Thrift stores provide people with a variety of shopping options.
When you donate to stores like Talize, you are not just giving someone a piece of clothing. You're creating a wardrobe for them—and making it possible for them to go out into the world and meet their goals.
The more you donate, the more you give people options to:
- Look and feel their best
- Create their own identity
- And purchase quality products at affordable prices
Everyone deserves to go through their activities with the added confidence that they look as good as they want to be. Thrift stores are packed with different quality clothes, furniture, home supplies, and more. This is why you are encouraged to donate items that are still in good condition and serve a purpose to others. Thrift stores have always been a communal centre for people from all backgrounds to find something unique or bespoke to their personality. It’s always exciting for someone to walk into a thrift store and find an item that probably reminds them of their homeland, favourite movie, or best friend. So that item in your house that you think is mundane or doesn't mean much might actually be very important and valuable to someone else. And best of all, shoppers get to enjoy this experience while getting products they love at affordable prices.
You can help others find employment.
Donating to thrift stores can help others find employment. Most thrift stores are run by charities that help disadvantaged people get back on their feet. By donating your old clothes, furniture, and other items, you're helping these organizations provide job training, work experience, and a much-needed source of income for people with disabilities or those who want to re-enter the workforce. Most thrift stores also employ workers from the local community who might not otherwise be able to find a job.
You can clear out the clutter.
If you've ever donated clothes or furniture to a thrift store, you know that it feels good to help out, but did you know that donating is also good for your house? One great thing about donating is that it can help clear your home of clutter. When your house gets cluttered, it can be hard to find stuff and keep everything organized. This means that you have less space in which to live. To some people, less space isn't a problem because they like having a lot of stuff around them. However, other people feel very stressed when they have too much clutter in their homes. If you are one of those people who feel anxious when there's too much clutter in your home, then donating items to thrift stores can make life more enjoyable by making things easier to manage.
Donating keeps clothes out of landfills.
Donating your clothes to thrift stores isn't just a great way to get rid of old things and make room for new ones—it's also essential for keeping our planet green.
Every year, the typical Canadian discards 81 pounds of textiles, whereas North Americans discard 10 million tonnes of garments. Only 15% of discarded clothing is recycled or repurposed, while the rest ends up in landfills. This is especially troubling since clothing can take decades to break down naturally. But by donating your old garments, you can help keep them out of landfills and save valuable space and resources that could be better used elsewhere.
You may know that landfills produce harmful greenhouse gases as they break down organic materials, but did you know they also release toxins like methane and lead into the environment? These toxins pollute waterways and threaten the health of people living nearby and wild animals who might unwittingly consume them when they drink from contaminated water sources. Donating your unwanted items means you are helping reduce harm to people and animals everywhere.
Thrift stores promote ethical fashion.
Thrift stores help bring awareness to the unethical practices that continue to plague the fashion industry. For example, if you pay 25 dollars for a sweater at a retail store made in a developing country in sweatshop conditions (which is unfortunately fairly common), only 30 percent of that cost actually goes toward labour or materials. The rest goes toward marketing costs and other business expenses like shipping and storage and ultimately ends up lining the pockets of shareholders whose names you'll never know or meet. You're paying 200 percent more than what it actually costs to make the sweater!
Ethical fashion is about ensuring that the people who design, make and sell clothing are able to earn a fair living, work in safe conditions, aren't being exploited and are empowered.
It's not just about ensuring that people are paid a fair wage for their labour (although this should be at the heart of any ethical business), but also that there is no forced labour; workers have rights; they aren't treated disrespectfully simply because they don't have the power to walk away from their job.
There's a lot of waste in the fashion industry. This is something we've all known for a long time and it's one of the reasons we encourage people to donate and shop thrifted items, but as awareness grows about how much waste and pollution is generated by making new clothes, more people are looking for responsible ways to be part of the second-hand economy. Donating to thrift stores is a powerful way of being part of the necessary change needed in the fashion industry.
Donating your items doesn't mean saying goodbye.
You may be tempted to think of donating your items as a waste. After all, you've spent time and money acquiring the items you have, so why would you give them away? But the fact is that in this lifestyle, things are constantly being created and acquired by people. They're not going anywhere. And if you're no longer using them or getting any value from them, then passing them on to someone who will use them is actually what's best for the item.
When you donate, you're doing a few beautiful things all at once. You've helped someone in need by giving them clothing and household goods they can use to make their life easier. You've helped the environment by preventing clothes and items from going into landfills (which then decomposes, creating toxic gases).
In addition, making clothing takes a significant amount of energy—you're reducing consumption and preventing more pollution when you reuse clothing already made rather than buying new pieces that require production resources such as water, fuel oil, labour, and chemicals (not to mention all the packaging required for shipping). And finally: if you sell your used clothes rather than giving them away for free at thrift shops or donation centers like ours at Talize, this creates jobs which contribute positively to the economy.