If you’re in search of ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle, one effective way to reduce waste and conserve natural resources is through buying gently used items and supporting second hand shopping. Thrifting and second hand shopping has environmental, social, and economic benefits such as:
- Job creation that supports materials reuse and the circular economy
- Maintaining value of an item by keeping it in the supply chain instead of sending it to a landfill or incinerator where it has no value
- Reducing consumption of natural resources like water, fibers, metals, and fossil fuels by getting more use of items
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the production and disposal of goods
- Saving money by making useful goods available at a lower cost
- Some thrift stores offer workforce development for individuals in underserved communities
- The thrill of finding unique or vintage clothing, home goods, and other items for less
If you’re going out to a thrift store today, remember to follow guidelines, practice social distancing, and other safety precautions. Prefer to thrift while staying in on National Thrift Store Day? There are many clothing companies and outdoor gear shops that offer gently used clothing, gear, and other items online at a discounted price.
Looking to donate or recycle used clothing?
If you’re ready to clean out your closets, remember that textiles, which are items like clothing and linens, can be donated or recycled through textile recovery locations. If you are donating clothes and other textiles, be respectful of textile donation locations by asking about the donation guidelines and current hours of operation. You cannot recycle textiles in your home recycling bin. Textiles can be dropped off for recycling in any condition (torn, worn, stained, missing buttons, broken zippers, shoe without a mate, etc.) as long as they are clean, dry, and odorless. Textile donation or recycling locations in your area may not be currently accepting items and/or may have new protocols in place, so be sure to call before you arrive. If you can’t find an outlet for your items right now, DEC encourages residents to hold onto the items if possible until more options re-open.