You may not be great at recycling … but you’re trying.
You may not have the chops to become a vegan… pun totally intended.
You may not come close to a crunchy-granola-Earth-mama… at least not on the outside.
However, one small alteration in how you shop can have some MAJOR benefits to our environment and our quality of life on this planet.
Throughout this blog, I will list off five major benefits of thrift store shopping that you need to know. I was actually surprised by a few of these fun facts. I always knew that buying the second-hand brand was good for the environment, but I wanted to educate myself with actual statistics on how good thrifting really is.
Here are my compiled “Five Major Benefits of Thrift Store Shopping You Need to Know” and also links to the original articles I researched for these facts. I suggest reading the original articles as well, because I think you will find this research just as interesting as I do.
Creating clothing is incredibly resource intensive. From growing cotton and manufacturing clothing, to shipping clothing to stores, we consume numerous resources along the way. One example of this would be water usage. It takes 10,000 liters of water to make one pair of jeans. One. Pair. Of. Jeans. When you buy clothing second hand you use only 2.6 percent the amount of resources that buying something brand new would use. To visit the original source for this information and read the entire article please click here.
Not all clothing items we donate are sold at thrift stores. Let’s be honest here, we all know some of the clothes we donate should never be worn again, but we think, “What the hell! Some one might reuse it anyways!” Turns out… they do! While only 20% of donated clothing is resold, the remainder can be sold to textile recycling factories and will end up as cleaning rags, upholstery stuffing, or even as ingredients in paper products. To visit the original source for this information please click here.
According to an extensive study done in 2010 called “Environmental Benefits of Reusing Clothing”, clothing reuse significantly reduces toxic waste. The study showed that just reusing cotton tee-shirts can cause a 14% decrease in global warming. The reuse of polyester/cotton blend trousers offers a 45% reduction in human toxicity. To read more details on this extensive study click here.
The average American throws away about 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per year, 99% of which could have been recycled. It’s not a major life-style change to just drop off unused clothing to Goodwill or The Salvation Army. I also don’t think it is a major life-style change to browse thrift stores for clothing items. It’s just a matter of pulling in to a different parking lot. Choose thrift for items that are more single-serving than ever-lasting. What do I mean by single-serving? Items such as costumes, seasonal decorations, or even children’s coats are better off found at thrift stores or consignment shops.
Most textile recycling firms are small, family-owned businesses, with fewer than 500 employees. The industry employs approximately 10,000 semi-skilled workers at the primary processing level, and creates an additional 7,000 jobs at the final processing stage. Primary and secondary processors account for annual gross sales of $400 million and $300 million respectively.These figures would greatly increase if we recycled more of our clothing. The potential for creating jobs in America is huge.
Also, most places we donate our used clothing to are charities, we know this. Places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army not only resell clothing, but they donate clothes and money to the homeless or less fortunate. To read the original article click here.
These facts are very basic, but I find them astounding when paired with the sad fact that less than half of Americans shop at thrift stores. Please leave comments below with more interesting facts about the benefits of thrifting. I’m sure we all will be very interested in them!
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