As someone who loves and works in fashion, and writes an entire blog about my personal style, it would be criminal to ignore the immense environmental impact that this industry has on our planet. According to the UN in 2019, the fashion industry is the second-biggest consumer of water, and is responsible for 8-10% of global carbon emissions, and that’s not even scratching the surface on the growing social impacts. While it’s easy to shop at stores like Forever 21, Zaful, Shein or even Amazon, the actual price of these cheap, disposable clothes is staggering.
I’ll be clear: I’m not perfect and I have shopped at these stores before. Not everyone can afford to break the bank shopping environmentally and socially responsible brands, but I encourage anyone reading this to make en effort to be conscious about where your clothes come from, and how you dispose of them later.
Buying secondhand can be the best way to shop in all aspects. First of all, its fun. Thrifting requires a hunt and imagination. You’ll find pieces that no one has, or in some cases, items you almost bought at full price. Goodwill and other charity shops require more digging but are totally worth the effort. Also, buying from charity shops supports your community, and everyone could use that help after 2020! My favorite secondhand store is Wasteland in Studio City- they’re more expensive because they’re more curated, but I always find new favorite pieces without fail. While being arguably the most fun way to shop, buying secondhand also reduces the amount of waste and clothes in landfills, and also decreases the overall demand for textile production.
In hopes of sparking your interest in ditching fast-fashion and buying secondhand, I’ve rounded up my favorite recent finds:
This Misguided acid wash denim jacket I found at Buffalo Exchange is exactly the jacket I had in mind to house all the pins I’ve collected over the years. Thrifting is perfect for DIY projects, since it’s cost effective and low risk if you mess up your design (I would know.) Its perfectly oversized fit makes it a new wardrobe staple. I love it with skirts and dresses to keep the look edgy and interesting. Since the brand Misguided is fast fashion, the only way I feel comfortable shopping their pieces anymore is if they’re previously used.
The color of this shirt jacket is everything. By the brand, NorBlack NorWhite, this piece was a fantastic score at Wasteland in Studio City. Between the color and the fit, I knew I had to have it. Tie dye is still very much everywhere, and this is a great example of being able to find current, trendy pieces secondhand!
In the same trip to Wasteland, I found possibly my new favorite pair of jeans. These are REDONE x Levi’s, and they fit me like a glove. I always spend more on jeans that make me feel good. They’re quite long but I love the puddle look, and I’m able to wear heels with them. The brown leather jacket I’m wearing is also secondhand from my friend/co-worker Elizabeth! Another great way to refresh your wardrobe on a budget is to swap clothes with your friends! Before my friends and I take anything to Goodwill, we let each other look through it all and take what we want. I was looking for the perfect brown jacket, and Elizabeth happened to be giving this away- is it dramatic to call that fate? I think not.
Clothing can be extremely personal, holding memories and representing certain scenes of your own story. That’s why vintage shopping can be a creative and exciting experience. I hope you feel inspired to step back from brands promoting overconsumption, and see what you can find at your local Goodwill! The planet, your wallet, and your wardrobe will thank you!
See you soon,