It’s time to get comfortable being uncomfortable (the best way to grow, in my humble opinion!) and have open discussions about these topics.
Today I’m going to tackle this question with my absolute favorite thing: A pro and con list.
Read them, weigh them out, and make a mindful and conscious consumer decision
Reasons for Yes
1. Purchasing second hand helps to STOP those items from ending up in the landfill. 21 billion pounds of textiles are sent to the landfill each year in the U.S. alone. Second hand, no matter what the item, is always more sustainable than a new item.
2. Purchasing second hand animal products does not directly contribute to companies who make them.
3. The pieces will generally last a very long time and most can be handed down again. Real leather/wool will typically last a lot longer than the faux alternatives.
4. Much more affordable than sustainable & vegan approved new items.
5. Not all, of course, but many “vegan” fashion items are made from plastic/synthetics which is very hard on the planet.
6. Reduces demand for fast fashion. Which is the devil in disguise.
7. Wool can be made with ethical labels (such as mulesing free) and one could opt to only purchase second hand ethical wool.
Reasons for No
1. Wearing animal products perpetuates the idea that it is acceptable and fashionable to use animals for clothing.
2. Your second hand animal product may attract others who go in search of it new. (You become a walking advertisement for leather, fur, etc). Faux leather and faux fur could also act as an advertisement so I’d just drop all of it.
3. When purchasing a second hand animal product, you run the risk of removing that option for a non-vegan who has no issue with purchasing it new and driving up the demand for that material.
4. With all the amazing second hand online shops, there are countless opportunities to purchase vegan approved second hand items such as organic cotton, tencel, linen, and hemp.
5. Not eating a cow but wearing its skin may confuse the already confused outside world on what Veganism stands for.
What do you think?