Two Big Blondes is observing Earth Day this year by celebrating the environmental benefits of consignment! There are many reasons to buy secondhand clothing, but as we tackle the current climate change crisis, the environmental impact of the fashion industry has climbed to a top reason to reuse clothing rather than buying new.
Celebrated on April 22nd since 1970, Earth Day provides a voice to an emerging environmental consciousness and puts environmental concerns on the front page. At Two Big Blondes we celebrate Earth Day year-round by promoting the reuse of apparel, which benefits the environment both by extending the life of garments, keeping them out of landfills, and reducing the need for new items, thereby reducing the fashion industry’s carbon footprint.
Beyond the primary impact of reusing pre-owned clothing, Two Big Blondes is a certified EnviroStars member and recently participated in a Zero Waste Small Business Program funded through Seattle Public Utilities. We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our business practices, including:
- 100% reuse or recycling of textiles. All but a tiny fraction of garments & accessories that come into Two Big Blondes are reused or recycled through consignment sales, donations, and textile recycling.
- Reusing as many materials as possible, including hangers, shipping & shoe boxes, packing materials, dry-cleaning bags, plastic & paper bags, and many other items.
- All the shopping bags we use for purchases are classified as reusable & partially made from recycled materials. We now have new Two Big Blondes reusable totes for sale!
- Reduction of general energy consumption through replacing lighting with LED bulbs, checking for water leaks, & reducing garbage that goes to the landfill with recycling & composting.
Join us in our Earth Day celebration by learning more about the environmental impact of fashion and extending the life of apparel, as described in a round-up of recent research in a 2019 Article in Scientific American:
- A 2017 study in the Journal of Cleaner Production conducted life-cycle assessments on a cotton T-shirt, a pair of jeans and a polyester dress. It found that quadrupling the average life span of these items resulted in a 75 percent savings in freshwater used for dyeing and other processes.
- A 2018 review published in the same journal looked at 41 studies and found all but one concluded that lengthening a garment’s life by reusing it reduced its environmental impact.
- Research by Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP), a sustainability advisory group in England, “shows extending the average life of clothes by just three months of active use per item would lead to a 5 to 10 percent reduction in each [item’s] carbon, water and waste footprints,” says Sonali Diddi, a design and textile researcher at Colorado State University.
- A 2016 report commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers found that the reuse and recycling of textiles that are made in and exported from Nordic countries saves the equivalent of 425 million pounds of CO2 annually, along with 19 billion gallons of water. That is equivalent to the CO2 expelled by around 42,000 cars each year and the annual water usage of about 174,000 American households, according to U.S. government estimates.
You can also read more about the impacts of fast fashion on our environment, including the global impact of working conditions for garment workers:
“What’s Wrong with the Fashion Industry” from SustainYourStyle.org