Sustainable Thrifting: Here is How to do it

Posted on April 3, 2024

If you have already been thrift shopping, congrats! You are contributing to protecting and sustaining our environment. As great as this is, why not take it a step further? 

Although thrift shopping is already known to be a sustainable practice, there are many other small ways to create a more sustainable change to your thrift shopping practices. Especially with the rise of thrift shopping as a trend on TikTok, being a little more cautious about your decisions is important to help sustain our environment. Here are ways you can contribute to impactful environmental changes while thrift shopping.

Back-To-Basics: Bring Your Own Bag

Especially since the City of Calgary started charging for bags, it can be a pain if you do not have one on you. It is even worse when some stores do not even offer bags and you are left alone to carry your stuff. Grab a reusable bag or tote bag you have lying around the house and keep that in your pocket or car. Save yourself the hassle by always having a bag on you.

Be Mindful of Overconsumption

Shop only what you need! Just because something is cheap, it doesn’t mean you should go overboard. Consumers are known to be impulsive buyers, but being aware of this mindset can help you make more conscious and sustainable buying choices. Buy less, wear more. Co-founder of Eco Age, Livia Firth, started a fashion challenge in 2015 called the “30 Wears Challenge”. The 30 Wears Challenge poses an individual the question “Will I actually wear this 30 times?” Involving in this challenge is a great way for one to understand the life cycle of a product that they purchase, and allows one to be wary of overconsumption.

Seek Products Made Out of Sustainable Materials

Look out for clothing pieces made from natural and sustainable materials. Linen, silk, and cotton are some great natural materials to look out for. Most clothes are made from polyester nowadays because of how affordable the material is. Although affordable, it poses some harmful effects on our environment. Polyester is non-biodegradable, and it deteriorates into microplastics which is harmful to the environment. The rise of overconsumption in fast fashion is not helpful either, as most of these clothing pieces land in second-hand stores at a quick pace. Educate yourself to be aware of brands that are susceptible to fast fashion. Although a small act, it is a great way to improve your carbon footprint when it comes to thrift shopping.

Support Your Local Thrift Stores

Shop and support local! Not only is it a little more sustainable than shopping at big chain for-profit thrift stores, but you are also helping and giving back to your community. There are so many local thrift stores in Calgary that were established to support a great cause. Good Neighbourhood YYC and Women In Need Society are some great local thrift stores you could shop at. Volunteering and donating at these stores is also a great way to give back to the community. Apart from promoting sustainability by giving back to local thrift stores, you are also contributing to the well-being of your community.



Aira Dela Rosa 

Green Calgary Volunteer 

Communications Team