5 Reasons Why YOU Should Start Thrifting
As the 'Fast-Fashion' industry continues to grow its empire, more and more clothing is ending up in landfills each year. On average, Americans throw away 70 pounds of clothing each year, which is equivalent to 191 t-shirts per person. Only about 15% of that 70 pounds is recycled or donated. Although the philosophy of overconsumption has not stopped growing, the idea of conscious consumerism is beginning to make its debut. This movement allows consumers to ‘vote’ with their dollar by deciding to buy ethically sourced products, and boycotting unethical companies. With this ideology on the rise, the process of buying second hand clothing, a.k.a thrifting, is beginning to grow in popularity as well. As the fear of the climate crisis increases, we will start to see thrift stores play a big role in the fashion world of our younger generations. Here are 5 reasons why YOU should thrift.
Most thrift stores, or places that offer second hand items, sell their products for a fraction of its original cost. On average, Americans spend $1,000 to $2,000 on clothing each year!! The worst part is that we only wear about 20% of the clothing in our closets. When it comes to shopping, there is nothing more satisfying than finding a quality item for cheap, and thrift stores enable this! Although thrifting takes more time and consideration, as a collective we would save thousands of dollars per year if we donated and shop regularly at thrift stores.
Water is involved in just about every step of the process of producing clothing. “It takes water to grow cotton: it takes up tp 2,700 liters (713 gallons) of water to grow the cotton needed to make one t-shirt; a pair of jeans takes over 8,000 liters of water” (Water Footprint Calculator). High pesticide usage, which is necessary for crops like cotton, end up contaminating the nearby surface water and surrounding ecosystems. When clothing is bought second hand, it decreases the demand of cotton, which decreases the usage of pesticides (which means thrifting also reduces chemical pollution!)
Mass production often comes at the cost of basic human rights for women, children, and impoverished people. Poor working conditions, long hours, and low wages are just some of the workers' rights that tend to be violated in the fast fashion industry. Thrifting is just one way we can help reduce the need for people to produce these goods. Looking for ethically sourced and made items can also ensure that the clothing you wear didn't contribute to the dehumanization of the impoverished working class.
Thrifting in your community and online through small businesses aids boosts community development. Instead of giving your money to multinational corporations, you boost the local economy by creating more jobs and putting your money back into the community. Many thrift stores and donation centers also hire disabled workers, as well as donate to community projects, honorable charities, etc.
Thifting is recycling. 26 BILLION pounds of clothing ends up in landfills every single year! By choosing pre-owned clothing over new pieces, you shrink your carbon footprint. Buying second hand keeps clothing in circulation instead of in piles that speed up the destruction of our planet. This means: Less clothing in landfills, Less pollution, and Less resources used and wasted.