New vs Used Fashion - How Do The Waste Footprints Compare?

So we know that buying preloved instead of new is going to be better for the planet - but how much better exactly?

Thanks to Thredup/Green Story's excellent 2021 Resale Report (source of the infographic), we have some estimates.

The waste footprint of buying used isn't quite zero, but its great to actually get a transparent first estimate on what that number is. Not least because we can make the resale vs fast fashion sustainability case from a better position of awareness about our own industry's impact.

There's some emissions for the shipping and some power used in the resale operation. But depending on your waste metric - CO2, power or water consumption - you are making savings of between 7x to 70x by buying used and displacing new garment production. If more of us can get on board with making secondhand our first choice, there's the opportunity to make a seriously significant difference here ♻️⭐

Fashion waste footprint new vs used

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