We all know by now how my love for thrift shopping runs deep- I love the thrill of the hunt- finding something unique and of course often saving money. Of course I don't just hit the thrift stores for myself- since the get go I have shopped consignment and thrift for our Littles. The nice thing about living in a larger centre like Vancouver is the quality of items- especially kids clothes- that can be found at thrift stores.
Yesterday I had the good fortune to hit Main Street- here in Vancouver- one of our cities go to areas for vintage and thrift stores and did I ever hit the jack pot! Of course with all thrift stores the stock is really hit and miss- it's only through perseverance and continued visits that the really good scores are found- yesterday was such a day. A visit to the BC Women and Children's Hospital Auxiliary yielded several items for Miss Lo's warm weather wardrobe. A Joe Fresh top came in at $3.00 and is pretty much brand new. The cute little dusty rose chinos are from the Gap and were $4.00- also very gently used I am more than happy we have these light weight pants this week in the heat!
In North America individuals discard on average 68 pounds of clothing per year- considering all the resources that go into making a garment-1,800 gallons of water per pair of jeans- it is a shame that clothing is so disposable. Did you know that most fast fashion stores now claim 52 seasons worth of clothing as opposed to what used to be only 4 seasons a mere 20 years ago. Coming up with 52 collections to put out to the consumer produces an endless cycle that just can not be sustained. The majority of our second hand clothing is often shipped to third world countries under the guise of aid- when in fact our used clothing has a negative impact on struggling third world textile economies.
To reduce your own textile footprint consider a few things before you make your next purchase- consider weather or not you actually need the item you are considering. Do you need to bring that item into your life? Will you still be in love with it in two weeks? Four weeks? A year? Will the item of clothing you are considering be in the garbage or the donate bin a year from now? Do you need 2 t-shirts or 10? These are all valid questions to ask as shopping in our society is often entertainment rather than need- when we consider actual needs versus wants it is revealed we do not need much at all.
As I am totally a product of my environment I love clothes- I love shopping and I love really beautiful well made items. What I cannot abide by is the cheap, fast fashion that has infiltrated our lives and become the norm. Aside from doing a large amount of our families sewing- which I realize is not for everyone- there are many ways I have managed to reduce our families textile footprint- thrifting is one of them. When donating your gently used items consider donating to a small thrift store like a church or hospital auxiliary- the clothes are likely to stay with in the community as is any money made.
Folks the bottom line is this- there are tonnes- tonnes of clothes floating around our world- no need to buy brand new items constantly. My suggestion is this- if you don't all ready frequent thrift stores just go poke your head into one- see what it's all about. Maybe start out small- looking for an item for your child. Trust me once you get hooked by the thrifting bug it's difficult to stop!