Second hand shopping holds a moral dilemma for shoppers


Jane Shiff

Depop is an app where people can either sell or buy clothing. This can be harmful to the environment and low-income families.

Second hand shopping is starting to become more popular and the app, Depop, is for people to sell their old clothes or buy second hand, is thriving because of this. Shopping second hand clothing is a great alternative to fast fashion because it is more eco friendly and even Depop has claimed that is their mission but this is causing a gray area for second hand shoppers. 

From promoting overconsumption to mistreatment of workers, more information about the dangers of fast fashion have been spread which seems to have made some people more cautious about what they are purchasing. Depop is appealing because buyers were promised that everything being purchased was sustainable. While that is true, there has been an issue on Depop where people go into thrift stores, bulk buy clothing and resell it for ridiculous prices on the app. 

While thrifting is another way to avoid fast fashion, people who are willing to thrift often forget that some people use it because that is all they can afford. With all of this bulk buying, thrift store prices are going up, making it more difficult for lower income families to afford clothing. 

The fact that buying more from thrift stores can be really helpful because the majority of items donated to thrift stores get thrown out, if they do not get sold by a certain amount of time. This creates a moral dilemma of wanting to shop sustainably because it is good for the environment but do not want to make things harder for the lower class. 

Because of how harmful fast fashion can be to the environment, it is best to avoid it. Fast fashion is being discussed more, but for some, it is one of their only options and people who can afford to shop sustainably forget that being able to afford high quality clothing is a privilege, causing them to shame people who cannot afford it, and thinking that someone buying fast fashion gives them to right to be classist.

There is no actual right answer when it comes to shopping sustainably, especially for clothing, meaning that a proper solution will probably never be found. While everything has pros and cons, sustainable fashion somehow has managed to become a more touchy subject because it’s supposed to have an easy answers, stop buying fast fashion and shop ethically, but there will always be major obstacles.