In March, for World Recycling Day, everyone was invited to rethink their daily practices in an attempt to clean up the planet. After the carefree era of productivism and consumerism, the era of its disastrous consequences is inexorably taking shape. The report on waste is alarming, particularly in the fashion industry, where the ravages of fast fashion are weakening the balance of ecosystems a little more each day. Sorting and recycling are more than ever at the heart of all recommendations.
The overconsumption of textiles in recent years has unreasonably increased the number of items in every wardrobe. The fast fashion giants have flooded the market with cheap clothes, multiplied the pace of the collections, pushed the buyers to compulsive purchases. The frenetic consumption of ” throw-away clothes ” has taken the place of responsible consumption, and impulse buying has swept away the real clothing needs of everyone.
But following a slow collective awareness, the much decried fashion drifts seem to finally take the path of more virtuous practices. Second-hand clothes and accessories are taking on a new role, making upcycling and textile recycling a solid pillar of the circular economy.
While the proportion devoted to new clothes is eroding a little more each year, the proportion devoted to second-hand clothes is growing indecently. The new ethical (but also economic) considerations are responsible for the success of swaps, dress sales or solidarity stores. Recently, second-hand clothes are even used as a new means of reaching physical points of sale; the second hand is now a product of appeal for new collections!
Conducive to sorting, the successive confinements have further boosted the second-hand segment. The leader of online clothing resale platforms, Vinted, has just crossed the threshold of 16 million followers in France! The Lithuanian app is dusting off the second-hand clothes, offering everyone the possibility to buy, sell or exchange their clothes in a few seconds. A godsend for many users who use, but also sometimes abuse, a providential reservoir of clothes mostly from fast fashion.
Strong link in a chain of positive values, be careful not to get caught by the old demons of textile addiction!
To learn and be a part of the ever so important fashion sustainability movement, consider our courses Bachelor in Fashion Sustainability or Short Course Upcycling Fashion.