While its meaning has evolved over time, the term “consignment” generally refers to the passing of ownership and care from one individual to another. Originating from the French word ‘consigner’, consignment stores were established in the 1950s to appease demands of the higher class for vintage couture clothing. The snobby cousin of thrift stores, consignment stores were brought to existence with the purpose of catering to those who sought to obtain luxury garments at discounted prices. It also allowed consignors (those who sell their used items to the store) an opportunity to fill up their wallets with some extra cash through providing them with a commission on sales. Over the years, as sustainable living became more widespread, shopping second-hand has gradually become a trendy and righteous way of updating one’s wardrobe.
When sustainability meets consumerism
Consumerism has permeated the American culture, with luxury goods and brand names being the main proponent of such an outcome. Yet, with climate change on the rise and sustainable development being on the forefront of every nation’s agenda, such a culture cannot be perpetuated in the long-run. This is where shopping second-hand comes in handy (pun-intended). The fashion resale market stands to be a fantastic and viable alternative to fast-fashion and mass clothing production. Through allowing shoppers to purchase brand names and unique pieces without putting pressure on the planet, consignment stores will offer environmentally conscious fashion-mongers a peace of mind. Not only that, it also provides the young generation and those shopping on a budget an affordable and accessible opportunity to immersify themselves in fashion, allowing them to diversify and express their personal style.
References and citations