Thrift Shopping For Environmental Sustainability

    Some people like to refer to Thrift Buying as buying second hand materials.

    Thrift dresses
    Lined Up Thrift Dresses. Image credit; Guardian NG.

    Why should you even thrift shop when you can buy newly made items and be rest assured of no premature aging? This is why.

    What is Thrifting?

    You probably have not heard the term “Thrift buying’’. It is simply the act of buying second hand or pre-owned items. It could be fairly used electronic devices, outfits, kitchen wares, auto-mobiles, etc. These items are usually much more cheaper to buy compared to new items sold in regular retail stores. For instance, a newly acquired house can be furnished on a low budget with items purchased from thrift stores. To thrift lovers, time spent in thrift stores can be exciting yet finding precious pieces could be daunting or sometimes quiet easy when at the right place and the right time. 

    In Nigeria, many people desire to be seen in new fashion pieces, being used would not represent their class or affluence. However, for millions of average Nigerians, thrifting is the standard, the way of life because budgets are usually tight. 

    What are the benefits of thrifting to the environment?

    Reduction of Waste on Landfills: Studies have shown that 60 percent of the clothes made worldwide are made from synthetic materials (e.g. polyester, nylon, acrylic) a.k.a. plastic. This is why, when discarded, they often sit in landfills for hundreds of years, if not forever. Buying second hand clothes means you’ll be keeping plastic out of landfills and positively contributing to the decrease in worldwide textile demand and subsequent waste. 

    Dump Site filled with fabric. Image Credit: Conserve Energy Future

    By choosing to buy second hand clothing instead of brand new, you reduce waste and help the planet. In this way, thrift shopping is the ultimate way to live out the “reduce, reuse, recycle” Chant! stated that among the environmental impacts of fast fashion include the depletion of non-renewable sources, emission of greenhouse gases and the use of massive amounts of water and energy. The fashion industry is the second largest consumer industry of water, requiring about 700 gallons to produce one cotton shirt and 2000 gallons of water to produce a pair of jeans. Business Insider also cautions that textile dyeing is the world’s second-largest polluter of water, since the water leftover from the dyeing process is often dumped into ditches, streams or rivers.

    By switching to second hand shopping, the money you spend won’t go toward supporting an industry that is characterized by water and air pollution. 

    We understand that by simply switching to thrifting isn’t going to completely solve all of the problems within the fashion and textile industry but it is one way we can collectively work to bring to minimal, our own carbon footprints as we make little steps towards a better future for all especially for the children whose planet we are borrowing.




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