Go Green with Thrift Shopping
We are surrounded by celebrations of our environment: between June 3 and 11, Lancaster Water Week offers activities ranging from interactive experiments at the Science Factory to river clean ups, and June 5 marked World Environment Day, a time for individuals, companies, and politicians to commit to doing more for the environment and our climate. But you don’t need a special day or week to do your part in supporting our natural wonders and reducing your environmental footprint.
Anytime you’re in need of clothes, homewares, kitchen tools, and more, thrift shopping is a great way to get lots of bang for your buck while making the environment a safer place for everyone. Thrifting is good for the environment because it lengthens the life of what would otherwise become waste and reduces demand for fast fashion and/or poorly made products from clothing to furniture.
Thrifting has always been a good idea but has become so popular in recent years as a reaction to the boom of fast fashion, which is defined as an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers. This means our clothing is produced faster for less money leading not only to the exploitation of our environment but also to more exploitation of workers across the world. What results are low quality products that deteriorate in style and wearability quickly meaning we keep buying more and more.
In a study by the Environmental Protection Agency, the organization found that 17 million tons of textiles were produced in 2018. The same year, 11.3 million tons of textiles were sent to the landfill. Thrifting instead of buying new is one of the best ways to stop this toxic cycle.
Want to know just how much good your thrift purchase can do? A study by Green Story commissioned by online thrift retailer ThredUp found that a thrifted dress saved up to 21.4 pound of carbon dioxide emissions. That can equal cleaner air and less dramatic climate change. Do your part for the environment by shopping at thrift stores like ReUzit on State.
Madeleine Janz is a Lancaster-raised, NYC-based journalist on the entertainment and fashion beats. In her free time, she is an avid thrifter.