Celebrate Waste Reduction Week by Shifting to Thrifting

Fork lift driver in warehouse full of boxes
by SalvationArmy.ca
Categories: Articles, Blog, Feature, Mobile, Newswire

How many items of clothing or household items did you purchase this year? How long will you use these items before they find their way to your garage or basement, or worse yet, garbage?

Unfortunately, for most people, the answer is not very long. As “fast fashion” permeates our consumer culture, the average person is buying more clothing and keeping it for a lesser period of time, and the cost is shocking:

  • It takes 2,700 litres of water to make one cotton shirt, the same amount that would meet the average person’s drinking water needs for two-and-a-half years.   
  • To make one pair of jeans, the equivalent of driving a car more than 129 kilometres is produced in greenhouse gases.
  • After ending up in local landfills, discarded clothing made of non-biodegradable fabrics can last up to 200 years.

Shift to thrift!

In fiscal year 2019 – 2020, The Salvation Army Thrift Store diverted more than 86 million pounds of used clothing and household items from local landfills. In fact, of all textiles donated, we estimate less than 1% finds their way to a local landfill. The remaining 99% are sold in our Thrift Store or recycled with ethical recycling suppliers who turn damaged or worn textiles into usable items such as carpet padding and upholstery stuffing.

As National Director of Business Development and Sustainability Tonny Colyn explains, the concept of environmental sustainability is woven throughout the entire lifecycle of a donation.

“Not everybody equates donating clothing and household items as an environmental initiative, but it certainly is,” says Colyn. “Donating is itself an act of recycling by diverting goods from landfill and ensuring that these items are given another chance at life. So too is shopping second-hand, as you are reducing the strain caused by the production of new goods.”

A new chapter of reuse and recycling begins every time you shop and donate at The Salvation Army Thrift Store. Together, with our millions of guests and donors across the country, we are building stronger, greener communities. Happy Waste Reduction Week!

By May Strutt

For more information on Salvation Army thrift stores visit thriftstore.ca