BY CHRISTINA O’FARRELL, CONTRIBUTOR
I’ve had my fair share of trips to Forever 21, H&M, Pacsun and all the other big-name, fast- fashion stores at the mall. You could go through my wardrobe and find many of those brands folded in my drawers.
As I have gotten older, I started to question how some of these brands were able to spit out so many trends so quickly, while being so cheap at the same time. Given that I’m an advocate for both fashion and the environment, I decided to research some of these fashion brands to figure out how they were making these clothes so fast.
What I found shocked me. These fast-fashion brands were not helping the environment at all, but were making it worse. One of the most shocking facts I found was that fast fashion is one of the top polluters in the world. That was enough for me to decide that I needed to make a change to the way I was shopping.
I decided to set out on a Friday afternoon to go to a local thrift store to try to find some new clothes. Once I got there, I was able to find vintage Levi jeans — that are usually sold at stores like Pacsun or Urban Outfitters for almost 70 dollars — for only 10 dollars. I also found a pair of Tommy Hilfiger jeans for only seven dollars, so I definitely felt super accomplished. Finding these big and expensive brands at a thrift store for such a cheap price is what really convinced me to continue making these trips.
About two years later, I’m still chasing down every deal and most of my clothes are from thrift stores. The brands that I wear are either high-end brands, or brands I’ve never heard of that aren’t deemed as fast fashion. Just by going to the thrift store for the majority of my clothes, I know I’m contributing to the wellbeing of the planet.
I try to encourage all of my friends to thrift shop more, even taking them with me. Each time I’ve gone with friends, they’ve always been able to find at least one item they liked — whether it was something as small as a belt to something as large as a formal dress.
Not only does thrift shopping help save the planet, you’re always saving some money. I’m able to buy three outfits for under 30 dollars, which is the price of one full outfit at a fast-fashion store.
Why wouldn’t you want to save the planet while also saving your money?