It doesn’t matter what you call it…
You can call it thrifting, scrimping, preloved, penny-pinching, or frugality. You can get the items from your sister, your mother, your friend, or at a clothing swap. In the end, what it all comes down to is that now, this ‘new’ preloved item is yours to keep. And, the best part of it all, you help diverge another piece of textile out from our landfill.
Ya, so what’s the big deal anyway?
What’s the big deal? Well, I’m sure happy to fill you in on the deets.
Did you know that in North America alone, we throw away roughly 9.5 million tonnes of textile waste into our landfills yearly??! I will repeat… 9.5 million tonnes of textile waste ends up in our landfills every year. That figure alone is absolutely mind-blowing. Why are we filling our landfills with clothes, clothes, and more clothes? Why are we not keeping our items longer? Why do we feel like we have to spend more money to keep up with the trends?
There should be no surprise when we look at fast fashion. Fast fashion has come into the spotlight within the past few years for their frequent marketing to consumers that more is better. The next time you’re out and about and happen to pass one of these fast fashion stores (too many to name), really look at their marketing.
Let’s look at some examples below:
- You just NEED those sunglasses you saw in your favourite fashion magazine because they’re so hot right now. Not only will you look exceptionally stylish, but it’s the new trend that’s circulating on social media right now.
- You obviously need some retail therapy today, after the hectic work week you’ve had. You’re feeling a bit emotional and down and happen to pass a storefront poster of friends laughing, smiling, and looking so cool in their new outfits. You are drawn to the cute floral dress you see in the poster and say, “I’m going to buy that! I love it and I deserve it!”
- You need to find a gift for your friend’s wedding. You look around and find the perfect gift but while your shopping for someone else, you fall into the retail associate’s trap of “This would be perfect for you too!”
Okay, okay. These examples may be a bit lame but you get my drift. It’s just that easy my friends. Marketing is everywhere to pull us in and make us feel like we need to be one step ahead.
I’m not here to bash marketing in any way. Marketing is a good thing! Everyone needs a bit of marketing whether it’s for business or personal gains. What I’m attempting to do here is illustrate to how we become accustomed to buying things. So much of this happens all day, every day, leading to the millions of tonnes of textile waste we are dealing with in our landfills.
So here are some other things you ought to know about shopping for preloved items:
Preloved items are not “gross”
There are a lot of people who are skittish when it comes to preloved clothes. They think that preloved items have so many germs & bacteria that they could never put them on their body.
Well, my dear readers. Do you want to know what’s grosser?
- Public transit
- Public washroom hand dryers
- Grocery store carts
- Gym equipment
- Your keys
- Your shoes
- Borrowing someone’s pen
If you caught on to the trend of these items, you would notice that some of these can’t be washed or thoroughly sanitized, hence, germier than a thrifted blouse. If you have a clothes steamer, grab it and steam, steam away! High heat kills many germs, spores, and bacteria. It’s a quick and easy solution for many preloved items if you’re worried about this at all.
Preloved items are cost effective
“I’m gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket…”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis got it right! Twenty dollars can take you a long way in a thrift store. Hey, you can barely even go to the movie theaters on twenty dollars alone nowadays!
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, cost-effective simply means something is producing a good outcome without any massive expenditure.
Think of it this way…you as a consumer are producing a good result (buying thrift/preloved items) without the effect costing the environment a lot of resources (money to fix the textile waste problem).
Preloved items are unique
There is no other place you will find exquisite and unique items. Preloved items are treasures waiting to get into your little hands. I’m telling you, the thrill of the hunt is real, Y’all! If you’ve never scored an amazing piece that was preloved before, you are so missing out. I will warn you in advance though: once you find something that is worth a lot, extremely rare, or is a collectible, you’ll never want to go back to the big box stores.
Preloved items are accessible to all
This point is absolutely my favourite. Preloved items ARE accessible to all. They do not discriminate against your socio-economic status, gender, race, or religious views. Everyone and anyone can shop preloved freely and happily.
In our world today, we have so much to worry and stress about. Deciding how we can afford clothes for our children or our grandparents, for example, shouldn’t be one of them. You know what preloved goods want? They simply just want to bring joy and satisfaction to their new owner’s life.
Now, how could we not want to shop preloved?
I hope I’ve highlighted some really important points about what everyone should know about shopping for preloved items. This is an area I am very passionate about and my purpose is to bring you a little bit of awareness and a lot of encouragement to branch out and do something different.
So go on wit’ cho bad self. Save some money and save our planet.
I know you’ll do the right thing 🙂
Christina // Chris*Style Album
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