Benefits to thrifting

By Stephanie Reed

Posted on September 6, 2021

On top of the cost of rent or mortgage payments, buying groceries, and transportation, there is still the task of furnishing your home, buying clothes for work or your growing children—leading your cost of living to add up quickly. Thankfully, thrift stores have grown substantially in popularity and are an alternative way to shop that not only saves you in cost, but also decreases the ecological footprint made by the fashion industry.

Environmental benefits

signs to save the Earth

Thrifting clothing, furniture, or toys reduces the amount of waste disposed into landfills, on top of reducing the energy and mechanical production required to make brand-new products. For example, we can eliminate the cotton required to make a new shirt or a pair of jeans if more people were to thrift amongst pre-existing clothing. The amount of clothing placed in landfills globally has doubled over the last 15 years. Buying a used item reduces one’s carbon, waste, and water footprint by 82 per cent.

In addition, the hassle of children constantly growing out of their clothing is a struggle for parents when trying to reduce one’s ecological footprint in the fashion industry. A global data survey in 2019 found one in two people throw away brand new clothing instead of donating it to thrift stores, charities, or passing it down to younger family members. As kids go through major growth spurts, in the long run, turning to thrifting can be more efficient financially and ecologically.

Economic benefits

man carrying furniture

Designer clothing, vintage furniture, and unique artwork can all be found in thrift stores for a fraction of the price. While making an environmentally conscious contribution by thrift shopping, your wallet will also appreciate the discounted prices.

Additionally, thrift stores are a great place to find materials for art and do-it-yourself projects without spending a fortune.

What can you find at a thrift store?

Thrift stores carry a wide variety of items including small kitchen appliances, plates, glasses, electronics, books, movies, baby products, toys, home furniture and decor, clothing, outerwear (boots, jackets, skates), purses, jewellery, and more.

How to find thrift shops?

thrift store

Searching for the nearest thrift store online is easy these days by looking for stores categorized as “thrift,” “consignment,” or “upcycling.” Additionally, THREDUP is an online thrift and consignment store where people can donate items to be recirculated in society or purchase new items for themselves. This resource works to educate, elevate, and influence consumers about the need for a more sustainable fashion industry.

If you have items to donate yourself, that are in good quality and deserve a new home, consider donating to Salvation Army as it is a non-profit organization. This means the items are sent directly to those in need around the community. Other options such as GoodWill, Value Village, or Talize will also accept donations, the difference being the items will be sold for a profit.

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