Know where your money is going with thrifted living.
The more we learn, the more we realize the negative effects of our current fashion industry. “Fast fashion” as it’s called, contributes to environmental harm, labor exploitation, and low quality/high cost goods.
Why is this?
Fast fashion manufacturers are in the business of making money. That means their goals are to increase profit margin through:
• Low Labor Costs. This is where you hear about the sweat shops and child labor abuse taking place in large clothing factories. Employees are underpaid, overworked and mistreated.
• Lower quality materials. The less these clothing brands spend on their materials, the lower price point they can sell at. However, more low-quality clothing means clothing that wears faster too, creating a cycle that brings customers back.
• High waste and pollution production environments. High production and efficiency come at the cost of environmentally friendly practices and standards. The synthetic fibers that fast fashion uses to make their clothes produce toxins and chemical releases to produce.
This is yucky stuff, right? So, what is the solution?
Well, this is a one step at a time kind of thing. We each can play our part, and share with others about what we know.
Thrift shopping is one way you can take a stand against the fast fashion industry. Let’s explore how thrifted living makes a difference in the world.
Making a Difference Through Thrifted Living
Buying clothes second hand has an indirect effect by avoiding feeding the demand for fast fashion that is pervasive in consumer culture today. Those negative impacts we discussed above? Are diminished when you purchase clothes second hand, because less items are produced.
Thrift shopping is also cost-effective for your own budget. Shopping second hand is not the only way to diminish your participation in fast-fashion. There is a growing number of slow fashion brands, and they are excellent options. However, they tend to be a little pricier than your fast-fashion, which makes sense given what we know about how those items are produced. A thrift store price point is even less than both of these options. You can often buy higher quality items because they are at a lower price simply due to their previous ownership.
Additionally, when you shop thrift you know where your money is going and how it is being used. What do you know about how Forever21 or Old Navy produce their clothing? Do you know how the materials were produced? What the worker was paid or her age? What kind of causes or social issues the business supports? This information is almost impossible to track.
Local thrift stores are often connected to a larger cause. You can choose what you will support, ask questions about how profits are used, and see tangible impacts of the money you spend.
We can’t control the fast-fashion industry. But we can do our part by offering alternatives and participating in those alternatives ourselves.
Thrifting is a socially, environmentally, and economically good option for consumers who want a consciously intentional lifestyle.
Feel good about your purchases, and know how your money is impacting your community. Both locations of The Purple Cow support an employment ministry to homeless men and women in downtown Baton Rouge. Come by and visit to see for yourself. See you at our Jones Creek or Perkins location!