The Top 3 Ways to Shrink Your Fashion Footprint—According to thredUP’s Fashion Footprint Calculator
thredUP's Fashion Footprint Calculator helps customers make their shopping experience more sustainable. Here's what you need to know.
The circular economy is all about collective participation—but that doesn’t mean that personal actions don’t play a major role. According to thredUP’s 2022 Resale Report, 63% of Gen Z and Millennials believe they can reduce their individual footprint. The first step toward that goal? Increased awareness around the environmental effects of our shopping habits.
“As people become more aware of fashion's environmental impact, it becomes more difficult to cut through the noise around sustainability and understand what actions make a real difference in the face of greenwashing,” says Madeline Cronin Aaronson, Director of Brand at thredUP.
To help further the narrative around sustainability and secondhand shopping, thredUP worked with Green Story Inc. to develop its Fashion Footprint Calculator, a quiz that helps customers infuse their styling experience with more environmental awareness than ever before.
What Is the Fashion Footprint Footprint Calculator?
thredUP's Fashion Footprint Calculato is a personalized tool that offers consumers insights on the carbon footprint associated with their fashion habits and provides simple, actionable steps to reduce their environmental footprint.
“In three minutes, you’ll answer ten questions about how you wear, care, and shop for your clothes, and the calculator will show you if your habits are as sustainable as you think,” explains Aaronson. “The quiz also shows how you stack up against others, along with actionable ways to lessen your impact. We hope the quiz demonstrates that small steps at scale can ultimately help fight fashion waste and slow down the cycle of production.”
The information that made the Fashion Footprint Calculator presents a fairly clear picture of on how our fashion habits stack up—and not all of our actions have an equal impact. Though most consumer habits result in emissions of some kind, buying items secondhand makes your purchase a more sustainable one. As always, though, there’s more that can be done.
Here, three ways to minimize your style-centric emissions, as dictated by data from thredUP’s Fashion Footprint Calculator.
3 Ways to Shrink Your Fashion Footprint
1. Buy 50% of Your Clothes Secondhand
“Shopping secondhand avoids the carbon, waste, and water footprints generated from producing new garments,” says Aaronson. “In fact, buying—and wearing—secondhand clothes instead of new reduces carbon emissions by an average of 25%.”
2. Reuse and Rewear
A bit of extra thought and effort can keep your clothes in rotation and out of the landfill. Start by trying to find new styling approaches that make old pieces feel new again, and mending damaged clothing to increase its lifespan.
If the time has come to part ways with a piece, opt to donate (do your research to determine the correct venue) or consign your clothing to help it find a new closet and a second life.
3. Avoid Returns
In 2021, around $218 billion of goods bought online were returned—and unfortunately, many of those returns are destined for the landfill. The best way to avoid contributing to this problem is to practice mindful shopping. “Shop with intention,” says Aaronson. “Know your measurements, and identify clothes you have that pair well with your new purchase.”
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