Why #NationalThriftShopDay Is Important For Our Planet And Society
Updated: Jun 19
On August 17th, we celebrate National Thrift Shop Day in support of local thrift stores and further awareness towards donation centers. We live in an extremely wasteful society, with BBC.com noting that the average American will throw away 37kg of clothes yearly. For our American readers, that converts to almost 82 pounds of textiles!
With the amount of waste we produce from clothing, it’s volatile to encourage yourself and others to shop secondhand. Fast fashion is an industry that is plagued with unfair wages and illegal child labor operations.
Not only is it important to stop shopping fast fashion from an ethical standpoint, but it’s also a sustainability practice to protect our Earth.
When you thrift, you give an item a second life. Which in turn, reduces the need for fast fashion brands to produce new clothing. The production of cotton alone wastes extreme amounts of water and omits carbon into the environment.
With the current water crisis that we’re experiencing across the country, it’s never been more important to save essential resources, like water.
Jeans, for example, are probably a staple in every person’s closet. But did you know it takes 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton for just one pair? A t-shirt can require up to 400 gallons of water as well, making it even more important to try and thrift these items instead.
At Pedacitos Travel Community, we have always promoted the protection of our planet and the water, ground, and air that inhabits it. It’s also very fitting that August is National Water Quality Month too, emphasizing the need for clean and useable water that isn’t polluted from unethical sources.
Halting, or at least slowing down, clothing production can give us a healthier planet and a cleaner, more accessible water supply.
Not only are we saving the environment when we choose to thrift, but we’re also helping our communities from a social and economic standpoint. Shopping locally promotes the growth of small businesses.
While there are large thrift companies like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Savers, to name a few, that are doing their part- there are also independent thrift stores that need our support.
One of my favorite thrift stores is called 10 ft Single by Stella Dallas in Brooklyn, New York. I’m guaranteed to find an amazing vintage piece when I go there, and I don’t mind paying a little more than I would at Forever21 or H&M for a pair of pants, because I know these items were donated.
We often look for quick deals as consumers because we think it’s efficient but feeding our money into large and unethical corporations is not helpful towards the local shops that are trying to keep our cities flourishing.
If you’re a thrifting newbie, there’s no reason to be intimidated, even though thrift shops tend to have lots of merchandise. My best piece of advice is to take a “grocery list” approach and write down what things you’re looking for prior to arriving.
Then, you can go to the individual sections that might have the clothing you want. But don’t limit yourself to just these sections- you can find a hidden gem anywhere!
When you’ve planned your next thrifting excursion, keep in mind that while it is exciting to find some bargains - which most thrift stores entail - also remember to be mindful of the community that you’re shopping in.
Many large thrift stores and donation centers, like Goodwill, are in less affluent areas because this clothing is the maximum of what the area can afford. It would be counterproductive to our society to go on a clothing binge just for the “sale rush”.
If shopping in person isn’t your thing nowadays, you can also thrift online with apps like Poshmark and Depop. Some people even sell their clothes secondhand on their social media sites. There are so many ways to avoid fast fashion to protect our communities and planet.
On #NationalThriftShopDay, we encourage all our readers to find joy in shopping sustainably. You never know what you might find when you shop secondhand or vintage! Some of the most cherished pieces in my closet are from thrift stores. Happy thrifting, friends!
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