Not long ago, the idea of shopping at thrift stores brought to mind images of rummaging through racks of random, tatty, sometimes smelly clothing to find something cheap to fill a need. Now, Canadian attitudes toward second-hand clothes are changing, and businesses are cashing in. And it isn’t just for financial reasons, but climate concerns also, that are driving a boom in a newly energized resale industry.
Kijiji just released the results of a survey they conducted to find out how Canadians are feeling about resale products and the information they found is that it is truly a growing industry. In 2018 82% of Canadians took part in the resale economy, giving 2.4 billion items a chance at a second life, at a value of $27.3 billion which makes it 1.2% of Canada’s GDP. They also discovered that while economic concerns still top the list of reasons Canadians are taking part in 2nd hand shopping, there was a decrease in that motivation, while altruistic and environmental reasons both grew.
It’s easy to understand why as well, as the Recycling Council of Ontario points out – in Canada, the average person throws out 81 pounds of textiles annually, while North Americans send 9.5 million tonnes of clothing to the landfill every year — most of which could be reused or recycled, according to statistics compiled by Waste Reduction Week in Canada. This rise in textile waste along with the environmental cost of production has made this an issue many are paying attention to.
So the next time you are in need of a new look; consider looking at someone’s old one first.