Why Shopping Second Hand is One of the Best Things You Can Do For the Planet


Katie Webber, Staff Writer

You always hear people saying “save the earth” or “do your part”. Saving the earth is a big task to just casually ask someone to do. But there is an easy and fun way that you can reduce your carbon footprint while increasing your closet value. Thrifting! The opening of thrift stores, such as goodwill, can date all the way back to The Great Depression. Although people have been reusing and repurposing clothes since clothes were invented, thrift stores put a whole new purpose to the art that is recycling clothes. 

But how exactly does thrift store shopping potentially save the earth? Well, one should know that our oceans are heavily polluted and affecting so many ocean species and causing so much irreversible harm to the ocean. According to thriftworld.com studies show that the average american throws away around 81 pounds of clothing each year. Which adds up to approximately 26 billion pounds of clothes that end up in landfills and possibly our oceans. Thrifting can cut that number down to even half, which adds up to a lot of reduced trash when you think about it. When you thrift, or at least donate your clothes to a thrift store, you are giving someone the opportunity to repurpose your favorite jeans that you grew out of, or that dress your grandma got you that you said you loved but in reality will never wear. If you look at the tag on the clothes you are wearing, most likely you will see some percentage of polyester on there. Polyester is one of the many fabrics that does not decompose in the ocean. So if you throw out that shirt you don’t wear anymore, it could eventually end up damaging a whole underwater ecosystem. These worries could be avoided if you donate your clothes and shop thrift!

Along with saving the ocean, thrifting also saves the environment from copious amounts of pollution and water use. In the fashion industry, they are high on the list for consuming the most water. The water supply is so important for drinking purposes. According to thriftworld.com it takes 650 gallons of water to make just a regular old cotton shirt, and almost double that to make a pair of jeans. That’s almost 10,500 bottles of water! By thrifting you also contribute to the reduction of air pollution. The fashion industry contributes to 10% of all the earth’s carbon emissions. So, by going to your local thrift store you can do your part in minimizing the global air pollution problem.