Saturday, March 3, 2012

Buying Green: Thrift Stores

HellaWella, the new health website that combines well-informed information with humor and personality, has uncovered the latest trend in sustainability - saving the environment by thrift store shopping.

According to the Association of Resale Professionals, the number of thrift and consignment stores has increased by 7% for the past two years and about 16% to 18% of Americans shop at thrift stores in any give year and 12% to 15% shop at consignment shops. To put that in perspective according to America’s Research Group about 19.6% shop at apparel stores and 21.3% at department stores.

While shoppers are rushing to thrift and consignment stores in order to save money they are also doing their part to save the environment:
- ABC News estimates that 98% of the clothing purchased in the U.S. comes from abroad. That means that a sweater hanging on the rack at a department store traveled thousands of miles, using up energy and polluting the planet with coal and natural gas along its way to the store and ultimately an American closet.

In contrast buying second-hand clothing produces a significantly smaller carbon footprint:
- The only carbon emissions associated with that sweater is the fuel it took the donator and the shopper to drive to the store.
- Packaging associated with brand new items often ends up in landfills.

Taking the above into consideration, buying and using gently worn clothing follows one of the principals of the environmental friendliness: reuse. It also keeps those items out of landfills. Consignment and thrift shopping reduces the carbon footprint while reusing items and saving shoppers money.

Want to read more? Visit Hella Wella for the article Save the Environment by Thrift Store Shopping. You can find other great information at Hella Wella's website or at

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