October 13, 2014
Thrift for the Earth!
We Arc shoppers love to thrift for countless reasons: for the low prices, for the thrill of the hunt, for the positive social impact, and many more. But what you may or may not know is that buying secondhand merchandise—clothing especially—has a huge environmental impact.
It reduces pollution of the air, water and soil
- Air: Most of the new clothing in our shopping malls (98% according to ABC News) is imported, meaning that it travels thousands of miles and leaves a huge carbon footprint. By contrast, secondhand clothing—though it may have initially traveled thousands of miles—came to the Arc from nearby.
- Water & Soil: Clothing production fills fresh water sources with chemical runoff, which has major consequences on agriculture and health. Furthermore, lower environmental regulations in some Asian countries such as China, Cambodia and Bangladesh make it easy for manufacturers to be environmentally reckless. When we buy secondhand, we put fewer chemicals into our water and soil.
It cuts down on water waste
- On average, one cotton T-shirt requires 660 gallons of water to produce. After production, this water has all been contaminated by pesticides and other chemicals, and then seeps into the soil. Next time you buy a cotton T-shirt at the Arc, think about how much water you are saving!
It makes us more thoughtful consumers
- On average, each American throws away 68 pounds of clothing each year. Imagine the impact if we donated and reused all of that instead!
- Over the years, the Arc has kept almost 60 million pounds of clothing and household items out of landfills!
The bottom line is that shopping at the Arc is more than just fun, it’s environmentally savvy! Armed with these facts, encourage your family and friends to buy secondhand. After all, we should first reduce, then reuse and then recycle.