She Thrifty Apparel, a local business owned by women and blacks, seeks to divert fashion waste by reusing and recycling it.
Founded in May 2020, the second-hand clothing business was started by 26-year-old Connecticut native Alexandria Monet. She moved to North Carolina to study at the Art Institute of Raleigh – Durham, where she earned a degree in Fashion Marketing and Management.
Monet founded the company after learning more about circular fashion and the fashion industry’s detrimental impact on the environment. According to Green Strategy, a fashion consultancy firm, circular fashion consists of clothing made with respect for the environment, with recyclability and good ethics in mind.
About 85% of all textiles go to landfills each year, and that amount is increasing every year as clothing production rates increase, as noted in a 2018 report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. (UNECE).
“The fashion industry promotes the culture of waste because its very nature is based on the next best thing, even though styles and designs come back every year,” said Monet.
Casey Longyear, co-owner of Rumors Chapel Hill, a local second-hand clothing store, said savings could have a strong and beneficial impact on the planet.
“There is so much in this world – it’s not just clothes,” Longyear said. “There are so many things that need to be reused and reused. There is so much that we don’t need to buy again, and saving is the easiest way for people to get them.
Longyear met Monet at a vintage pop-up event in Durham and recruited her to sell her clothes at Rumors.
“We have found that finding reliable vintage suppliers is a good way to be able to support local businesses within our local business,” said Longyear.
Monet attributed her gender and nationality to the way she conducts her business.
“To be a Moorish American in business means releasing a story that has been stolen and burned without our permission,” Monet said. “My nationality impacts my business by constantly being in a state of learning and this ranges from business to the legal system.”
The two Longyear and Monet have expressed their enthusiasm for the evolving stigma surrounding savings. “Savings are increasingly popular among the younger generations,” Monet said.
“It’s so interesting to have an older or more unique piece that you saved,” said Alexandra Peeler, a second-year UNC student who often saves money. “The coolest pieces in my closet are thrifty, and honestly it’s super fun because it looks so unique to me. People can’t just run around and pick it up at their local store.
Peeler said she saves for many reasons, ranging from sustainability to affordability.
“Saving money is a much more sustainable practice than buying new clothes, so people can feel a lot better about their choices,” Peeler said. “Also, as a student, saving is a much cheaper practice, so you can find a bunch of basic pieces for your wardrobe on a budget.”
As more and more young people start saving, there is also more clothing being produced and sold than ever before. The textile production of the fashion industry generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all international flights and maritime transport combined, according to the EEC report.
“The second-hand market is expected to double over the next five years, which for me means hope for the environment,” said Monet. “Opportunity and savings change the trajectory of pollution and waste. “
Monet said that savings can really have a positive impact on the environment.
“Saving is part of building a circular economy and a key part of circular fashion, and that’s why it’s important,” said Monet. “Savings extend the life cycle of clothing and, frankly, can extend ours as well. ”
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