“We want to slow down fast fashion.”
A few months ago, I was staying at home a short distance away. The morning after the first night, with nothing else to do (I was on college vacation after all!), I descended onto the boulevard. After getting my long-awaited iced latte, I decided to check out the local stores.
There was a large Salvation Army (aka Sarvos) and two small church-related thrift stores, so I decided to start with Sarvos. When I started flipping through the racks, I realized that in my element, the majority of women’s clothing is fast fashion.
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As an avid, everyday shopper, I know what I’m used to seeing. There’s usually a fair amount of Zara and H&M, sprinkled with Shein, Fashion Nova and Boohoo. But this one was different, there was a fast fashion brand dress every second and I found this odd.
As I continued browsing, I came across a long-sleeved bolero. What attracted me was the brightly colored swirl, giving off the Pucci vibe that I loved so much. I took it into the changing room and was excited to see how it would look on me. It sat in my wardrobe until I had a themed event or dress-up party, then it was tossed in the back and forgotten.
Plus, it was cheaply made and had a weird, plastic-like feel to it, as many fast-fashion items tend to be. The idea came to me. “What happens to this and other cheap fast fashion stuff when no one buys it?”
Given the way we voraciously consume fast fashion (my past self included), there’s no way donating clothes can make up for how quickly we throw things away. For some answers, we asked Salvos Australia what happens to discarded unwanted fast fashion.
First, what does Salvos classify as fast fashion?
[We classify fast fashion as] Excessive fashion production exceeding customer demand and no prior consideration of long-term “wearability”. This often means that these items end up in the trash after a few wears due to poor quality.
Salvo is Fashion Revolution … Encourages Being As Transparent As Possible About What The Brand Is We do this to promote sustainability and address the damage done by the fashion industry.
Approximately what percentage of the donations Salvos receives is fast fashion?
We don’t know the exact number of donations from fast fashion brands, as donations have been massive across our network of 358 stores nationwide. We acknowledge that fast fashion brands are part of our donation mix and receive from both community and corporate donors.
A pioneer in the circular economy and enabling community reuse for over 100 years, Salvos Stores is an advocate for environmental change. I want to slow down the speed of fast fashion. Through donations… extend the life cycle of clothing and avoid landfill. Additionally, your purchase of these items will help fund a vital Salvation Army program to help the most vulnerable people in Australian communities. win win.
How does the throwaway culture contribute to the resale of used goods?
We see a strong shift away from a throwaway culture. People are more conscious of their buying behavior than ever before. COVID-19 has provided a pause for many to assess how they consume and consider what they need as opposed to ‘need’. [what they] ‘I want’. As a result, consider purchasing second-hand goods, purchase high-quality products, [look into] Repairs to extend the life of those products.
What happens to clothes that don’t sell?
If an item is not sold for a month, it will be moved to another Salvos store or listed online.we tend to mix it up and send [items] Travel to stores in different regions for more customers to browse and increase your chances of finding a new home.
We also donate to support Salvation Army welfare programs such as Crossroads, Doorways and many other community initiatives. Giving new life to our stores and communities with the donations we receive is always our first choice.
Most of the items we have in stock are purchased by our customers, but some donated items cannot be sold, such as items in poor condition or items that have been left out in the rain for hours. But this does not mean that they will all end up in landfills. Various processes are in place to reuse or recycle anything that cannot be sold immediately.
Some unsold textiles are processed into industrial rags, while other items unsuitable for the Australian consumer market enter the global secondary market. We are committed to working with governments, universities and industry to develop onshore circular economy solutions.
Is it worth it for consumers to donate fast fashion items?
Quality may vary by brand, but for the most part [pieces] can still donate [after a couple of wears] And someone else might love them! It’s great that the size range is now more comprehensive…and the ever-changing trend pieces are reaching us much faster than before. increase.
Our product range is vast and perfect for the uniquely styled shopper. Supporters are encouraged to consider repairing “repair” products before donating them, as they may not have the means to repair them for resale.
Finally, what can we as consumers do to shop and donate more sustainably?
Think circularly. A circular economy is where “bins” never enter the product life equation and products can be reused, repaired, refurbished and remade into new products every time.perfectly circular [means] Fully sustainable and minimal impact on the planet.
Before our circular dream becomes a reality, we encourage our supporters to consider their purchasing power by buying products they love, buying new quality products, and donating responsibly. recommended.
Find out more tips for shopping online more sustainably here.