Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences

Degree Level



Apparel Merchandising and Product Development


Cheramie, Lance

Committee Member/Reader

Apple, Laurie

Committee Member/Second Reader

Balasubramanian, Mahendran


The fashion and apparel industry has become synonymously associated with wastefulness and pollution due to the high levels of production, consumption and disposal of the billions of garments produced globally each year. Throughout the industry, brands have continued to set sustainability goals for both efforts to reduce their environmental impacts as well as appeal to the ‘green’ consumer. The power that a consumer holds can be leveraged for driving sustainability related initiatives through an apparel market that is virtually available everywhere. Since the 1990s, the secondhand market has developed from simply an economically friendly place to purchase necessities, to its current state of annual growth where luxury resale and fashion motivations lead the charge (Ferraro, Sands & Brace-Govan, 2016). One way for consumers to participate in a collaborative approach to solving sustainability issues and diverting discarded apparel products from the waste stream is to shop secondhand. In addition, the secondhand market may serve as a source of ‘raw’ materials in the circular economic model. This study identified 25 locations in the Northwest Arkansas region as market centers for secondhand shopping opportunities, then categorized based on their key characteristics of price, accessibility and merchandise acquisition. The creative portion of this research also explored the potential for upcycling post-consumer products acquired through the secondhand market to serve as a viable way for an individual to participate more sustainably in fashion apparel. A garment acquired from the secondhand market was upcycled and given new life to inspire others to recognize the merit of upcycling and secondhand as integral to the circular economic model and the future of sustainability in fashion.


sustainability, upcycling, closed-loop, thrift, secondhand, local