THRIFTING & REWORKING:
Updated: Mar 8
Sustainability's New Face
BY DELL JOSEPHINE
Sustainability, having developed as a megatrend in recent years as more and more people are recognizing the urgency to save the environment, is having significant impacts on the retail fashion landscape. The fashion industry is the second largest contributor to worldwide pollution, with a record of 300.00 tons of used clothing per country. United Climate Change News said that the fashion industry contributes 10% of greenhouse gases arising from long supply chains and the use of energy in intensive production. The industry consumes more energy than the aviation and shipping industries combined. Large numbers of the materials that are commonly used today in the fashion industry are resource- intensive, and by making or buying new clothes, more resources will need to be spent on making raw materials, sewing and shipping the garment, thus adding more problems to the ever-growing pile. For the last few years, thrifting has taken the world by storm as something more and more commonly done. According to data from IBISWorld, thrift stores are part of a large industry with a value of up to 14.4 billion USD. The proliferation of thrift shops indicates an increase or increase in consumer demand for used clothing. This industry in Asia is favored by young people, marked by the rise of millennials who are proud to use second-hand goods. In South East Asia, these shops had just started popping out less than a decade ago, whereas the concept has been around longer in Western countries, for reusing used clothes used to only been seen as a money-saving method, instead of a good thing for sustainability. But altering existing garments and personalizing them with various methods has been around forever. Up until the 19th century, hand sewing, hand embellishing and garment alteration was still a common practice in every household, and a very important life skill to have. Garments passed down from parents to their children are also prevalent. So the rise of thrift trends in society feels almost like a homage of the old ways, if you will. The popularity of hand decorated garments also gained popularity with the rise of the “cottage-core” style in various social media platforms, which often correlate with intricate, hand-made details. This results in more people, especially the younger generation, to look into reworking their outfits instead of getting something new every time. Thrifting makes sure that people still could find and or make new items for themselves without needing new materials to be produced, and instead using what’s already existing, and would probably end in a landfill if not repurposed. This new wave of sustainable fashion being more and more in style hopefully will help the whole fashion world as a whole to move towards a more sustainable future.
Fashion Designer/Photographer: Dell Josephine
Model/Fashion Designer: Ilmaa Wulan Ramadhani
Model: Mcwin Gladt