Sustainable fashion, secondhand clothing is thriving. Here’s why

Post-pandemic fashion is looking green. 

With the pandemic putting a stop to in-person shopping, people were forced to get creative about their style while staying safe. Clothing resale apps like Depop and Mercari have gained momentum and popularized secondhand and vintage clothing, and even celebrities like Joaquin Phoenix and Tiffany Haddishtapped into sustainability by recycling red carpet looks.

However, experts believe sustainable fashion is here to stay. Laura Madden, a sustainable fashion expert and influencer, believes the isolating nature of the pandemic influenced some to reflect on the effects their choices have on the environment. 

“More of us were stuck at home consuming information from our devices, and with the continuing growth of social media, there was just so much more information out there: more people speaking up unfiltered and unashamed about the impact of fashion on the environment,” Madden says.

Tiffany Haddish has re-worn her white Alexander McQueen gown, which she debuted at the 2017 premiere of her movie "Girls Trip," five times, most recently for People's 2021 Beautiful issue.

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Claire Bates, a sustainable and circular fashion consultant, says that this awareness is “crucial” in the transition toward sustainability, adding that many are “consuming from a place of ignorance.”

“They often don’t understand how harmful fast fashion is or don’t fully get how producing and manufacturing new clothing uses so much energy and creates waste,” Bates says. Fast fashion companies like Forever 21 and Zara often rely on unethical practices such as underpaid labor and the production of excessive waste and energy to meet its high demands.