The Trouble with Second-Hand Clothes

By Tansy E Hoskins,
November 10th 2013

On the surface, the recycling of used clothes, often charitably donated, means old garments don’t go to waste, while new owners get a bargain. It seems like a “win-win” situation that couldn’t be more ethically sound. And as the Christmas season approaches, millions of Westerners will soon flock to charity shops to donate their second-hand clothes.

But on closer inspection, the reselling of clothes is more complex than one might think, posing difficult questions for those hoping to do good by donating their old clothes….

Fashion should be about cherishing clothes and creating an identity, [but today it’s] based on constant adrenalin and the excitement of purchasing. There is no anticipation or dreaming. Nothing lasts or is looked after. We each have a mini-landfill in our closets.”

But why stop and think when the charity shop or recycling bank is there to take care of the mess?

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2 Responses to The Trouble with Second-Hand Clothes

  1. Judy Kennedy says:

    What about those of us who BUY these clothes?
    Frenchy’s is our first source of clothing here in the Annapolis Valley. We don’t have a
    clothing store nearby! We get brand names at very low cost.
    Go Frenchy!

    • Bob Thomson says:

      True. It’s more complicated than just the international trade implications.

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