One of the most email/tweeted questions is “what can I buy if I can’t afford to buy sweatshop free clothes from companies like American Apparel?”
Maybe you can’t afford AA or other brands, but your wallet can probably manage to splurge on some vintage, secondhand, used or pre-owned goods. Whatever you want to call it.
In fact, thrifting is a great experience for anyone on the verge of moving towards the sweatshop free lifestyle. It’s a huge wake-up call to browse the racks of thrift shops full of unwanted and unused clothes. A great way to become aware of over-consumption and find great new articles of clothing at the same time. You’ll be amazed at how much stuff is actually unworn with tags still attached!
Supply and demand
When you buy a new piece of fast-fashion clothing, you are creating demand, the brand then has to provide the supply. Buying used or pre-owned just recirculates the old supply without encouraging the brands to make more.
Things to think about
So maybe you found a cool pair of vintage Nike sneakers or an Adidas hoodie, but what you have to consider is whether or not you choose to advertise for those brands. As a conscious shopper, you’re making an effort not to support unethical companies. That lifestyle choice goes beyond simply boycotting their newly produced goods. By wearing their logos, you’re advertising for companies you don’t agree with, not to mention the bad karma that is attached to the item.
Recycle and reuse
Buying vintage or pre-owned goods is also green. Instead of giving the companies a good reason to produce more stuff to fill the shelves of their stores, buying used saves things from hitting the landfills. You can also look for items that are handmade from repurposed goods.
Where to shop?
- Search for locally owned consignment shops and thrift shops
- Yard sales, flea markets, Craigslist
- Goodwill Industries
- St. Vincent de Paul
You can even host a get-together and exchange clothes with your friends. Ask them all to meet up and bring pieces they don’t wear anymore.
Any other ideas? Please comment below.