Get Thrifty: Shop Smarter

Interested in saving money and contributing to the environment? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Let’s go ahead and get thrifty!

Earlier this the year I attended a workshop on consumerism and its effect on our wallets, resources, and the environment. I realized just how easy it is to be swooned by large retail stores when looking for a new clothing piece, but have you ever considered thrift stores? One of my 2016 resolutions is to go an entire year without buying clothes at large retailers. While this may seem tough at a glance, it’s been a fun process!

The idea came about as I learned about our impact on the environment, especially when 99% of the clothes we throw away on a yearly basis can be recycled and reused.

If you think about it, thrift stores are a win-win sensation. You can find pieces that are unique, relatively cheap and most importantly –By recycling clothes and purchasing second-hand items you are actively contributing towards a more sustainable future.

DID YOU KNOW…?

  • 2,500,000,000 pounds of used clothing ended up in landfills last year alone.
  • The US dollar is made of 80% recycled cotton. You are spending your old jeans!
  • When throwing away clothes, you are essentially throwing away water too.
    • It takes around 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to produce just one pair of regular blue jeans
    • It takes a total of 400 gallons of water to grow the cotton required for an ordinary cotton shirt

PROS OF RECYCLING!

  • The textile recycling industry removes 2.5 billion pounds of post consumer textile product waste from the solid waste stream annually.
  • By recycling clothes you create jobs for small family businesses, provide to charity organizations and reduce your environmental footprint.
  • At many thrift shops, you can sell your clothes for store credit or donate for tax form reductions.

It reduces the amount of pesticides used in growing cotton or to make fabrics from petroleum sources and the water needed to dye fabrics, and cuts down on the pollutants, greenhouse gases and volatile organic compounds released into the water and air from manufacturing processes.

  • Because thrift shopping is cheaper, you are able to purchase more items therefore creating a stylish and unique collection.

The key to reinventing the industry is taking that first step towards change: allowing us to drift away from unsustainable practices by practicing informed consumerism. As consumers we have tremendous power, we challenge you to change the way you think, and start shopping smart!

Sources:

Tree Hugger

Recycling by the numbers

Recycling Facts

Recycled Clothing Facts