“Many new clothes, often even those with tags, end up in our containers,” says Monika Lipnicka from Wtórpol, which has been sorting and recycling used clothes for years. – Many of the products we hunt for during various promotions can be easily bought second-hand, at a much more attractive price than the price of a new product, even during Black Friday. It is in the secondary circulation that the real deals happen! How to reconcile the love of fashion with caring for the planet?
In just a few days, Black Friday will be followed by Cyber Monday — days of shopping madness that came to us from the Anglo-Saxon culture along with globalization. Poland has fallen in love with shopping hauls relatively recently, and although, as research shows, price reductions in Poland are not significant these days, and the term itself comes from the tradition of Thanksgiving, which is rather not celebrated in Poland, “black week” has been enjoyed here since unflagging popularity for several years.
The average European gets rid of 12.5 kg of textiles every year
Initially, it was only “Black Friday”, soon after – also “Cyber Monday”, this year the stores started to tempt with discounts a week earlier, and will probably end a week later. Opportunities like this often make us over-sell. Perhaps this year our shopping tendencies will be somewhat limited by the specter of the economic crisis and the need to save. However, if economic reasons are not enough, it is worth thinking about the natural environment – shopping madness not only generates a huge carbon footprint, but also contributes to the overproduction of waste polluting our planet, in particular plastic and electronic waste, but also textile waste – i.e. unwanted clothes.
Meanwhile, according to the Fashion For Good report “Sorting for circularity Europe” published in September this year, the average European gets rid of 12.5 kg of textiles each year, of which only 1 percent is recycled. is recycled! Which means the other 99 percent. it becomes waste of one type or another and will pollute our environment in some way.
In the same annual period, Europeans buy another 5.4 million tonnes of clothes and home textiles.
According to the report, we buy more and more and use up faster and faster, because the quality of the clothes we buy has been declining for a long time and we buy almost “disposable” clothes, or at best one-season ones, more and more often. Which means, that we are littering the Earth at an alarming rate.
– To our containers many new clothes arrive, often even with tags. It is, of course, very good that they came to us, because we will take care of each of these things, thanks to which they will not end up in a landfill, but it is still better to think before buying – says Monika Lipnicka from Wtórpol, which has been sorting and entering for the second circulation of used clothing, e.g. in the network of secondhand boutiques “Tekstylowo”. – Many of the products we hunt for during various promotions can be easily bought second-hand, at a much more attractive price than the price of a new product, even during Black Friday. It is in the secondary circulation that the real deals happen!
Four rules that make it easier to resist the temptation of unnecessary purchases
The best method is to ask yourself, “do I really need this thing?”, but when faced with another “want”, it is easy to fall into the trap of self-deception and stretching this answer (because what does “need” actually mean? I feel I need). Therefore, in order to minimize the risk of overindulgence in the face of shopping temptations, it is worth introducing other, very hard and rigid rules.
- It’s worth it a few days before look through the wardrobebecause sometimes we forget what we really have in it. You can even list out loud the things that we allow ourselves to buy and those that we are under no circumstances allowed to buy, no matter how amazing the opportunity seems, regardless of the price. The list can include entire categories (e.g. “short evening dress”, “dark jeans”), but also acceptable and prohibited colors and fabrics (“I will not buy anything that contains: …”).
- Then you should also check the price offer for “allowed” pre-promotion products and monitor its changes. Then it is very easy to notice price manipulations and determine how much the bargain price for a given product really is, and then strictly stick to the assumed limits.
- It is worth narrowing down the list of “allowed” clothes by indicating those that we can get from a friend or buy second-hand. And here, too, caution is advised, because, as Monika Lipnicka, who follows trends in the recycling of clothing on an ongoing basis, buying second-hand, we can also fall into the trap of “I want to have more”. “It’s not about buying only used things, or, even more so, not buying anything new. Of course, let’s support the secondary circulation as much as we can, but we only buy the things we need and give away the unnecessary. When buying second hand items, whether in secondhand or online, apply the same rules of common sense, he advises.
- And if we have the soul of a trendsetter and we must have something in line with the latest trends? There is also a more eco-friendly solution to this problem. – Upcycling, i.e. transforming second-hand items into new ones, is one of the most famous long-term trends of recent times, just watch the work of fashion designers working in the spirit of upcycling and inspiration will come by itself. In addition, altering used clothes is an additional satisfaction, and in this way we get really unique things. It is worth thinking, for example, about organizing a joint alteration of clothes with friends instead of shopping together. You can even make a new Black Friday tradition out of it, suggests Monika Lipnicka from “Tekstylowo”.
But what if it turns out that we failed to stop?
– I adhere to the principle that for for each new item purchased, get rid of one item immediately and without excuses by putting it into the secondary circulation. We can give it to someone or throw it into special containers with the PCK logo or the Eco Textil Foundation ensure that they do not end up in a landfill, but in the secondary circulation Monika Lipnicka advises.
Caution and common sense during shopping madness, be it November or pre-Christmas and sales, serves not only our private pocket. Data on waste clearly shows that it is also an element of responsibility for the future of the natural environment. It is worth remembering this before we throw ourselves into the shopping maelstrom.
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