Turkish younger generation embraces second-hand shopping am…

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People pick clothes at a second-hand goods shop in Ankara, Türkiye, Aug. 11, 2023.  (Mustafa Kaya/Handout via Xinhua)

by Burak Akinci

ANKARA, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) — Second-hand shopping is gaining traction among Türkiye’s younger generations as a way to support sustainability, reduce carbon footprint and waste, and save money amid the country’s soaring inflation.

“Most of our customers come from the younger demographic,” Tayfun Un, a second-hand clothing shop owner in Türkiye’s capital city Ankara’s Kucukesat neighborhood, told Xinhua.

This generation, he noted, is contributing to a wave of repeat purchases and resales, forming a virtuous cycle that promotes environmental sustainability and boosts the circular economy.

“The textile industry and fast shopping is a big concern for the environment. While many products are worn and discarded within a year, second-hand clothing offers an eco-friendly alternative that endures for years,” the shop owner noted.

The fashion industry is responsible for generating between 8-10 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions due to its long supply chains and energy-intensive production, the United Nations said in a recent report.

“When we began 12 years ago, secondhand shopping wasn’t very popular. However, I’ve seen a significant rise in its adoption over time. It’s now viewed as a way to promote sustainability amidst a backdrop of rampant consumption,” he said.

Second-hand shopping is also getting popular due to high inflation in Türkiye, which soared to nearly 50 percent in July.

The Istanbul-based Yoneylem Social Studies Center surveyed 2,100 individuals, revealing that 67 percent of the respondents fear declining living standards and 64 percent are concerned about repaying debts due to rampant inflation. Amid this economic challenge, many are turning to second-hand stores as a way to manage costs.

“Thrift shopping for me is more a necessity than a conscious choice, I like shopping for clothes, but as prices are very expensive, I’ve turned to second-hand goods,” Esra Yanki, a 30-year-old teacher, told Xinhua.

The turnover from the retail sale of second-hand goods in specialized stores in Türkiye more than quadrupled since 2010, according to a recent study by Statista, a German online platform specialized in data gathering.

“A decade ago, buying or selling second-hand clothing was somewhat frowned upon, but now it has become the norm for cash-strapped people or for those who worry about the environment and the climate crisis,” this teacher added.

A woman picks clothes at a second-hand goods shop in Ankara, Türkiye, Aug. 11, 2023.  (Mustafa Kaya/Handout via Xinhua)

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