Clothing items are viewed as disposable items. More and more textile waste is being generated each year. Only a fraction of items thrown-away get donated.
The large remainder goes either to landfills or gets incinerated.
Majority of clothing pieces are made from synthetic fibres, which are non-biodegradable and can take up to 200 years to decompose. This has a horrific impact on our environment.
Irish people are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of the fashion industry and are choosing to become more conscious shoppers.
“Fast fashion and the notion of following the trend is a practice that needs to be left behind,” said regular thrift-shopper, Eilis Walsh.
Sustainable fashion is becoming very popular in Limerick.
Not only do shoppers love finding unique and timeless items, they’re also reducing their carbon footprint and supporting local businesses.
Another thrift-shopper, Cathal Ryan said he enjoys shopping sustainably: “because many sustainable brands are timeless in terms of look; they will always look cool.”
Many people in Limerick agree with this view. They enjoy the thrill of thrifting and love finding rare pieces.
Online Irish charity shop, Thriftify, said that they have seen “a massive increase” in online sales in the past few months, since lock down first began. This is due to consumers being more aware of where their money is going.
“People know that their money goes to good causes. They are voting for sustainability with their spend,” Rónán Ó Dálaigh, spokesperson for Thriftify said.
Caroline Mc Brearty, owner of Limerick’s Vito Vintage said: “there is a genuine thirst for vintage style and an awareness of the need for sustainable fashion at the moment so vintage is really making a comeback which is great.”
“It is the most important shopping season of the year and now more than ever small local businesses need support. With the growing awareness of support schemes, like Shop Local and Buy Irish, people have become more conscious about putting money back into their local communities,” she said.
Caroline has had to adapt her ways since lock down began. She now has online store and can connect with her customers through a safe medium.
“If you are someone looking for that statement piece, vintage is definitely worth the search,” she said.
Vito Vintage is based at The Milk Market in Limerick and will reopen in the beginning of December.