Like 75% of Swiss people, you have most likely already purchased second-hand goods online. Whether out of environmental awareness, the pleasure of hunting and finding THE gem that will allow you to stand out, or quite simply for economic reasons. The second-hand market has a bright future ahead of it!
Estimated at $177 billion in 2022, this market is expected to almost double globally by 2027.
This trend is particularly true for fashion, where second-hand clothing is simply exploding! The number of thrift stores, second-hand stores, vintage boutiques and other apps continues to increase.
And who says second hand, necessarily means reduction in production, and good news for the planet, right?
Hmm… Unfortunately it’s not that simple. So we'll explain.
The carbon impact of our wardrobe
We don't tell you anything, the production of new clothes has a considerable environmental impact: from the cultivation of raw materials to waste management, including the manufacturing and distribution of clothes... our clothes are responsible for around 10% greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
It is therefore urgent to change our habits, to consume less and better.
In fact, each Swiss person buys on average 60 items of clothing per year (2019 Fashion Revolution study). The first action is therefore to reduce the number of clothes we buy. Less impulsiveness, more reflection, to buy clothes that you can keep for a long time, and not just a few weeks!
Next, we need to pay more attention to the carbon footprint of our clothing. And there, there are two complementary solutions: slow fashion, and second hand.
Slow Fashion offers clothes made closer to home, and in materials that are more respectful of the environment. Many ethical brands offer clothing made from organic, recycled or even upcycled fibers. We tell you more in this article !
When second hand is more fashionable than ever
But there's even better than new clothing: clothing purchased second hand! By purchasing second-hand clothing, you avoid purchasing new clothing, and thus contribute, among other things, to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and the use of products. harmful chemicals.
And giving a second life to already existing clothes, there is a real need for it!
“We have produced enough clothes to dress the planet until 2100” – according to Catherine Dauriac, president of the Fashion Revolution collective
At Clother, we are not in the habit of promoting fashions or following trends... But for second hand, it's different!
No, dressing second-hand is no longer synonymous with insecurity, aging or out-of-date pieces. Quite the contrary! More and more influencers and well-known personalities do not hesitate to highlight this new practice, like Kate Middleton or Julia Roberts. Hunting is fashionable, and more and more people are getting into it.
Moreover, according to a study carried out by anibis.ch in collaboration with the LINK institute in 2020 with more than 300 people throughout Switzerland, there is today no longer any significant link between the level of income and second-hand clothing purchasing habits.
As proof, the number of wardrobe sales, thrift stores and online sales are exploding in French-speaking Switzerland.
The second-hand paradox: when over-consumption is always the order of the day
Second hand is therefore a real responsible alternative, which should be our first reflex when we need new clothing.
But be careful, it is important to be vigilant, because bad habits come back with a vengeance.
As we say The good Goods in an article on second hand “Reselling fast fashion to buy fast fashion is not virtuous”
Yes, excess consumption, also in second-hand goods, can fuel fast fashion. This paradox is explained in the work “ The New Youth of second-hand goods ”: “Second hand goods can increase demand for new goods […] by transforming objects into liquid assets that individuals can easily resell; by the increase in consumer wealth and, in turn, in overall demand; by the possibility offered to people to replace their worn or obsolete durable goods more quickly with new goods. »
Proof of this is that the explosion of second-hand fashion has in no way slowed down the production or sale of new clothing, which continues to increase.
To summarize, second hand is no longer a virtuous solution, but a cog in the cogwheel of overconsumption and fast fashion: we buy a lot, we resell quickly, and we buy back just as soon. It allows you to have a “good conscience”, while continuing to consume as much, and to change/throw away so quickly. This is what we call the fast-fashionization of second-hand goods, which online platforms (like Vinted) are fueling.
These platforms also use the same mechanisms as fast fashion: constant new products, fear of missing the unique piece, uninterrupted communication based on alerts and notifications, infinite choice of clothing, etc.
Second hand wisely
We slow down, and we breathe! It is essential to become aware of your real needs, to buy with discernment and to favor quality rather than quantity... even when it comes to second hand! Buying second hand should not aim to be able to buy more, but to buy better.
Second hand is much more than just a trend. It is a real solution for eco-responsible and sustainable fashion, and it must become our first reflex when we need clothes.
By buying second-hand clothing, you help reduce the carbon impact of your wardrobe, while adding unique, quality pieces to your style.
And when you can't find what you're looking for second-hand, or if you want to treat yourself with a new piece of clothing from time to time, turn to solutions like Clother, where we offer you responsible brands while still being stylish. (Yes Yes, it's possible !!).
Second hand and responsible brands thus become complementary. By changing our consumption habits, limiting our compulsive purchases and boycotting fast fashion, you can create a wardrobe that is both beautiful and ethical, while preserving the planet!
Some good second-hand addresses in Switzerland:
Moreover, we have gathered your best addresses (given in stories on our Instagram) for second-hand shopping in Switzerland