What makes vintage clothing sustainable?

What makes vintage clothing sustainable?

March 22, 2020

As vintage clothing continues to thrive in today’s fashion world, consumers make a decision that goes far beyond visual appeal. Millennials and post-millennials, aren’t exactly aware of the value behind purchasing a vintage t-shirt vs. a t-shirt from mainstream fast-fashion outlets such as H&M & Zara to name a few.


Environmental Impact

As consumers worldwide buy more clothing, the growing market for cheap garments and new styles is taking a toll on the environment. On average, people bought 60% more garments in 2014 than they did in 2000. Fashion production makes up 10% of humanity's carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams. Additionally, 85% of all textiles go to the dump each year, while washing certain types of clothes sends thousands of bits of plastic into the ocean. 

 It is important to note the misconception amongst consumers on  “donating” clothing as an eco-friendly decision in exchange for new fast-fashion items which are to be worn no more than a handful of times. This has resulted in a negative impact on our environment and plays a major part in the 60% increase of garment purchases from 2000-2014. Donating and buying new fast-fashion garments has become a repetitive cycle for many consumers who elect to shop by seasons and upcoming trends. 

Think about this fact for a moment, the equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill every second!

The solution is simple, it comes down to the fundamental principle that recycling and reusing clothing saves resources, thus being more environmentally sustainable long-term. It is this process of keeping clothes in use for long periods of time that creates vintage clothing and supports the slow fashion movement, making it a more sustainable option. If you are donating great amounts of your old clothing, it is important to follow-up that decision with a sustainable choice (such as vintage apparel) for real impact. By purchasing vintage clothing, you play a vital role in reducing a global footprint that includes the 132m metric tons of coal used yearly through the production of new fibres, dyeing and bleaching of garments and the 6-9 trillion litres of water used by the industry. 

Virgil Abloh: “Streetwear? It’s definitely gonna die.”

Looking ahead at 2021 and the future ahead of us, in a recent interview Virgil Abloh explained his perspective on why vintage clothing is the way to go from this point forward. Take a look!

What do you think will happen to the idea of streetwear in the 2020s?

Virgil Abloh: Wow. I would definitely say it’s gonna die, you know? Like, it’s time will be up. In my mind, how many more t-shirts can we own, how many more hoodies, how many sneakers? I think that like we’re gonna hit this like, really awesome state of expressing your knowledge and personal style with vintage – there are so many clothes that are cool that are in vintage shops and it’s just about wearing them. I think that fashion is gonna go away from buying a box-fresh something; it’ll be like, hey I’m gonna go into my archive."


Through the growing support of our global customer base, Icy Vintage continues to work to stay ahead of the curve by solidifying our value for fashion and sustainability with some of the most comparable prices on the market. With fast-fashion taxing our environment at an alarming rate, it is important to realize the impact of your purchase decisions every time you may enter a mall or click on an online advertisement. As some of the world’s most influential leaders in fashion today have made the shift towards vintage clothing, there is no denying that shopping vintage is now the most attractive choice for every consumer who is not only looking to remain trendy, but also looking to take a step in the right direction for the sustainability of our environment. 



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