“Hey Macklemore, can we go thrift-shopping?”

With Earth Day fast approaching on April 22, I thought it would be fun to embrace sustainability through fashion. And what better way to do that than to hit up some thrift stores, scour the racks and buy second-hand?

Buying second-hand can not only help you save money while looking great, but it can also help YOU make a big impact on the environment by reducing waste and resources spent on making new clothes.

Check the facts!

1. Over 10 million tonnes of clothing are dumped in the landfill annually by North Americans, 95 per cent of which could have been re-used or recycled.
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2. An average individual throws away 37 kilograms of textiles per year.
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3. Textile treatment and dye account for 17-20 per cent of the total industrial water pollution.
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4. It takes 2650 litres of water to produce one cotton t-shirt.
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5. Over 100 BILLION pieces of clothing are produced yearly which has DOUBLED since 2000.
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That’s right, in only 20 years, the amount of clothing produced in a year has doubled and the negative environmental impacts are only going to increase, unless people change their mindset.

If more people embrace buying second-hand clothing, the demand for new clothing would decrease and, together, we could reduce the amount of waste produced by the clothing industry.

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And thrift shopping isn’t just to stock up on those comfy at-home clothes. With a few staple pieces, you can thrift an outfit for almost any occasion! So, do yourself – and the environment – a favour – buy second-hand.

Still have your doubts? Take a look below at some thrifted outfits to gain some inspiration.

Everyday casual? Check!

I’m a big fan of Vans and my mom happened to score this shirt for me on her last thrift-shopping trip. Generally, a shirt like this would cost upwards of $30, she scored mine for $4.99.

Date night? Check!

This entire outfit, dress, shoes, and bag were all purchased second-hand!

Aside from saving money, thrift shopping also exposes you to brands you may never have bought otherwise. In my case, I scored this amazing dress. Not to mention, my favourite pair of heels, from a brand called K&M!

Zoom Interview? Check!

When I got a new office job a couple of years ago, I had to stock up on some professional attire and didn’t want to spend a fortune. Both my favourite blouse and this blazer were second-hand finds; both pieces costing under $20 together!

Office day? Check!

Now that you nailed the interview, you might have to do what I did and stock up on some office clothes. The only part of this outfit not purchased second-hand are the dress pants. But hello, this blazer and these shoes!? Amazing thrifted finds – if I do say so myself!

P.S. I own three blazers, all H&M branded, all fit me like a glove, all thrifted, and all look brand new!

Patio lunch? Check!

This dress is part of my most recent thrift-shopping haul. It looks brand-new and I only paid $8! The side bag is also a thrifted find. Pair with a jean jacket and your favourite sneakers or sandals and you’re good to go!

Home workout? Check!

Workout gear can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! Last summer, on one of her thrifting expeditions, my mom found this Victoria Secret sports bra and pair of sketchers. Perfect for any workout!

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So, next time you need to buy a new shirt, some office clothes or a dress for your Zoom date, check out a used-clothing store, like Value Village or Talize, when it’s safe to do so. For now, try checking out online sites like Poshmark. Or, even try hosting your own clothing swap.

And don’t stop there; make sure to donate your clothes or you can even sell them to certain second-hand stores, like Plato’s Closet. Plus, if you do donate to Value Village, you will receive a 20 per cent coupon to use on your next purchase! So, donate, help the environment, earn a little cash or save some money on your next second-hand purchase!

If you want to learn more about sustainability, check out how this Humber student is practicing sustainability from home!

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