underlining the importance of sustainable practices in the fashion industry, we are back with a new fashion news article.

Promoting sustainability and reducing the ecological footprint associated with the textile sector is at the heart of Fashion Aftermath.

Today, we will discuss the most common benefits for the environment when buying second-hand clothing.

Here Are Some Key Environmental Benefits of Buying Used Clothing


Source: EPA GOV, Textiles Waste Management: 1960-2018

1. Reduced Waste

Purchasing second-hand clothes helps cut down on the volume of textile waste that is produced worldwide.

Statistics show that our global society generates around 92,000,000 million tonnes of textile waste annually (Business Waste, 2024).

Each year garments are discarded by both individuals and businesses which end up in landfills.

Apart from grounded landfills, the River Volta in Ghana, Africa, became one of the world's dumping place for textiles. With fourhundred kilometres in lenght, it counts as 'one of the most polluted water bodies on Earth' (Guardian, 2023).

Therefore, by opting for second-hand items, you are effectively extending the life of these garments and reducing waste.

You may also save textile items before they get the chance to end up in natural habitats.

2. Lowered Carbon Footprint

In 2020, each person in the European Union measured by its textile consumption, used on average 400 square meters of land, 9 square meters of water, and 391 kg of raw materials, accumulating to 270 kg carbon footprint added per head (European Parliament, 2020).

The production of new clothing involves substantial carbon emissions.

Thereby, from the cultivation of raw materials like cotton to the manufacturing and transportation of the finished products.

Buying second-hand significantly lowers the demand for new clothing production, thereby reducing the carbon footprint associated with these processes.


3. Decreased Water Consumption

Textile production is notoriously water-intensive.

In numbers, the European Parliament article linked above, also points to other sources explaining that producing just one cotton-based shirt requires close to 3,000 litres of water.

Buying second-hand conserves this vital resource by minimising the need for new clothing production.


4. Less Chemical Pollution

The fashion industry often relies on harmful chemicals for dyeing, treating, and producing fabrics.

These chemicals can pollute waterways, harming aquatic life and ecosystems.

Second-hand shopping reduces the demand for new textiles, thus limiting the release of these pollutants.


5. Conservation of Resources

Beyond water and energy, clothing production consumes various resources, including raw materials and land for growing crops like cotton.

By choosing second-hand, you contribute to conserving these resources, supporting a more sustainable use of our planet's assets.


6. Promotion of a Circular Economy

Buying second-hand is a step towards a circular economy, where products are reused and recycled instead of being disposed of after a single use.

This approach helps in minimising waste and the exploitation of new resources.

Furthermore, it encourages a more sustainable economic system.

Finally, the European Parliament came forward, releasing a Circular Economy Action Plan, underlining also the political importance sustainable businesses have for our future and economic competitiveness.


7. Mitigation of Fast Fashion Impact

Fast fashion contributes to environmental degradation through its quick-turnaround production methods.

Those methods always prioritise low costs and high volumes rather than acceptable working conditions or environmental-friendly operations.

On the other hand, second-hand shopping offers an alternative.

Slowing down the cycle of consumption and disposal, and thereby mitigating the impact of fast fashion is the solution!

Overall, by choosing second-hand clothing, consumers play a crucial role in promoting environmental sustainability.

Furthermore, they demonstrate that fashion can be both stylish and eco-friendly.

Join our mission and stop fast fashion through sustainable fashion consume!


View Second-hand Products

Back to blog

Browse Handpicked Vintage Products

1 of 4