It’s no surprise that the fashion industry has a waste problem, thanks in part to its quick, trend-driven pace of production. Project Runway, the reality fashion show that catapulted Siriano to fame in 2008 did, after all, run off the catchphrase: “One day you’re in. The next day you’re out.”
This mentality has fueled the industry to grow at an unsustainable clip, and clothing production is now responsible for an estimated 10% of global carbon emissions. Repurposing old items is one way to keep what’s already been created in use and drive down the need for new clothes.
Siriano’s very public secondhand showcase lends to a larger movement to rethink the fashion industry. This month, dozens of fashion experts and retailers (thredUP included) are calling on President Biden to appoint a fashion czar to help regulate the industry’s emissions, labor practices, and waste management strategies. Meanwhile, events like ReFashion Week NYC and Sustainable Fashion Week U.S. are providing a platform for eco-friendly and secondhand designers to showcase their work and share ideas.
Maybe we’re not too far off from a future where what’s out one day is very much in the next.