A few weeks ago Alyssa Beltempo (@msbeltempo) took over our Instagram stories. Alyssa is a slow fashion blogger (find her on YouTube!) discussing the topic of sustainable fashion and how to shop your closet. Over the course of the day, she shared some hard-hitting statistics of the impact of our shopping habits on the environment.

When we think of today's environmental crisis, we often think of plastic pollution harming beautiful sea creatures, factory farms, and black smoke pumping out of refineries. But did you know that the fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity's carbon emissions, is the second-largest consumer of the world's water supply, and contributes to more greenhouse gas emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined? At Trove, not only is our clothing fashionable, affordable, and high-quality, our boutique extends the lifetime of garments and creates an affordable alternative to fast fashion. In this blog post we wish to outline the implications of cheap clothing on the environment, how consigning diverts garments from landfills, and how you can enjoy fashion while being eco-conscious.

Fast fashion is the rapid-fire release of trendy clothing that is inexpensive to buy and cheaply manufactured. Costs are kept low by any means necessary, which typically results in sweatshop labour and synthetic materials. As the fast fashion industry continues to make shopping for clothes addictively cheap, consumers are purchasing more and more. The average person buys 60% more clothes today than they did in 2000, keeping it for half as long, and sending 85% of new textiles to a landfill.

One of the most straightforward ways for us to improve our habits and reduce the negative effects of fast fashion is to extend the utilization of our clothing. That is, getting more wears out of each piece you buy, whether that’s by you, someone before you in the case of secondhand clothing, or someone after you when you consign your clothing. This is where we come in! Fashion should be fun! If you get as much enjoyment from a little retail therapy as we do then keep reading. Increasing utilization can mean purchasing second-hand, swapping clothes with your gal pals, or consigning. It has been estimated that garments are only worn an average of seven to ten times before being discarded. These garments don’t need to be donated, recycled, or tossed right away. By consigning with Trove, the lifetime of your garment can double or even triple (all the while putting money in your pocket for your next treasure).

At Trove, we select items for quality, style, and seasonality. We prefer natural fibres, such as linen, cotton, and wool, and we inspect items closely for quality and durability. These considerations ensure that the pieces you purchase at our boutique are going to last long, and the natural fibres will not pollute the water with microplastics when washed. Our boutique is curated and trendy so second-hand shopping doesn’t have to look like dumpster-diving and hours spent sifting through racks of clothing at the thrift store.

We believe that you can keep your closet fresh, shopping fun, and your wallet full without having to participate in fast fashion. Some things to consider on your next shopping trip:

  • Quality vs Quantity. Purchase fewer new items and put your clothing budget towards high quality pieces. This allows you to trade or consign them later and ensure they’re being worn long enough to offset the impact of production. A good ‘minimalist closet’ goal is to regularly wear 75% of what’s in your closet.
  • Buy Second Hand and Mend What You Can. By purchasing second hand clothing you’re not contributing to fast-fashion or the production of new clothing. Instead, you’re extending the utilization period of the garments. You can further this by having pieces mended or altered to suit your needs.
  • Consigning Keeps it Fresh. The same idea is true of shopping in consignment stores. We see the consignment community as a group of fabulous, stylish friends swapping their clothes and extending the lifetime of their garments.