PODCAST: Has thrifting become a version of fast fashion?

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Is thrifting becoming another form of fast fashion?

According to the Environment Protection Agency, Americans produce 16 million tons of textile waste a year. In 2019, the agency also found that 85 percent of textiles discarded in the country wound up in landfills or burned.

Not all of the clothes they dispose of are raggedy or stained, though. Some are perfectly fine. That's what makes the toll clothes are taking on the environment so tragic. It’s part of the reason many eco-conscious shoppers prefer thrifting.

HORNELL, NY - APRIL 12: A woman shops in a thrift store on April 12, 2019 in Hornell, New York. Due to an aging population, falling birthrates and slowing immigration, America is growing more slowly than at any time since the Great Depression. 2018 saw the slowest rate of growth in America in more than 80 years. While major cities and economic centers, especially in the Sun Belt, continue to see rapid growth, many states and regions are losing people at alarming rates. According to recent data released by the U.S. Census, New York was one of nine states that saw a population decline between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018, losing 48,510 residents. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
HORNELL, NY - APRIL 12: A woman shops in a thrift store on April 12, 2019 in Hornell, New York. Due to an aging population, falling birthrates and slowing immigration, America is growing more slowly than at any time since the Great Depression. 2018 saw the slowest rate of growth in America in more than 80 years. While major cities and economic centers, especially in the Sun Belt, continue to see rapid growth, many states and regions are losing people at alarming rates. According to recent data released by the U.S. Census, New York was one of nine states that saw a population decline between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018, losing 48,510 residents. Photo credit (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Thrifting isn't a perfect solution though. It normalizes consumers buying more of clothes. While thrifting lengthens the life-span of clothes, it still contributes to the country's problem with excess.

On this week's episode of 1010 WINS In Depth, we explore if shopping secondhand lost its environmental focus? Looking at affluent shoppers and influencers who crowd thrift shops, we also examine why they might be causing more harm to the local communities who actually need clothes.

This week, we’re tackling these questions with thrifting expert Patrice Williams. We also hear from Jennifer Le Zotte, who researches the history of material and culture at University of Carolina Wilmington and Dr. Cindy Isenhour, an assistant professor of anthropology and climate change at the University of Maine. We also head to the Goodwill store in Union Square to hear from real thrifters.