ThredUp’s Top Tips for Individuals to Reduce Their Fashion Footprint & Lessen Impact on the Planet

ThredUp has launched the Fashion Footprint Calculator, a personalized tool that helps consumers calculate the total carbon impact of their closet.

The goal, according to president Anthony Marino, was “to break through the noise around sustainability and give people personalized insights on their own footprint with actionable ways to lessen their impact.”

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Via the calculator, consumers are asked to answer 10 questions about how they buy, wear and care for their clothes. With that, each question then results in tips and stats to teach shoppers how each fashion habit contributes to their footprint.

The tool was inspired by ThredUp’s 2023 Resale Report, which found that 63% of Gen Zers and millennials believe they can reduce their individual footprint.

“Gen Z is one of the most environmentally conscious generations, but there is a dichotomy at play between their sustainable values and their consumption habits,” Marino told FN. “A shift is taking place where younger generations are embracing thrift to get the affordable trends they crave, but this shift away from fast fashion won’t happen overnight. We’re focused on not only meeting this generation where they are — from TikTok to our mobile app — we’re also educating them about the benefits of secondhand through campaigns and tools like the Calculator.”

Based on data from the Fashion Footprint Calculator, ThredUp says the No. 1 way consumers can shrink their fashion footprint is by buying half of their clothes secondhand. Younger generations are expected to account for nearly two-thirds of incremental secondhand spend as their purchasing power increases, according to the report. Secondhand is also expected to be a nearly $90 billion market in the next 10 years.

Marino added, “When we first launched Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS) to serve brands and retailers, it was difficult to garner interest, and the conversation was always centered around why. Fast forward to today, and nearly every retailer is now coming to us asking how they can make resale work for their brand. The accelerated adoption of resale among retailers over the last few years — and particularly in 2022 — has been one of the most promising signals for the future of the industry.”

Other ways individuals can lower their carbon footprint is by extending the life of clothes through reuse and by avoiding returns.

Donating or reselling clothes, for instance, can save 522 pounds of carbon annually. That’s equal to nearly 215 hours of energy use in the average U.S. household.

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