The Sum looks at the impact of donations at thrift stores
Thrifting has become an increasingly popular way of buying and disposing of clothes and has been touted as a more economical and sustainable option. However, the truth is more complicated than that. The sum looks closer.
To sum up
- The rise of fast fashion means brands are producing more clothes than ever before. The problem? Most items end up in landfills.
- Donating clothes to thrift stores has become a popular solution rather than just throwing clothes away.
- However, experts warn that saving is not a silver bullet to the larger problem.
- In 2018, the world produced 17 million textiles, up from just 2 million half a century earlier. That’s a lot of clothes and trash!
- Savings has become especially popular with Gen Z. In 2019, 40% of Gen Zers said they bought second-hand clothes.
- However, many of the clothes donated to thrift stores end up being thrown away anyway.
What is happening
- Clothing disposal sites are popping up in poorer parts of the United States as well as low-income countries around the world.
- Scientists warn that overproduction and carbon emissions from the fashion industry contribute significantly to climate change.
why is it important
- The continued increase in clothing consumption could further accelerate climate change.
- Overconsumption can impact financial markets and lead to problems such as inflation.
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