The social media monster is actually capable of helping the planet? Really?
Again, it all comes down to how you use it.
I personally had this revelation after I became slightly obsessed with charity shops in England. They’re essentially the American version of thrift stores, but better. I could find some snazzy new outfits (because vintage is IN and Macklemore would be proud) at a fraction of the price. Who doesn’t love a good bargain!?
So, my thrifty adventures had me wondering where I could stumble upon some more second hand clothing. Low and behold, Facebook Marketplace came to my attention!
There’s pretty much anything you could ever ask for, plus plenty that you would never want to… Besides the point, I was quickly finding myself falling down the rabbit hole of clicking. A few dollars here, some pennies there, and I had restocked my wardrobe for next to nothing. But that isn’t even the best part.
By buying secondhand clothes, I’m not just finding a bargain – I’m also extending the life of an item of clothing. Instead of potentially going into the trash and later to a landfill, it would get more use. Instead of requiring more energy consumption to buy a newly manufactured shirt, I bought one that already existed.
According to sciencing.com, the average person throws away 68 pounds of textiles per year. In total, roughly 3.8 billion pounds are discarded annually. I can’t even fathom those numbers!
But does repurposing and reusing clothing really make that much of a difference? When you reuse a piece of cotton clothing, you only consume 2.6% of the energy it would take to make one from scratch. So yes, every choice makes a difference!
Now I’m not saying you should go out and buy a bunch of used clothing, just yet. Make the most of what you have first! Wear your items until they are well-loved. Even after their time is up, you can repurpose them for things like cleaning rags, cut your jeans into shorts, or even have a go at stitching a small coin purse out of your favorite tee.
If not, pass it along to someone else who will get some wear out of it. And when the time comes that you do need something, check out some second-hand clothing on places like Facebook Marketplace.
Not only do I love finding a bargain, but extending the life of just one piece of clothing goes a long way. You can do the same for plastic, too! It all starts with one little step at a time. And you never know what hidden gem you might find along the way…