In celebration of Earth Month, we reached out to the Gem community and asked reasons why everyone should choose used over new.
April, the so-called Earth Month, is a time to raise environmental awareness. Earth Month has been celebrated since 1970, and is needed more than ever, with the acute climate crisis.
The urgency of the climate crisis should inspire us all to spring to action during Earth Month. That’s why we decided to list some reasons why everyone should choose secondhand first.
Re-wearing, mending, and shopping used are great actions to save limited resources and diminish your footprint. (Here are even more ideas on caring for our planet and its future.)
“Choosing used clothing is the choice of discovery, community, and memory, to create rather than simply consume. When we buy new, we don’t have to answer questions or solve problems – it’s not a challenge. Whenever I add a pre-loved piece to my collection, it demands that I find a way to incorporate it into my existing wardrobe, blending decades to create a look I can comfortably wear today and still feel like me. That negotiation is one of my great joys and one of the great joys of most people I know who love shopping second-hand. Used clothing teaches us: new ways of caring for fabrics, old and ingenious construction methods that have been cast aside with the rise of new technologies, and, most of all, the stories of previous owners.” – Elizabeth Winkler
“Vintage clothing can be currency. If you take care of your stuff, you can sell it and freshen up your wardrobe without it being so costly!” – Stephanie Smith-Baptiste, La Loupe Vintage
“I wear vintage because I want to reflect my inner creativity outwardly. I like having my outward appearance be a reflection of my quirky, weirdo personality.” – Adina Friedlander, Reverse Cowgirl Vintage
“I like shopping vintage for the community and experience. Knowing my local thrift or vintage shopgoers and owners helps me feel connected to my neighbors, while in-person shopping limits wasteful shipping and returns!” – Anna Dombro, La Loupe Vintage
“One reason to choose used: finding a Swiss opera ticket from the 1940s inside a 1920s Japanese souvenir purse. Instant dreams about the life of the purse and the previous owner. So interesting and exciting! You get to use your imagination, I love that.” – Natalja Neerman, Glitter Cloud Vintage
“I love that one person’s ‘trash’ (used clothing, throwaways) can be another person’s treasure. Choosing used second hand promotes more sustainable lifestyles because it helps reduce textile waste and pollution from fast fashion. When you choose second hand you prevent new items from entering circulation and prevent new – and old – items from heading into landfills. Vintage clothing helps to connect us to bygone eras and the history of fashion, garments, and textiles.” – Piper Mcglauchlin, La Loupe Vintage
“In a world where conformity and trends tend to dominate, finding rare and unusual clothing pieces brings me joy. I particularly find enjoyment thrifting for vintage items from the eras I have a fascination with. Caring for these special pieces is a priority so they can remain closet staples in my eclectic wardrobe. Shopping secondhand has definitely made me into a more mindful shopper and I now purchase with intention.” – Rosie Mae Turner, designer, activist
“We have all heard the saying ’out with the old in with the new’; but in the resale fashion industry, the old treasures possess all the power. Shopping secondhand is essential for our environment, but we rarely discuss its positive impact on one’s style. With the rise of fast fashion and rapid micro-trends, many consumers feel this immense pressure to keep up with the Joneses. Instead of straying away from the crowd, a lot of consumers feel influenced by social media when it comes to where they should shop or what they should buy. Shopping secondhand can empower consumers to embrace their individuality and discover their style. Shopping old versus new subconsciously forces consumers to get out of their comfort zone, experiment with their style, and try new things. Old treasures remind us that fashion is indeed a form of art and a unique way to express ourselves without even having to speak.” – Key Michel, fashion journalist and social media influencer
“With shopping vintage and secondhand, you’re able to participate in fashion and be creative without contributing to a quick trend market that produces so much waste and overarching consumerism. People often buy what’s ’trendy’ or what the latest fast fashion retailer has released; vintage is mindful, slow, and mysterious. You still get to participate in trends, but you make them your own. Most of the time, these items choose you, and you make them yours – secondhand is creativity. In an extremely consumerist society it feels nice to buy clothes you know will last for decades, but also that are dear and special to you.” – Camilia Lautz, La Loupe Vintage
“Not so fun fact: global industrial water pollution comes from dyeing textiles and about 72 toxic chemicals reach our water supply due to this process.” – Vasco Rodriguez, La Loupe Vintage