A massive fire struck the Baseco compound two weeks ago and many families were left homeless. Approximately 500 residents are still at the evacuation center. Residents of Baseco were the recipients of clothing, rice, and other items from CoOp’s collection of goods at Ayala Alabang Village to assist the people in their times of need. The 30Kg of clothes are still in good useable condition and will be distributed amongst the residents of the barangay, keeping these clothes away from the oceans and landfills.

In fact, there is a worldwide trend to eschew fast fashion and new clothes, with many opting to acquire second hand clothes via thrift shops and garage sales. This type of second hand shopping lessens the impact that clothing manufacturing has on the environment. The sale and trade of second hand clothing around the world has turned into a $US 24 billion dollar industry, according to retail analytics firm GlobalData. By 2028, the used clothing industry is set to reach $64 billion in the United States alone, while the fast fashion market will hit approximately $US44 billion.

Clothes sorted and ready to be used again by folks at Baseco.

The second hand clothing market achieves several goals just by virtue of the product being second hand. First, second hand clothing lessens the impact that fast fashion has on the environment. (Some studies point to the industry emitting 1.2 billion tons of C02 equivalent each year, and 20 percent of global wastewater. In 2015, 92 million tons of wastewater was produced, which ended up in the world’s oceans, rivers, other freshwater sources and the soil.) And materials derived from petrochemical sources such as plastic polymers like nylon, rayon, viscose, and polyester make up 63 percent of clothing produced.

Second, those who prefer second hand clothes no longer have to pay exorbitant prices for brand new clothing (For example, a brand new pair of Kanvas By Katin nylon boardshorts retail for $US 80, while a similar Made in USA cut of the same exact boardshort can be had for $3.99 to $9.99 at a used goods store such as Salvation Army). That is massive savings.

The folks at Baseco get new (to them) articles of clothing that will last for years before they can be turned into something else. And less clothing ends up in the oceans and landfills.