As the climate crisis escalates with 300,000 tonnes of clothing going to landfill each year in the UK, people are doing their bit to help the environment.
Abi Hunt meets one man adopting a climate-conscious attitude who makes £700 a month from selling second-hand clothing.
Among a rippled wave of old-style Nike ticks and Adidas stripes is Ahmad Zeidan, 23, standing proud as he hopes to haul people away from the perils of consumerism and fast-fashion.
He started his venture nearly two years ago to reduce his carbon footprint and gain an extra stream of income.
The 23-year-old entrepreneur thinks too often people “jump on the band-wagon” when buying new clothes, saying it is also a massive trend to wear vintage and second-hand clothes.
“The time they [clothes] have been out doesn’t necessarily diminish its value”, he said, “in some cases it makes them more valuable, like with vintage cars.”
And with the average annual footprint of a household’s newly bought clothing being equal to the emissions amounted from driving a car 6,000 miles, the water needed to fill over 1,000 bathtubs and the weight of over 100 pairs of jeans – there’s no better time to start thinking climate-conscious.
Mr Zeidan, who owns a letting agency in Derby, warned that such information is part of the reason people are moving away from retailers and towards second-hand products.
Because although the products are not fresh from the shop, he claims many branded items are still good quality and has therefore urged people to consider ditching fast-fashion.
“What I’m selling is branded good quality stuff, it’s getting recycled and therefore it’s better for the environment, it lasts longer,” he said.
He added some online platforms charge extortionate prices for second-hand pieces, however, maintained his goal was to provide quality at low prices.
“I provide a better price than any of my competitors, you can challenge me on that.”
But with the value of unused clothing estimated at £30 billion and £140 million of that going to landfill each year in the UK, it’s surprising more people aren’t making a career out of selling second-hand stuff.
In under two years, Mr Zeidan has made £17,000 from selling second-hand clothing which works out to be £700 a month.
He said: “Every month I make an average of £700, one month could be £1,000 profit or one month could be £400. So, over the two years I’ve been doing it that means I’ve made just under £17,000.”
Selling most of his items on Depop, a “peer-to-peer” social shopping app, he says the process of buying and selling items is quite simple.
However, the 23-year-old highlighted it is not easy getting started, but once you are able to find a good seller and put some work into it then “the work does itself for you”.
He added you must develop an organised way of doing things, and to look professional and avoid any confusion, he encourages people to take good quality pictures of the items which also adds to appeal.
“The process is pretty much throwing the clothes on the floor in the price categories that I bought them for, so I know what to price them on Depop,” he said, “I take the pictures in the same location so it has the same background, I then take a picture of the front, the back and a close up in the label with the size.
“And when I’ve taken the pictures and posted them, I put the items up on my rails and that’s how I know everything is posted, and I don’t have anything more to do apart from just sell,” he added.
Now, with 70 per cent of customers on second-hand retailing sites being first-time shoppers – things seem to be moving away from fast-fashion and in the right direction.
Also moving in this direction is thredUP, the world’s largest online marketplace to buy and sell second-hand clothes, who aim to “make like easier for shoppers on a budget”.
And as well as claiming to transform the way people think about used clothing, they sell some items at 90 per cent off retail prices – revealing a real re-sell revolution mindset.
The company’s co-founder and CEO, James Reinhart said on their website: “We want to leave the planet sustainable for the next generation – saving water, recycling and reusing items, and donating to important causes.”
But despite the effort involved with buying and selling, Mr Zeidan wants to motivate others to do what he does to help alleviate the climate crisis and gain extra funds in the process.
He said: “When you really think about the good it’ll do for the environment and equally for yourself in terms of money, then you’d be stupid not to take it up.
“Who can miss out on £700 a month?”