Who doesn’t love to change things up every once in a while, and ensure their wardrobe’s on point for the season? Access to an array of fashion offerings and enticing deals add to the appeal. But how often do we consider the impact our wardrobe choices have on the environment? While changing a look to keep things fresh might be tempting, consider this: the average number of times a garment is worn before being thrown out has decreased by nearly 40 percent over the last 15 years. And each year, the average North American discards about 81 pounds of clothing, which equates to around 12 million tons of textiles going to landfills yearly.
Considering that 95 percent of what’s disposed of can be reused or repurposed, shoppers are turning to thrift as a way to both extend the lifecycle of textile items and reduce their environmental footprint.
Shopping at second-hand stores has been a long-time driver of the reuse revolution. Although many associate thrifting with being cost-conscious, it’s also an eco-conscious option that can have a big impact in reducing textile waste. Consignment stores, resellers, and thrift shops all offer consumers a way to reuse and extend a product’s lifecycle.
Value Village, the leading Canadian thrift retailer, diverts more than 700 million pounds of goods from landfills each year. For years Value Village has led the charge in educating consumers about the environmental impact of throwing away reusable goods and the role of reuse in reducing this impact. That’s why it has become the destination for discerning shoppers who care about style, value, and the planet.
One of those shoppers is Sarah Nicole Landry, a Guelph-based mother, speaker, and voice behind The Birds Papaya blog. Landry started thrifting to save money as a young stay-at-home mom in a single-income family. She continues to shop at thrift stores today not just for the creative edge and value but for the sustainability advantage. “This became more important to me as I learned how clothes are produced and the impact they have on our environment,” she says.
We consume more than 80 billion pieces of new clothing every year, a lot of which ends up in landfills when disposed of for new trends. Shopping thrift is a creative and cost-effective way to define your own style while reducing your environmental footprint.
“Thrifting is one of the most environmentally and financially responsible ways to shop, but even more so, it’s accessible, with stores like Value Village full of pieces that suit both your unique sense of style and budget,” says Landry.