• youthopeian

Shop-Stop : This New Year’s Resolution

-Sanjana Sunilkumar

Shop-stop? What is that? Is it a place where you can stop and shop? Or is it a moving shop that stops during purchase? Is it something that stops you from shopping? Or is it something that stops you during shopping? Nope, nope nopity nope. Shop-stop is no subject to think of great definitions and draw points of criticism. It’s just as simple as it sounds—stop shopping, or to make it sound more simple, stop buying.

Shop-stop is a concept proposed by the famous 19 year old Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg. Undoubtedly, this is a concept supported and accepted by numerous studies which explain how the textile industry severely affects the environment.

Thunberg, who currently has one of the most influential faces in the fight against climate change, is an environmental overseer and espouses for new and better notions to restrain the evolution of climate change. She has consistently shown us how sustainable a normal human being can be through her zero-waste lifestyle, going vegan and ultimately, “shop-stop.”

According to the British Broadcasting Company, an average American throws away an estimated 82 pounds of clothes a year, and 85 percent of those textiles are either dumped into a landfill or burned. The world’s fashion industry accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater. And while the environmental impact of flying is now well known, fashion sucks up more energy than both aviation and shipping combined.

A polyester shirt produces the equivalent of 5.5kilograms of carbon dioxide compared to 2.1kilograms from a cotton shirt. 70 million barrels of oil a year are used to make polyester fibers in our clothes. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that in 2017, 10.2 million tonnes of textiles ended up in landfills while the other 2.9 million tonnes were incinerated. According to the World Bank, 40% of clothing purchased in some countries is never used. In the UK, an estimated 350,000 tonnes of clothes end up in landfills every year.

Ahem, now that’s one long non-exhaustive list! This makes us feel guilty, doesn’t it? There is only one way to break this down, if not altogether—shop-stop.

But how do we make this happen? Honestly, one can’t go on without buying clothes! How do we take this into practice? Let us ask the young teen.

In an interview with Amy Goodman, Thunberg explains: I buy second-hand, or I receive clothes from someone else, or I just keep my own clothes, maybe use my sister’s clothes or my mother’s or father’s clothes.

This means she doesn't buy any new things unless she absolutely has to. She wears her old sneakers until they are completely worn out. She wears her old clothes, borrows clothes from her family members or friends, and finds secondhand items whenever she needs something “new!”

It’s an interesting philosophy and as Greta Thunberg has shown us, it's completely achievable and workable, even if you’re constantly under the public-eye. If you’re someone already working towards or living a zero-waste lifestyle, then darling, this, for you, is a matter of nothing.

Okie, dokie, so any tips to achieve this? Ha, is that even a question? Come on, there you go!

  • Choose eco-responsible companies that offer alternative materials and work sustainably for the environment.

  • Purchase artisan or local products, preferably handmade ones which usually last much longer, ergo reducing the need to replace it with something new.

  • Go for small businesses that have streamlined processes and a smaller environmental footprint. You know, these are the sort of companies you ought to be supporting economically more than the already top organisations.

  • Shop smartly.

  • Other than footwear and undergarments, try the best you can to stop buying.

  • If you buy online, make sure you only purchase the products you really need, be aware of the dimensions and quality of the product to avoid returning products and double the carbon-dioxide emissions of a face-to-face purchase.

  • Eliminate a significant expense in your lifestyle that you can focus on other specific ones.

  • Save time and effort in deciding what to wear, which means removing the constant social pressure on how you look and the impossible fashion standards.

  • Live a simpler and more minimalist life, making the most of the clothes you already have.

Shop-stop is no cult against the fashion industry, but of course, none of these industries would thrive in the dystopian world where people can’t even afford to live. Until we move forward and start contributing to the planet, those fictional stories are definitely going to come alive. Shop-stop can be challenging, but it’s worth it. In fact, you can even take this up as a new year challenge! I mean seriously, who doesn’t like to save money?

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