climate change protest looks

21 Young People Tell Us Why They Wore Second-Hand Clothing to the Climate Strike 2019

“Thrifting is important to me because not only am I passionate about fashion but I’m also helping my community.”

“We strike for you! We strike for us!” thousands of protestors chanted this past Friday, September 20, gathering in cities across the globe in support of the climate strike. Following in the footsteps of 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg who began skipping school on Fridays in August 2018 in protest of climate change (and recently crossed the Atlantic via sailboat), everyone from parents and babies to teachers and students of all ages came together in lower Manhattan, joining the call for climate justice.

With colorful protest signs in tow, some young people painted their faces while others broke out their favorite thrifted threads for the occasion. Why? Vintage and second-hand clothing is becoming more popular recently and for good reason — thrifted clothes don’t just look cool (after all, all things nineties and noughties are back!) it's also because young adults care more about how their shopping habits impact the earth. In fact, according to a 2019 study by thredUP, Millennials and Gen Z are adopting second-hand clothing 2.5 times faster than all other age groups. Considering it takes 2,700 liters of water to make a t-shirt, being a conscious consumer is more important than ever.

Teen Vogue spoke with 21 young people at New York’s climate march about their protest outfits, and why wearing second-hand clothes is meaningful and necessary when it comes to saving our planet.