For most of us, shopping at thrift stores is an easy way to save money, but the role of thrift stores goes way beyond our wallets.
By choosing to shop at thrift stores over conventional shopping outlets, you’re doing the environment—and other people—a service; one that many aren’t aware of.
Here’s why thrifting is so much more important than you realize:
By supporting thrift shops, you’re helping low income households that can’t afford to shop elsewhere. Many thrift stores are run by charities that use the profits they make from thrift shops to provide healthcare facilities like HIV tests and food drives.
Any clothes that don’t sell in thrift stores are sold to second-hand clothing traders who export them to other countries that need such items.
Many consumers don’t realize how big of a problem textile waste is becoming around the world.
Some African countries are refusing to take used-clothes donations because they have an excess.
Clothing that isn’t bought by end-consumers is left to rot in landfills, where it can take more than a century to fully decompose!
The US alone dumps around 15 million tons of textile waste year after year.
Shopping at thrift stores can increase the lifespan of clothes by another 9 months, at least. As a result, textile waste is reduced substantially.
When Macklemore first wrote Thrift Shop, he probably had no idea how thrift stores benefit the environment!
The fast-fashion industry has been called out repeatedly for the many ways it’s harming the planet. From releasing more carbon emissions than the international airline and shipping industries combined to contaminating rivers in third-world countries with toxic waste, the fast fashion industry does it all—and we’re not proud of them!
The industry is currently the second biggest polluter on the planet after oil.
Thrift shopping reduces the demand for new items, so the fashion industry doesn’t have to produce as many units. If we all opted for thrift shopping instead of purchasing new clothes, we could bring down demand substantially and make a positive difference to the environment.
Whitehouse & Schapiro has been doing its part to protect the environment for many years now. As second-hand clothing traders, we extend the lifecycle of donated used clothes and shoes by purchasing thrift store excess in Baltimore and selling it to our partners abroad. Our collective efforts prevent 2.5 million tons of textile waste from clogging landfills.
Note: Whitehouse & Schapiro collects excess inventory from thrift locations and credential clothing via Clean Out Your Closets for a Cause™ (COYC™). COYC™ is a successful credential collection program that enables non-profit organizations to engage churches, businesses, schools, municipalities, donors, and volunteers in their fundraising efforts.
Contact us and join us in our cause!