In recent years, our community has witnessed the rise of online thrifting. Companies like Depop, ThredUp, and TheRealReal have gained immense popularity as interest in buying second hand clothes has spiked. These companies allow people to shop online for unique pieces without leaving the comfort of their home and hunting through thrift stores in person. Although online thrifting is not perfect, and has received backlash, it is a great stepping stone to developing a more environmentally conscious fashion industry.
One aspect of online thrifting that has attracted many individuals is how it gives a wide range of people access to a more select group of clothing that is tailored to their style. Online thrift stores allow these people to search for exactly what they want, and most likely find it, no matter where they live.
In addition, online thrift stores have encouraged more people to buy second hand. People are more likely to do something if it is easier and more convenient. Since thrifting online is significantly easier than thrifting in person, more people have started to buy second hand. The United Nations named the fashion industry the second largest polluter in the world, and making new clothes involves tons of water and energy. Therefore, buying used clothes is remarkably better for the environment than buying new ones.
It is true that online thrifting has its issues. Shipping these clothing items to places all over the world has a negative impact on the environment, an issue that needs continued attention and improvement. However, in terms of its environmental impact and accessibility, the overall benefits of online thrifting outway the downsides. Online thrifting allows people to make money selling their clothes, rather than just throwing them out.
Alhough the transportation aspect of online thrifting is harmful, the overall impact on the earth is lower than buying brand new clothes. As long as people continue working to navigate the balance between sustainability and convenience, online thrifting is a great starting point. By giving people access to a wider selection of second hand clothes, we can reduce the demand for new clothing production, which would significantly shrink our environmental footprint. Extending the life of existing garments is an amazing way to improve our relationship with buying clothes and the fashion industry.
It’s unrealistic to expect people to completely cut out their carbon footprint, and never purchase clothes. But it is possible to improve the amount of emissions we create through buying clothing. Although thrifting in person remains the most eco-friendly way of thrifting, by continuing to find different ways to make thrifting more accessible, we empower people to make more sustainable choices and reduce their environmental impact.