The rise in veganism has had a profound effect on consumers’ lives. In 2020, a survey found that the number of vegans in the UK skyrocketed by 40% in the UK alone with over a million people choosing a plant-based diet at the beginning of the year. Not long ago, shoppers and diners who practised veganism had little by way of choice when roaming supermarket aisles or searching out vegan-friendly dishes on menus. Fast forward just a few years to a marked difference in the way supermarket giants view veganism, dining habits and a boom in vegan-friendly brands.
Whilst many of us have decided to go green with our diets in recognition of the many environmental benefits it brings, fewer of us are doing the same with our wardrobes. The fashion industry is still lagging behind and the true effects of the rise in fast fashion are still not as commonly known and recognised amongst shoppers despite the fashion industry not only being the second-largest consumer of water but also being responsible for 10% of the global greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s worth at this point acknowledging the excellent work that some fashion brands and start-ups have been doing in recent years to promote more sustainable shopping, brands such as Good News shoes, Acne Studios and House of Sunny. Whatsmore, the consumer appetite for stories and news on environmentally conscious brands is becoming apparent as newspapers and supplements give more page space to articles showcasing fashion brands leading the cause.
However, sustainable fashion comes at a price. A survey from last April found that 67% of consumers consider the use of sustainable materials to be important when buying clothes. But, according to one report, less than a third of consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products.
Shpock is a leading second-hand online marketplace, founded in 2016, which brings together a community of millions of buyers and sellers. Fashion is now the leading sector on Shpock, with a wealth of pre-loved fashion items, including near-to-new designer clothes, shoes, bags and accessories, it is thriving as a space for sustainable and affordable shopping.
Second-hand fashion depicts clothes that are pre-loved and are sold on to a new owner, decreasing the need to buy new and therefore reducing the reliance on fast fashion. Unlike fast fashion, second-hand fashion uses no additional resources to create the items, presenting an environmentally conscious way to shop.
Not only is second-hand fashion more sustainable, but it is also affordable. From designer to high street brands, Shpock sells items at attainable prices. Currently, Shpock has Ralph Lauren shirts, Bottega Venetta bags and Chanel sunglasses to name a few, so if shoppers can’t afford the first-hand designer price, then services like ours can be an excellent resource for shoppers.
Shpock understands that not everyone can purchase second-hand clothing all of the time, but we do encourage the purchase of second-hand shopping as and when people can due to the benefits it can bring. For example, buying and selling second-hand items eliminated at least 224,695 tonnes of UK CO2 emissions last year whereas often a brand new cotton t-shirt can use up to 700 tonnes of water.
A string of national lockdowns has seemingly helped to shift consumer behaviour towards a slower approach to fashion. A survey from WRAP conducted last year found that 73% of people surveyed will now go out of their way to make sure old clothes are put to good use and in recent years we’ve seen a growing number of environmentally-conscious shoppers turn to services such as not only to buy clothes but also sell them.
As people continue to shop, it is forecasted that the secondhand fashion movement will continue to grow. From January 2021 to March 2021 alone, the number of fashion items sold on Shpock increased by 33% on average, with tracksuits, interestingly, being the most sought-after item.
So, whether you’re keen to sell some of your pre-loved clothes, or look for your next wardrobe staple, Shpock might just be the place to start your selling or buying journey whilst also doing your bit to help the environment.
Contributed by Iyesha Cheema-Bradshaw at Shpock