As the world stumbles from the blows of Covid-19, environmental pollution continues to grow into immense apprehension. Major contributing factors to pollution, according to Business Insider, are fashion products, which make up 10% of carbon emissions, pollute sources of water, and cause 85% of textiles to be cast away into landfills. Recognizing the adverse effects product manufacturing can have on the environment, students are taking initiative by reorganizing clothes and other lightly-used items to sell on social media, which will help reduce environmental harm. These students normally create Instagram accounts dedicated to their small businesses and sell almost new items at more affordable costs, and are open to a wider range of audiences. As a result, fellow students are positively enduring self-quarantine shopping second hand items online for several benefits: saving money and reducing environmental impact.
Students sell many items that have been used only once or twice, at affordable deals that anyone can purchase, while offering shipping as well. For example, students sell sweaters which have an original price of $35 for $15, shorts for $8, and t-shirts worn once for $6. A wider variety of items are also sold, such as book bags for $10 and AP prep books for $13. Holly Yang, a junior at Northview High school, describes purchasing second hand items as “an easy way to help the environment”, while buying products “with good quality” at low prices. Affordable prices of used items allow students from all backgrounds to enjoy the relishing freedom of shopping online and satisfaction of good sales, which make up for dull, secluded atmospheres of not being able to shop in person.
In addition to consumer satisfaction, student sellers are also rewarded with a unique experience of a way to tolerate isolation during Covid-19 productively, while stepping into a world of business. According to Sunny Park, a junior at Northview High School who runs a small business with her friends by selling clothes, she likes putting herself “out there and talking to new people in the area”. She also enjoys adding her individual style for packages, such as a “simple brown packaging with ribbons”, and realized how eco friendly reselling can be.
More importantly, the opportunity to buy second hand clothes and items gives students the chance to reduce environmental impact by recycling lightly-used products that would have otherwise been abandoned. This would decrease the demand for dangerous chemicals used, reduce spaces in landfills, and decrease waste, all leading to less pollution. According to the Student Environmental Research Center, manufacturing a pair of jeans results in approximately 1,800 gallons of water and releases greenhouses gases the equivalent of driving 80 miles. These staggering numbers highlight the harmful impacts products inflict on the environment, thus emphasizing the usefulness of purchasing second hand items to limit unnecessary environmental pollution.
Looking on the bright side, students’ unanticipated use of self-quarantine in a productive manner can become the steps leading to win-win situations that give a helping hand to environmental conservation as well. Therefore, beneficial actions arising from the commotion of Covid-19 can form a silver lining in the face of a storm of disarray that satisfies consumers and puts a smile on nature’s face.