You’ve probably have heard the statement “green is the new black”. It’s been quoted in articles and even emblazoned on T-shirts. Although it is based on the somewhat overused “______ is the new ____” template, this version of the statement is significant. It suggests that sustainability is the popular new staple. In recent years, awareness about environmental and climate issues has increased dramatically, so this would seem to be the case.
The increase in concern for the environment has led to a higher demand for eco-friendly products. In terms of fashion, it has contributed to what has been dubbed a “Sustainable Fashion Movement” and the concept of “eco chic” . The trend began as early as late 1980’s and early 1990’s, but really took off in the mid-2000’s . Nowadays, clothing, cosmetics, and hair products are often marketed as “green” or “earth friendly”. However, some critics have said that shoppers must be wary of “Greenwashing”. This is when products are labeled as organic, natural, recycled, or otherwise environmentally friendly when they are at best only partially so . For even the most environment-conscious consumer, trying to determine what products are genuinely earth-friendly and which are only labelled as such to increase sales can be time consuming and demand some careful research. Websites like www.greenwashingindex.com are a useful tool for checking products’ claims.
Making good purchasing choices is one way to be eco-friendly, and recycling items is a second. Clothing swapping and thrifting are great ways to recycle. They help avoid clothes being thrown out simply because they don’t fit or are no longer wanted. Furthermore, swapping and thrifting are ways for customers to purchase new clothes without creating as much of an impact on the environment. Clothing swaps are when people bring clothes that they no longer wear to the swap event. They are usually given a ticket to use to “purchase” another item for every piece of clothing they brought in. The organization SWAP Team, who has hosted the event Take Your Clothes off/Déshabille-toi, claims on their Facebook page to have diverted 67,576 garments from landfills in this way. The University of Calgary Eco Club has hosted a similar event, called “Swap till you Drop.” Clothing swaps usually happen once or twice a year, and are usually advertised in advance online.
Thrift stores, like Urban Thrift are a place where shoppers can get great outfits with a minimal environmental impact on a more regular basis. By shopping at a thrift store, customers are not just getting great deals on clothing, including vintage or designer items. They are also cutting down on water waste, the chemicals that are used to create new fabrics , and the pesticides that are used while growing cotton . Thrift stores are also a great option for those who like high-quality or designer clothes. You can find designer clothes for a fraction of their original cost in a thrift store. These items will usually last far longer than what you’d find at a mall for the same price and won’t need to be constantly replaced.
Trying to ensure that sure new purchases were made in a way that minimizes environmental impact as well as participating in clothing swaps or shopping at thrifts stores are all great ways for the environmentally conscious consumer to get in on the “sustainable fashion movement”. So come on in to Urban Thrift to check out some awesome clothes that are great for both your wallet and the environment.