thredUP Releases New Post-Pandemic Shopping Surge Data and Campaign to Fight the Waste
The online resale platform created the #FashionMindfulness Challenge, a 7-day social movement to curb mindless consumption & help consumers get back to normal, mindfully.
April 22, 2021 — thredUP, one of the world’s largest online resale platforms, today released new data on the ‘Post-Pandemic Shopping Surge’ and the associated eco impact. To combat the waste, thredUP has partnered with surprising celebrities and influencers including Paris Hilton, Ashley Park, Aimee Song, Hannah Bronfman, and more to launch the #FashionMindfulness Challenge: 7 days of 7 sustainable habits to become more intentional consumers and reduce our collective fashion footprints.
The Post-Pandemic Shopping Surge is Coming — and So is the Fashion Waste
According to thredUP and Global Data, thredUP believes consumers are about to embark on a massive shopping spree to the tune of 3.3 billion items, with an estimated carbon and water footprint of 99.7 billion lbs of Co2e and 307.1 billion gallons of water (source: Global Data, Green Story).
“After a year of buying and wearing less, consumers are eager to ditch their sweats and shop for new clothes. In addition to the environmental cost of producing these clothes, it’s possible that many of these garments will be single-use, purchased to wear once as weddings and events resume. As consumers begin to get dressed again, we want to help them refresh their wardrobes responsibly.” — Erin Wallace, VP of Integrated Marketing at thredUP
thredUP’s #FashionMindfulness Challenge Helps Consumers ‘Spree’ Responsibly
Launching on Earth Day, the #FashionMindfulness Challenge aims to fight the anticipated shopping spree, undo the damage of mindless consumption, and guide consumers to create more mindful, sustainable fashion habits.
Each day for one week, consumers will take one small action to reduce waste and lower their fashion footprint. Actions such as wearing a thrifted outfit, mending one item of clothing, rewearing a single-use garment (like your wedding dress!), and air-drying one load of laundry can make a significant impact on the carbon footprint of your closet.
If 1 million people take thredUP’s #FashionMindfulness Challenge, we estimate that we’ll collectively save more than 40 million lbs of Co2e — equivalent to taking 3,927 cars off the road for an entire year (source: Green Story).
“As we prepare to reenter the world and start getting dressed again, it’s a great time to pause and think about how we can do things a bit differently this time. Fashion is one of the world’s most polluting industries. For too long, the industry has had us hooked on throwaway clothes, mindlessly consuming without considering the impact of our choices. Adopting fashion mindfulness can be the antidote. By embracing secondhand and taking steps to extend the life of our clothes, we can reduce the demand for new fashion production and lessen our collective fashion footprint. Small steps such as buying used instead of new, air drying clothes and mending clothes instead of discarding them can have a huge impact.” — Erin Wallace, VP of Integrated Marketing at thredUP
Surprising Celebrities are Taking the Challenge & Committing to Sustainability
thredUP has partnered with surprising celebrities and fashion-savvy influencers including Paris Hilton, Ashley Park, Aimee Song, Hannah Bronfman, Katie Sturino, and more to shift the tide against mindless consumption.
Paris Hilton has previously said she’d never wear an item more than once. Now, the heiress is making a resolution to be a more conscious consumer. She’s kicking off her resolution by taking thredUP’s #FashionMindfulness Challenge, and wearing thrifted clothes as the first step toward a more sustainable wardrobe.
“Confession: this outfit is thrifted from @thredUP! I’m making a resolution to be a more conscious consumer. That’s why I’m taking the #FashionMindfulness Challenge. 7 small habits in 7 days to become more sustainable and reduce fashion waste. Day 1 is WEAR THRIFT, because buying secondhand instead of new reduces the carbon footprint of an outfit by 82%! Join me and take thredUP’s #FashionMindfulness Challenge. If 1M people take it we’ll eliminate 40 million pounds of carbon emissions. It makes me feel so empowered to know that I can create a positive impact with my fashion choices. If I can do it, you can too!” — Paris Hilton
7 Days, 7 Steps to Achieve a More Sustainable Closet
Head to thredup.com/challenge to learn more about the #FashionMindfulness Challenge, and view all the steps below.
Day 1: Wear a thrifted outfit. If everyone bought one used item instead of new, we’d save nearly 6 billions lbs of CO2e, equivalent to taking half a million cars off the road for a year.
Day 2: Borrow a garment. Swap with a friend or rent! Renting for special events saves 3lbs of CO2e annually.
Day 3: Wear a sustainable brand. The traditional fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries, accounting for 10% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable brands like Reformation and Patagonia are transparent about sourcing, longevity & end of life plans for their items.
Day 4: Air dry one load of laundry. 75% of laundry’s total carbon impact comes from machine drying your clothes. Air-drying is a low impact alternative.
Day 5: Rewear an outfit you’ve worn once. Think: wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, prom dresses… Wearing a dress at least twelve times saves 10.6lbs of CO2e.
Day 6: Mend one garment. Repairing one garment each season saves 19lbs of CO2e per year.
Day 7: Pass on one item in your closet. 1 in 2 people throw their clothes in the trash! Instead, give to a friend or resell. Giving a dress a second life reduces its CO2e impact by 82%.
Why #FashionMindfulness Matters for the Planet
This anticipated shopping surge is a symptom of a larger issue. For decades, we’ve been caught in a cycle of mindless consumption. The traditional fashion industry is one of the most environmentally damaging sectors in the global economy. The industry’s “take-make-dispose” linear model often leads to overproduction and underutilization. As a result, we mindlessly consume disposable garments without considering their impact on the environment.
Fashion’s Impact on the Planet
- According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in 2015, greater than 97% of the materials used in apparel production were new, with less than 1% coming from recycled clothing, and 73% of post-consumer apparel was sent to landfill or incinerated.
- The apparel and footwear industries account for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, based on a 2018 analysis by Quantis.
- If industry practices continue unabated, the textile industry overall could consume more than 26% of the world’s carbon budget by 2050, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
As we prepare to re-enter the world, we have an opportunity to do things differently. Let’s get dressed again, but this time, let’s do it mindfully.
How Thrift Fights Fashion Waste
- Since thredUP’s founding in 2009, we’ve processed over 100 million unique secondhand items from 35,000 brands across 100 categories.
- As a result, thredUP has saved 1 billion pounds of carbon emissions; 2 billion kWH of energy; and 4.4 billion gallons of water — the equivalent of approximately 75,000 flights between New York and Boston, 178,000 U.S. households’ annual energy usage and 6,700 Olympic size swimming pools, respectively.
- Buying a used item of clothing can reduce its carbon footprint by 82%, making resale one of the most impactful ways to reduce fashion’s overall environmental footprint (source: Green Story)
thredUP is transforming resale with technology and a mission to inspire a new generation of consumers to think secondhand first. By making it easy to buy and sell secondhand, thredUP has become one of the world’s largest resale platforms for women’s and kids’ apparel, shoes and accessories. Sellers love thredUP because we make it easy to clean out their closets and unlock value for themselves or for the charity of their choice while doing good for the planet. Buyers love shopping value, premium and luxury brands all in one place, at up to 90% off estimated retail price. Our proprietary operating platform is the foundation for our managed marketplace and consists of distributed processing infrastructure, proprietary software and systems and data science expertise. In 2018, we extended our platform with thredUP Resale-As-A-Service (RaaS), which facilitates modern resale for a number of the world’s leading brands and retailers. thredUP has processed over 100 million unique secondhand items from 35,000 brands across 100 categories. By extending the life cycle of clothing, thredUP is changing the way consumers shop and ushering in a more sustainable future for the fashion industry.
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