7 Reasons to Rethink, Reuse, & Recycle Your Clothing

Value Village - Rethink, Reuse, & Recycle Reasons – Savers Value Village – fashion industry facts – the environmental impact of the fashion industry

As a fashion blogger, I’ve definitely felt the pressure to keep up with new trends and shop every season.

In one season bell sleeve tops swept the department stores and in this season it’s all about the polka dots. In another season it’s all about the basket, woven bags and in this upcoming fall season it’ll be about the clear bags. The beautiful thing about fashion is the styles and cuts are constantly innovating. The ugly thing about fashion is horrible footprint it leaves behind.

But as consumers, fashionistas, bloggers, and every day citizens, we have a choice about the footprint we leave on this planet. One way to mindful of the fashion footprint you’re leaving is to be educated about Value Village’s State of Reuse Report. I personally look forward to reading this report every year because it reminds me of my buying behavior and encourages me to shop second hand more often.

I already love going to Value Village each season because I get to donate my clothes and I also get to buy new ones! Shopping secondhand never goes out of my style. So today I’ll be sharing 7 reasons why you should rethink, reuse, and recycle your clothing. I’ll be sharing what I learned from the State of Reuse Report in hopes of inspiring you to donate and shop secondhand!

Value Village - Rethink, Reuse, & Recycle Reasons – Savers Value Village – fashion industry facts – the environmental impact of the fashion industry

Value Village - Rethink, Reuse, & Recycle Reasons – Savers Value Village – fashion industry facts – the environmental impact of the fashion industry

Rethink, Reuse, & Recycle Reason #1: Did you know it takes 1,900 gallons of water to make a pair of jeans?

It also takes 400 mega joules of energy and produces 71 pounds of carbon dioxide.

The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry next to oil. A huge reason why fashion is costly to the environment is because of the amount of resources it needs to produce textiles. One pair of jeans takes more than double amount of water to make one t-shirt.

If you bought 3 new pairs of jeans this year, that took: 5,700 gallons of water, 1200 mega joules of energy, and it emitted 213 pounds of carbon dioxide.

How many of new pairs of jeans have you bought this year?

Rethink, Reuse, & Recycle Reason #2: Did you know that compared to 15 years ago, the average person buys 60% more items of clothing every year?

The last decade of fast fashion has taught consumers to buy more at lower price points. However 30% of consumers are only keeping their clothes for less than 2 years. And then 76% of consumers will get rid of an item in 5 years or less. This means there’s more energy spent to keep up with this behavior and more waste generated with people letting got their clothes.

Value Village - Rethink, Reuse, & Recycle Reasons – Savers Value Village – fashion industry facts – the environmental impact of the fashion industry

Rethink, Reuse, & Recycle Reason #3: Did you know 53% of people donate because they feel like they’ve accumulated too much stuff?

21% of people have reported that they donate when their closet is too full. I’m definitely one of those people! My closet is always bursting at the seams…

Rethink, Reuse, & Recycle Reason #4: Did you know that 44% of people rarely or have never bought second item things?

Even though there are more people aware about donating their clothes and household items, there are more people out there who aren’t choosing to shop second hand. The State of Reuse Report points out that most people are missing half of the reuse cycle when they choose to donate but NOT consider shopping second hand.

Rethink, Reuse, & Recycle Reason #5: Did you know that the average American throws away around 81 pounds of clothing per year?

Rather than donating the clothes, 1 in 5 North Americans are still throwing them out in the garbage and into the landfills. According to Down 2 Earth Materials, it takes cotton 1-5 months to decompose while nylon/synthetic clothes take anywhere between 30-40 years to decompose. Unfortunately 64% of people think it only takes 2 years for synthetic clothes to decompose.

Value Village - Rethink, Reuse, & Recycle Reasons – Savers Value Village – fashion industry facts – the environmental impact of the fashion industry

Rethink, Reuse, & Recycle Reason #6: Did you know that extending the life of a garment by an additional 9 months reduces the environmental impact by 20%-30%?

By donating your clothes instead of throwing them away, you keep your clothes out landfills. Even if items remain unsold in stores, they are recycled. Savers/Value Village reported that over 650,000,000 pounds were kept out of landfills last year!

Rethink, Reuse, & Recycle Reason #7: Did you know that 77% of people have been surprised by the great second hand items they’ve found?

I’m one of those people! In one shopping trip this spring, I picked up Everlane ($12), Hudson’s ($8), and Joe’s Jeans ($8)! This colorful vintage dress featured in this blog post is a Value Village find! I’ve also had a girlfriend/blogger friends find a real Gucci bag at Value Village!

Rethinking, reusing, and recycling have incredible impacts on both the environment and our personal wallets. I hope learning these facts today has inspired you to rethink your purchase behavior as a consumer – and maybe even inspired you to shop second hand your next shopping trip!

Value Village - Rethink, Reuse, & Recycle Reasons – Savers Value Village – fashion industry facts – the environmental impact of the fashion industry Value Village - Rethink, Reuse, & Recycle Reasons – Savers Value Village – fashion industry facts – the environmental impact of the fashion industry

This blog post was made in collaboration with Value Village and all my opinions are my own. All the facts stated here today (unless noted otherwise) are from the 2018 State of Reuse Report.

Thank you for reading!

Love,

Emma

4 Comments

  1. June 24, 2018 / 4:18 am

    These are great tips and as much as I love fashion I am on the fence about buying all the time. A lot of the times I know I am attracted to a piece of clothing because it is cute but reality is I have no where to wear it or it doesn’t fit my lifestyle. While I don’t buy into sustainable items because of price, I do believe in buying quality items that can last for awhile. So therefore, I totally agree about buying second hand or consignment for those other luxury items. I hope your weekend is going well so far!

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

  2. June 28, 2018 / 11:03 am

    Thank you for spreading this information! This is so important! I know so many friends and family who constantly get new clothes without a second thought about what happens to their used clothes. There are also some stores (like H&M) that accept bags of used clothes for a discount. I love that some clothing stores use their influence to reduce that environmental impact.

  3. Eva Unhold
    January 23, 2019 / 2:15 pm

    Hi Emma! I’m a NYC resident thinking about moving to Seattle, and when I hear mention of Value Village, I think back to the 90’s, and living in Chicago. I shopped the Value Vintage in that city, and made some great finds, too! Hearing you talk about sustainability reinforces my concept, one that I discovered while thrift shopping, that there is something for everyone and enough for all in the universe. There’s no need to fuss and fight over fashion anymore. And I think your blog helps affirm that value, making Value Village more than a place to pick up fashion cheaply.

  4. July 3, 2019 / 2:07 pm

    I agree that the fashion industry is a huge environmental problem. I love shopping at second hand stores or the Goodwill. I even buy mens XXL cotton T-shirts to cut up and lay flat as fabric for my clothing/beading projects. There are tons of clothing items, and even household goods, waiting out there to be reused. It just makes sense.

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