Does the secondhand market reduce waste? Cris Herrera, host of the Naturspired Podcast, discusses the impact of secondhand fashion with The Vintage Seeker
Buying secondhand saves items from the landfill, right?
Well, yes and no. Buying secondhand diverts from the landfill and prolongs the life of products. But does it actually reduce waste?
That’s what Cris Herrera, a sustainable fashion activist, consultant and host of The Naturspired Podcast wanted to talk about when they invited me to be a guest on their podcast.
In the episode, titled The Pros & Cons of Secondhand Fashion, we also chatted about the benefits of shopping secondhand, building awareness about the supply chain in the secondhand market, how the secondhand sector fits into the circular economy, and how it can drive innovation in fashion.
Read on for an excerpt:
“It’s really important that people understand that even though something is secondhand, there is still an insane amount of waste that goes on in the secondhand industry.
“There’s enough clothes in this world to wrap the world around 80 times. That’s a lot. [But] at this point, it’s no longer the consumer’s responsibility. And for those listening, buy secondhand, feel guilt free about it. Because it's not your responsibility. It’s more of a bigger industry responsibility.”
“I see that a lot in this industry. I think consumers are taking on so much of this burden, just with that guilt. And so are resellers. It’s been played out on social media, if you follow any of this stuff — there have been some vitriolic conversations between resellers and consumers.
“But nobody's turning around to the brands, and nobody’s turning around to the government to say, hey, you know, where's the industry in all of this, where are you to help with some of the stuff that's happening here?
“A lot of these independent people, they’re just trying to make a living in the world that we live in, and there is this tension where they don't want to be part of the problem of overconsumption. They’re passionate about the environment, about saving things.
“So many of them are thrifting things for their own shops — racking, hangers. Reusing packaging when they ship items. I really admire that. We don’t see that on a higher level.
“And that is so troubling to me, the fact that consumers walk around with this horrible feeling about consumption and climate change and everybody else is just doing the same thing that they’ve been doing for the last 50 years.”
Thanks again to Cris and Naturspired!