The Truth About Used Clothing

When it comes to the discussion regarding ethics and what we should and should not do, many people jump aboard the used clothing bandwagon without giving it a second thought. Whilst the idea of wearing pre-owned clothing in contrast to purchasing brand new garments from the high street can be seen from both negative and positive points of view in terms of sustainability and ethics, the lines are blurred and often overlapping. Here is the truth about used clothing in terms of ethicality…


On one hand it is important to recognise that purchasing clothing that has been previously owned can improve the sustainability of that garment. In fact, statistics have shown that 3 months of active use per clothing item lowers the carbon, water and waste footprint by 5-10%, thereby reducing the impact in some way, shape or form that the fast fashion industry places on our already crippling environment. In addition to this, you also prevent that item from being thrown into the rubbish and sent off to a landfill where it will release methane into our atmosphere.

Ethical Choice vs Ethical Clothing

Despite this, ethics tells us that whilst we are able to make an ethical choice about our clothing (such as choosing to purchase items that are preowned rather than brand new) it doesn’t make the actual item itself more ethical in terms of the way that it was produced. For example, a lot of fast fashion clothing is created from the labour of unfairly paid workers in foreign countries who do not benefit from used clothing, making the clothing unethical regardless of how you come to own it.

Other Considerations

When it comes to the decision of whether or not an item of clothing is ethical, the choice of the consumer is not the only factor that matters. Whilst buying and selling used clothing is an important part of conscious consumerism and has a real impact on the fashion industry, it is not the be-all and end-all of the issues we are facing. By accepting this as the only solution, we are treating the symptoms rather than the cause and it is important for us to ensure our clothing is made in a more ethical way, ensuring suppliers are paid fairly.

Here at 2forjoy we understand that this problem within the fashion industry is not something that can be fixed overnight. Thankfully, it is never too late to change your shopping habits and our range of attire is crafted with ethical fashion in mind. After all, there is nothing more freeing that wearing an item which is responsibly sourced and priced fairly. For more information, contact a member of the 2forjoy team today!


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