Hot Garbage, Charity Shops and Fast Fashion

Charity shops are an ethical and sustainable alternative way to shop compared with fast fashion consumption. However, the recent dark side of charity shopping can’t be ignored. Read on to find out ...

Charity shops have always been a place to find good quality products at an affordable price. If you're an avid thrift shopper, you will agree that you have at some point come across some real gems through the years that are hopefully still being worn today. The huge benefit of charity shopping is that it promotes reusing and recycling and therefore acts as an answer to shopping sustainably. It reduces the issue of landfill which as a result reduces CO2 emissions. 

Fast fashion has allowed us panic buyers to buy a cheap and trendy outfit and to receive it the next day. The likelihood of the buyer wearing this outfit again is very low and the item probably only has a few more wears out of it before it is deemed damaged and thrown away. So what do you do when you have these poorly made clothes in your wardrobe that you know you haven't worn in months or even years? Suppose you do the right thing and decide to take your unworn goods to the charity shop - you believe you are being sustainable and you have made room in your wardrobe. This leads us into the dark side of charity shops… the unwanted fast fashion items.

The idea of having charity shops flooded with fast fashion goes against the motive to purchase from charity shops. If the majority of clothes in these shops are cheap and trendy but poor-quality items, then the products bought will return to landfill much sooner. 

So how do we stop this influx of fast fashion overtaking the vintage gems? Shop with the rule of 5. This means that regardless of where you shop, whether it be online or thrifting, you must be able to imagine this item being worn in 5 different outfits with clothes you already own before you purchase. If you can't do this, it's a good sign that you will not wear it enough. 

This weekend's challenge: visit your local charity shop and try to find an item that abides to the rule of 5 and send us one of your outfits in it.

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