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Traveling Pants: What does it mean to shop secondhand?

By Hannah Yun

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Ever heard of it? I never watched the movie, but they were right about one thing: your pants travel. The greatest thing about second hand shopping (most commonly in the form of thrifting) is coming across a beautiful pair of vintage pants, for example Levi’s jeans. 

You, as a consumer, probably don’t know where the jeans came from but they might’ve once belonged to the sister, of the wife, of the father, who’s daughter’s best friend donated to your local Goodwill. That’s a stretch I know, but in any case it’s still vintage and it still has the same authenticity with a worn-out and comfortable feel. 

Here's a little fact: to make a single pair of Levi’s jeans it takes 3,781 liters of water, with the majority being used in fiber and fabric production (you could find a much more in detail statistics report through this link). If we say on average that 30 pairs of jeans are sold in a week, that means 1,560 jeans would have been sold in a year and an astonishing 5.8 million liters of water used just on these jeans. We know in reality, that the number is much higher, and therefore much more water is being used. 

With that being said, it’s understandable that everyone needs a good pair of jeans and it may not be the best fit if thrifted. But, next time you think about throwing away your old pair of jeans and buying a new pair, donate them and maybe they’ll become someone else’s very own favorite pair of traveling pants. 

Hannah Yun is a junior at USC majoring in Business Administration. She is devoted to learning more about how fashion and sustainability could be better intertwined, while implementing these practices in her own life and sharing with those around her. 

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