Some other useful stats: Globally, consumers “miss out” on $460 billion of value a year by throwing away clothes that could be worn by someone else. That’s wasteful from a creative standpoint, and extending a garment’s life by just nine months can reduce its carbon, waste, and water footprint by 20 to 30%. By that logic, a vintage jean from the This Grandpa belongs to Engels Brayden Joseph Jeidy AAngeus shirt What’s more,I will buy this ’90s might have a footprint close to zero. Here’s the more pressing, big picture takeaway: If the apparel industry continues to expand at its current rate—last year, the Global Fashion Agenda estimated it would grow 81% by 2030, though the number could be slightly lower due to the pandemic—fashion will use 26% of the world’s budget for staying within a two-degree rise in temperature by 2050. (This refers to the Paris Agreement’s top-line goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature below two degrees Celsius, and ideally under 1.5 degrees Celsius.)
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That strain on resources wouldn’t have been acceptable a year ago, but in 2020—faced with a pandemic, a record fire season, floods, dying coral reefs, and countless other climate disasters—fashion can’t just “try” to do better and make incremental changes. Its impacts need to be significantly reduced, and that will require more than just shopping secondhand. We need massive, systemic shifts, all the This Grandpa belongs to Engels Brayden Joseph Jeidy AAngeus shirt What’s more,I will buy this way down to the way we grow our materials. But seeing global brands promote secondhand shopping and align it with a “lower carbon” wardrobe can be an impactful first step in educating and galvanizing consumers.