Let’s take a moment to be honest with ourselves for a minute. As much as we may want to avoid fast fashion, or avoid acquiring new clothing, or try to keep a minimalist or even capsule wardrobe, and even if you absolutely love your current closet, one day it will be time to rearrange, upgrade, add, or replace. Our lives change, and if we want our clothing to remain functional and serve us well, there will be times where it needs to change, too. It might be due to a change in sizing, a new lifestyle or job, or just general wear and tear. Regardless of your reasons, I think that this is the perfect time for what Fashion Revolution calls a Haulternative!
For those of you who don’t know, Fashion Revolution is an organization that aims to, you guessed it, revolutionize fashion into an industry that values its people and the environment. They believe that it’s everyone’s responsibility to play their part in this movement, and they’ve even organized Fashion Revolution Day, which takes place on April 24th every year (the same day as the Rana Plaza building collapse that took place in 2013) and encourages us to ask our favourite brands #WhoMadeMyClothes. Their website has tons of practical resources, one of which is their Haulternative guide, available to download for free here!
But I’ll give you a quick overview of it here. Essentially, the idea is to replace a “clothing haul” (if you don’t know what that is, look it up on YouTube) with an alternative way of refreshing your wardrobe. There are 8 different ways of doing this. I’ll leave it to you to head on over to their website and learn more about those, and for today I’ll just focus on sharing my experience with my very first haulternative – secondhand/thrifted clothing.
Side note: I guess technically I’ve been doing mini-haulternatives throughout my lifetime by constantly swapping clothing with my sister, sometimes mom, and more recently, a few friends. But this was my first intentional haulternative, and I’m so excited about it’s success!
What actually inspired me to write this post in the first place was my very first successful thrift store trip! I never shopped at thrift stores before becoming aware of the negative effects of fast fashion, and even when I gave up shopping last year, I was doing pretty well and had everything I needed, and so I neither needed nor wanted to go shopping.
But then there I was a few weeks ago, stuck in the middle of winter with very few sweaters, and even fewer sweaters I actually enjoyed wearing, cold and definitely in need of some shopping. I checked out sweaters from ethical brands and while I found many beautiful ones that I loved, my wallet did not. I came to the conclusion that I could avoid secondhand stores no longer. The result? I now have three new-to-me sweaters, in perfect condition, for under $20. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy after a clothing purchase before.