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The Sustainable Substitute

Giving Your Wardrobe A Second Chance To Be Eco Friendly

During these last few months the words “fast fashion” have been tossed around a lot, but what do they actually mean? Over quarantine, online stores like Shein and Fashionova became popular places to purchase cheap, trendy clothing. Unfortunately, these $5 shirts come with a bigger price to pay. Online shops like this are also known for their detrimental effects on the environment. When these companies constantly churn out clothing items (hence the name fast fashion), they waste water, energy, and pollute our earth with non-biodegradable fabrics (not to mention the underpaid workers behind the scenes). Many sustainable clothing companies have been on the rise this year, but as a high school student, paying $60 for a tank top isn’t always possible. So how do we purchase affordable clothing without destroying the world around us? It is simple- shop second hand. 

Even if you have never been thrifting, I am almost certain you have heard of it. This smart shopping substitute is inexpensive and environmentally friendly. “It gives the clothing a second life,” says Norwalk High Student Elizabeth Beggan (‘22). For those of you that enjoy the thrill of the hunt, this option is definitely for you. Scrounging those racks in hopes of finding the perfect piece is not only exhilarating, but strangely rewarding as well. 

In Fairfield County especially, our towns are packed with amazing thrift, vintage, and consignment stores. These small shops are constantly getting new inventory which  means that you never have to worry about finding the same things over and over again. Every thrift trip comes with its own surprises. Shopping second hand allows us to get our hands on pieces that are truly one of a kind- I have found many of my favorite wardrobe essentials at various thrift stores. In addition to all of this, thrifting encourages us to unlock a new and creative side of ourselves. We gravitate towards clothes that could be our comfort zone and encourage ourselves to style them in new, original ways. Reworking/upcycling thrifted clothing has been a recent obsession of many as it allows you to get your clothing looking exactly the way you like. 




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