How often do you clean out your closet? Letting go of a bag filled with clothing every season might seem like it’s not a huge deal, but keep in mind that almost every person on the planet does just the same. In fact, research shows that the average person in America throws away an estimated 37 kilograms of clothing each year.
While trying to keep up with fast fashion by tossing out old items, we tend to forget that the Earth is the one who bears all the weight and suffers the most. Thankfully, the explosion of the resale market has gifted the planet with some breathing space.
Through the resale market, clothing is given a second life. Most importantly, sustainability becomes a byproduct.
Let’s take a deep dive into the resale clothing industry and why it has become a crucial factor in sustainable living.
The Alarming Statistics
To gain a full understanding of how the resale market is saving the planet, we need to take a look at the statistics that define the Earth’s current state. These are some of the alarming numbers we need to face in order to realize the need for more sustainable fashion:
- 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are produced by the fashion industry.
- Each year, an estimated 92 million tonnes of textile waste is created.
- The volume of clothing that Americans toss each year has doubled from seven million to 14 million tonnes in less than 20 years.
- Currently, an average of 56 million tonnes of clothing are purchased each year. By 2030, this number is projected to reach 93 million tonnes.
- The estimated recycling rate for textiles in clothing and footwear stands at only 13%.
The Implications of Fast Fashion
Following new trends and keeping up with fast fashion impacts the planet in ways you would never even imagine, including:
- Landfills choking on textile waste
- The depletion of water resources
- Marine and water pollution caused by microplastics and textile dyes
- Carbon emissions contributing to climate change
- Child labour and inhumane working conditions
For a more in-depth look at the detrimental implications of fast fashion on the planet, check out this blog.
The Rising Popularity of the Resale Market
In 2020 alone, there were a total of 36.2 million people who decided to sell their secondhand clothing online for the first time, bringing the overall total up to 52.6 million.
As society becomes aware about the implications of fast fashion, other, more eco-conscious trends have emerged – such as the resale market. Sustainable consumer decisions are now at the forefront of the fashion industry; in fact, 45% of millennials and gen-Z refuse to buy from brands and retailers that are non-sustainable.
By donating clothing, you’re making way for a cycle of more sustainable fashion choices. What might no longer be usable to you could be a steal deal for someone else. Ultimately, the resale of clothing allows you to give these items a new home and a second life – rather than just a spot on the towering mountains of existing landfills.
This is the one trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. As of 2021, the resale market is valued at $15 billion, and is expected to hit $47 billion by 2025.
The Thriving Resale Market: A Pandemic Side Effect
While the pandemic has brought about countless negative side effects, a silver lining that we’ve come to see is the thriving resale market that has brought us closer to our goal of sustainability.
A popular habit that has developed since the onset of the pandemic is thrifting. For some consumers, the reason behind developing this habit might be the need to be more budget-friendly amidst an unemployment crisis. While for others, it has stemmed from developing a deeper concern for the overall well-being of the planet during the pandemic.
In 2020, a total of 33 million consumers bought secondhand apparel for the first time. The amount of resale is projected to accelerate even more in a post-COVID world – over 5.4 times in the next five years.
How the Resale Market Is Saving the Planet
The explosion of the resale market is working to keep wearable clothing out of landfills, reduce the overall carbon footprint, and as an added perk – it’s budget-friendly.
To give you an idea of how big of a difference resale clothing makes, here are some of the incredible statistics from the past decade:
- 6.65 billion items have been recirculated courtesy of the resale market.
- 116 billion pounds of CO2 has been displaced due to people purchasing used items instead of new.
If society is able to keep it up, it could enable the fashion industry to cut around 143 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The Resale Market: A Planet-Saving Trend
The resale market is a planet-saving trend that we truly hope will never go out of style. When you decide to buy something used over something new, or choose to sell your secondhand clothes instead of tossing them out, you allow the Earth to breathe a little more. When the space we live in is well and healthy, everyone wins.
Sustainable fashion comes in various forms. Whether it’s resale clothing or eco-friendly brands, the options are endless.
One of the best ways to achieve sustainability in fashion is by investing in timeless pieces that can transcend the trends. At BEDI, we offer consumers a chance to contribute positively to the environment by purchasing pieces that will never end up in a landfill. With our Second Life initiative, all products are refurbished to new conditions and are guaranteed to Last Beyond You.