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The Sustainable Dyearies: 6 Reasons To Shop Second Hand

This dyearie entry holds the answer to why all those low rise jeans and brown rib-knit turtlenecks are everywhere right now. Let me take you back a few steps. This year I learned about a tradition called "Secondhand September," a challenge to only shop secondhand for 30 days. I took it upon myself to rise to said challenge and actually have become very obsessed with antique, vintage and thrift shopping in the process. I've enjoyed it so much I have now challenged myself to move into what I am coining as "Pre-Owned October."

Okay, okay moving on. All of this made me realize second hand shopping has become exponentially popular over the past 2 years. So I did some research and found out that in 2019, the second hand or "resale" market expanded 21 times faster than conventional

apparel commerce did (Khusainova, 2021). In 2020, 33 Million consumers bought second hand for the first time ever.

GlobalData Consumer Survey

For those of you who say, "the past is in the past,"according to a report done by the popular clothing resale sight ThredUp, "the U.S. secondhand fashion market is expected to more than triple in value in the next 10 years – from US$28 billion in 2019 to US$80 billion in 2029." You can see this already started to spread into product assortments at popular brands such as Madewell, Anthropologie, Levi's and Urban Outfitters that have brought in curated vintage collections and are making experiential shops out of returned merch.

So what is all the hype about? Obviously thrifting no longer carries the strong taboos of its past. Is this growing popularity because of economic uncertainty? Is it because of the growing desire for consumers to live a more sustainable lifestyle? Are all the Friends and Clueless 90's trends lending a hand to the disappearing brown rib-knit turtlenecks? My guess is all of the above, but let's dive into these concepts a little deeper. Here are 6 reasons to jump on this increasingly popular concept.


Coupon Cutting but Make it Cute

Studies say the average savings on second hand products over shopping at major retailers tend to range from about 50 to 80%. This allows lower income, college aged or young adult shoppers the opportunity to still express themselves through the creative medium of fashion and still pay the bills.

Timing Is Everything

According to Deloitte, Millenial and Gen Z interest in thrifting could have something to do with having entered adolescence during the recession of 2007 to 2009, when the oldest members of Gen Z were between 12 and 14 years old. Many grew up experiencing financial hardship, and so it makes perfect sense that they’d be searching out economically friendly ways of staying in fashion (Huber, 2020). Again, in 2020, the rise in financial uncertainty is easily reflected in rise of 33 Million consumers in the second hand space. With multiple economic "blips" people are more likely to save where they can in hopes to maintain a healthy financial status.

Keep Clothing Out of Landfills

The volume of clothing Americans throw away each year has doubled in the last 20 years from 7 million tons to 14 million tons. It is stated that 84% of clothing ends up in landfills or incinerators (Brown, 2021). In landfills, each garment contributes to carbon emissions. Studies show a dress purchased second hand saves 21.4 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. A handbag reportedly spares even more with 267 pounds of carbon emissions savings compared to buying new (Woudenberg, 2021).

Help Preserve Water

According to the world resources institute it takes 2700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt and over 8,000 liters for a pair of jeans. That's a lot of agua, agua that we need dearly and are slowly running low on. So, by shopping secondhand, you’re playing a part in preserving water.

Designer for a Dime

Brands like Burberry, Gucci or Prada are partnering with consignment services like the RealReal to collect and resell their pre-owned products giving the average consumer, hi that's me, more access to designer pieces.

Clueless Cue

The Iconic film, and currently buzzing inspiration for trends, has given way to thrift store racks being cleared quicker than you can say, "As If." In an interview with Mona May, the stylist for Clueless, May discloses that she sourced most of the characters wardrobes from thrift stores. With 90's trends making their way back around, everyone is searching the same source to find ways to create looks curated by May in 1995.

I'm going to be honest with you guys I have goals to eventually curate and design clothing in the sustainable fashion space. One day when I was thinking about making new clothing, I just thought, "but there is already so much clothing out there that needs a home again, why should I make more?" Cue, ANEW. A collection of second hand, reimagined garments. The first collection of these hand dyed, thrifted pieces sold out in 2 days! Fear not, our fall collection launches on Sunday October 24th at Noon EST and I am SO excited! Set your alarms so you don't miss these one-of-a-kind pieces before they are gone again.

Anyways, thanks for reading all the way to the end today! As always, I am looking for new ways to aid in protecting the planet and helping people around the world. Thanks for helping out along the way and learning about ways we can create a brighter, more sustainable future together! Bye, for now!


Kara Jo


Brown, R. (2021, January 21). The environmental crisis caused by textile waste. RoadRunner Recycling. Retrieved October 18, 2021, from

Huber, E. (2020, October 29). For gen Z, thrifting isn't just a way to shop, it's a lifestyle. Why Gen-Z Loves Thrifting, Second-Hand Shopping So Much. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from

Khusainova, G. (2021, January 29). The secondhand market is growing rapidly, can challengers like Vinokilo thrive and scale? Forbes. Retrieved October 18, 2021, from

Woudenberg, C. (2021, July 10). Just how environmentally friendly is thrifting? Discover Magazine. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from

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