Thrifting has been evolving into an afternoon activity with friends, dare I say an afternoon “event”. Through this journey, I’ve learned the importance of thrifting and of its positive sustainable outcomes on the environment. By avoiding purchasing cheaper clothes from companies that specialize in overworking their employees, especially companies that are using a significant amount of water and inorganic materials to produce their clothing, I’m helping to make the world a better place. Purchasing pre-owned reaps benefits: you can own something that many people may not already have and you can save a well-loved piece of clothing from an early trip to the landfill.
25 million pounds of clothing end up in landfills each year, and this number is only increasing. This is about 80% of our clothing , which only adds to the levels of carbon emitted from landfills each year. It is very important to keep your carbon footprint low.
To do this I’ve been donating more used clothing to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and Plato’s Closet. I’ve also been more mindful in my shopping and making sure that I am buying only what I need, secondhand pieces, and using a “one-in-one-out” method to ensure that I don’t end up with so many options that I donate again, and fall into the vicious cycle of over-buying once again.
I’ve saved more money than I thought I would by buying secondhand. The vintage feel made me feel like I was wearing something unique. I also felt like I was putting more effort into the search. I wanted to find pieces that I thought would look good on me, but at the same time I thought twice about a piece before I bought it. I would make an afternoon of it. I’d step away from my computer and homework for a few hours and make some new, happy memories with my friends. It also doesn’t hurt that it afforded me another opportunity to snag an iced coffee on the way out.
By donating, I felt like I was giving back to people. Even though my clothing was in good condition, it didn’t fit me anymore. It was at this point that I knew my gently-used clothing could bring joy to someone else.
By playing my part in controlling my carbon footprint in our environment, I felt at ease that even if I were the only person doing so, there was still someone contributing. By involving friends and family in donation, buying sustainably, and purchasing only needed goods, there will be a positive outcome in eliminating waste and controlling what we put into our atmosphere. We breathe it in; we wouldn’t want to put dirty air in our bodies.