Collection: Raw Thrift - T-Shirts

Why Used T-Shirts are Essential for a Greener Tomorrow

In a world where trends change faster than the seasons, fast fashion has become the go-to for many. While fast fashion may seem like a convenient and affordable way to keep up with ever-changing fashion trends, it comes at a significant cost. The fast fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world.  In fact, according to the World Bank, the production of clothes accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions and is responsible for significant water pollution and depletion.

The impact of fast fashion can be seen throughout its entire lifecycle – from production to disposal. Fast fashion relies heavily on synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon, and acrylic which are derived from fossil fuels that take hundreds of years to decompose once they are disposed of in landfills, resulting in massive amounts of waste that end up pollute our soil and water sources.

As consumers continue buying into this unsustainable cycle of constant consumption and disposal of clothing items, it becomes clear that something needs to change. Actively looking out and choosing sustainable fashion is not just a choice anymore, but the need of the hour. 

Consumers have multiple options to build their wardrobe of sustainable attire. While selecting brands that use sustainable practices is one choice, the other option that is available to them is opting for used clothes - like used womens crew neck t-shirts, drop Shoulder t-shirts and jeans that can be thrifted. Consumers can start small by buying used t-shirts

Why Used T-Shirts are Essential for a Greener Tomorrow

An effective way to combat the negative effects of fast fashion is by choosing to purchase used clothing, like preloved t-shirts- instead of buying from the fast fashion machine. Every time you choose to buy a used t-shirt or a second hand t-shirt, you make a conscious choice for a greener tomorrow. Let’s take a closer look at how your choice helps contribute to sustainability. 

Saves water: The production process for materials such as cotton requires large amounts of water for irrigation and processing. In fact, it takes an estimated 2,700 liters of water to produce one cotton t-shirt. 

Reduces waste: By buying used clothing, we can reduce the demand for new garments, which in turn reduces the environmental impact of production. Additionally, purchasing from thrift stores or second hand markets supports a circular economy where clothes are reused and repurposed instead of being discarded after only a few wears. It also reduces the strain on our already overflowing landfills and minimizes the need for energy-intensive disposal methods.

Cost-effective: Apart from being environmentally friendly, buying used t-shirts can also benefit our wallets. With prices typically lower than those of brand-new shirts from fast-fashion retailers, shopping second hand allows us to save money without compromising style or quality.

Support sustainable businesses: Buying used t-shirts supports local businesses such as thrift stores or online marketplaces like Depop or Poshmark. Choosing to shop from these small businesses that have second hand t-shirts for sale helps with creating a more sustainable and diverse economy instead of funneling our money into the hands of large fast-fashion corporations. 

Inspired to splurge on some second hand t-shirts to kick-start your own sustainable wardrobe? Here are some tips to keep in mind while shopping for pre-loved clothes. 

5 things to keep in mind when shopping for used t-shirts

The used t-shirt segment in fashion hides a truly valuable gem - vintage t-shirts. True thrift experts are always on the lookout for a vintage t-shirt or one that is inspired by the past. Here are some of the tips and tricks that expert thrifters swear by when hunting among the used t-shirts section for vintage t-shirts. 

Know your styles - It is critical to research to understand the various styles and the era they belong to. From the psychedelic to the vibrant graphic print, there are plenty to choose from. Familiarizing yourself with the different styles will help you distinguish the fake ones. 

The secret behind the seams - Any t-shirt before 1999 will only have a single line of stitching in the seams, sleeves and hemlines. The double-stitched seam that we are familiar with came only much later. 

Pay close attention to the flaws - Vintage t-shirts are known for their faded designs, cracked silkscreen print, stains and holes. However, pay special attention to ensure that there is no excessive damage or flaws.

Sizing difference - Sizes of t-shirts vary between brands and so is the case when it comes to vintage t-shirts. The sizing is likely to vary significantly from the current standard.  

Most of these also apply when you are thrifting for second hand t-shirts. Remember it is all about having a keen eye for details. 


The practice of buying pre-loved clothes does not just save money and support local economies, but it also plays an essential role in creating a greener tomorrow. The cyclical journey of used t-shirts may seem like a small step, but it can have a significant impact on sustainability. Wearing vintage or unique used t-shirts adds character and individuality to one's wardrobe while also reducing the carbon footprint of the fashion industry.

Each item has its own story and history, making it a more meaningful and personal choice compared to mass-produced clothing. So, the next time you need to update your wardrobe, consider browsing through your local thrift store or online marketplace for some unique and eco-friendly options.

The impact of used t-shirts, or second hand t-shirts on the fashion industry is significant. The pollution, waste, and labor exploitation that are inherent in the production process of fast fashion cannot be ignored, and it is up to us to demand change through our purchasing power. Understanding the impact of this, companies like Raw Revel have launched initiatives like BORO (Buy One, Return One). Consumers can return their old clothes for credits. These returned pre-loved goods are then divided based on their wear and sent to thrift stores, donated as part of charity or recycled. More brands, including H&M and most recently Levi’s, are stepping up their game and building a circular economy through their initiatives. 

So next time you think about buying a new t-shirt, consider the hidden costs and opt for a used one instead!