By Laura Madden
There are some ways that guys and girls are alike–they love their clothes and they really care about the planet, too. And just like women’s fashion, men’s fashion can address both, with secondhand clothing.
Why You Should Care
The clothing industry is still one of the largest industrial polluters of the planet. The average American throws away 82 lbs. of clothes every year, so the less clothing we buy and throw away, the better. Again, guys’ wardrobes are no different than girls here.
Considering the environmental impact alone, the case for secondhand clothing is indisputable. Facts are facts.
– 1.5 trillion liters of water is used every year to produce fashion (www.sustainyourstyle.org)
– 13 million tons of textiles are thrown in landfills every year in the U.S. alone (https://remake.world)
Secondhand is not sounding so bad, is it? By shopping secondhand, men can reduce their carbon footprint, conserve resources and reduce waste without sacrificing their style. Each garment made undergoes a massive process in terms of natural resources and human labor.
According to the 2019 ThredUp Resale Report, the resale market in the last three years has grown 21 times faster than the traditional retail-apparel market. Buying even one used item reduces its carbon footprint by 82%.
Ann Siner, CEO and founder of My Sister’s Closet and Well Suited since 1991, has nailed the secondhand sweet spot with a business model based on the 3 Cs–cute, current, clean. The shopping experience at both stores challenges the stigma that shopping secondhand is second-best with elevated consignment retail.
Each Well Suited location is stocked with high-quality, gently used garments sold at 80-90% below retail. Siner shares that while “women may be more accepting of it, the growth on the men’s side is insane.”
At Well Suited, you can easily find anything from suits to casual wear, athletic wear, accessories and watches, and brands ranging from Brioni to Gucci, Lululemon and North Face.
Siner is proud of the fact that you can find shorts for the summer and tuxedos for the winter, with the average price of a tuxedo being just $50.
Fun, Plus Savings
Green Living reader and Scottsdale realtor Nathan Claiborn chooses secondhand shopping as his first choice. His favorite local retailers are Well Suited and If I Were A Rich Man, and he says that 85% of his wardrobe is secondhand–partly for the game of it and partly for the financial gains.
“I don’t have a single piece that costs more than $50. You don’t need new stuff. There is so much lightly used clothes already out there.”
We can all be fashion change-makers and choose to extend the life cycle of fashion that already exists in the world. Shopping your local secondhand retailers is one simple and stylish way you can do your part.
Laura Madden is a sustainable fashion advocate, influencer, stylist and model who reports on the intersection of style, sustainability and self-esteem on both her blog, the ReFashion Report, and various conscious lifestyle publications. Laura also serves as a global ambassador for nonprofit Remake, a board member with San Francisco Fashion
Community Week, and is a co-founder of AZ Sustainable Fashion. For more sustainable style and shopping tips, check out www.iamlauramadden.com and follow her on Instagram @iamlauramadden.
Photos courtesy Well Suited