Shopping for used clothes is a trend that is being discussed by the public, especially young people. Buying used clothes is a term that is often discussed, namely thrift shopping. However, the thrift shopping effect poses a threat to both the general public and the textile industry. Executive Director of the Indonesian Association of Textile Experts (IKATSI) Riza Muhidin said that this phenomenon emerged from public awareness to reduce waste of used clothes. However, this is a misunderstanding because used clothes circulating in the market are not necessarily hygienic.
“These traders buy clothes in bales with different clothes. They purposely import used clothes and sell them at low prices. We don't know where the used clothes came from, it could be from landfills. Of course, these used clothes can transmit diseases," said Riza in a written statement in Jakarta, Wednesday (8/6/2022).
He also explained that the thrift shopping phenomenon is not meant to preserve the environment due to textile waste. Instead, wearing used imported clothes will kill the domestic industry.
“You can imagine if this phenomenon continues how many used clothes will come to Indonesia. We might become a dumping ground for used clothes from all over the world. Finally, the domestic market was full of used clothing and the domestic industry was unable to grow. Manpower cannot be absorbed optimally," said Riza.
At the same time, Industry and Trade Analyst Farhan Aqil Syauqi added that the use of recycled fiber is a solution to reduce the use of used clothes. In addition, consumers also take part in preserving the environment.
“Consumers can choose clothes with recycled polyester raw materials. There are already domestic industries that produce this recycled polyester. This recycled polyester comes from used plastic bottles which will later be used as chips and spun into yarn to make cloth fit for use," said Aqil.
He also said that the importance of education related to environmental sustainability in choosing suitable clothes needed to be voiced. The government needs to be firm in following up on the phenomenon of the use of imported used clothes.
“There is a thrift shopping trend due to a lack of education regarding the selection of appropriate clothes to wear. People are certainly very happy with branded goods at low prices. Hopefully, the government can intervene in dealing with this phenomenon," he concluded.