Why I only buy clothes second-hand.

There are multiple reasons to never shop from a fast fashion company, the most commons reason is of course the environmental aspect. But that is not my reason not to shop there. Even if H&M went completely climate positive overnight, I still wouldn’t shop there.

It all started in 2016. I was in ninth grade and sadly forced to study economics. On the very first page of our textbook there was a story about a Swedish girl going shopping for a dress for her graduation, with her friends. It also told the story of the people behind making the dress. From the person who picked the material to the seamstresses, to the owners of the label. This was around the same time as H&M’s latest “our seamstresses isn’t paid a living wage”, scandal and yes, their latest. We spent the rest of the lesson discussing whose responsibility it is, the company’s or the buyers. I argued, that now when we all know, it’s on us to put pressure on the company, that we should stop buying their clothes until everyone in the process will get the pay that they deserve.

I’m a person who can’t go back on my word, so dad; I will never drink coffee and mum; you will not get any grandchildren from me, but also I will never ever shop from H&M again. So, my boycott started with them. Then it quickly spread, as we all know that the clothes from similar shops have the exact same problematic as H&M. It started to feel a bit hypocritical to shop from places like Forever 21 and Zara when I was on this self proclaimed protest against injustice. 

I do of course make exceptions, I don’t feel like wearing someone’s old underwear or training clothes and sustainable clothing is hella expensive. I, a poor student, can’t afford that. Besides that, the last time I bought a brand new piece was in February, a t-shirt in France, the time before that was last fall when I was in desperate need of new sweatshirts and hoodies due to going to the coldest school in Gothenburg.

I will probably write a piece on exactly how poorly seamstresses in treated, and the environmental impact of fast fashion. And I do understand that not everyone can just go thrift shopping. I just urge you all to think before you buy something, and next week I will hopefully make it a bit easier to go thrifting with my guide to thrift stores in central Gothenburg.

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