Sec­ond-hand clothes spurned in to­day’s era of dis­pos­able duds

Value Vil­lage finds 60 per cent of peo­ple polled rarely buy used clothes, even though it keeps them out of the land­fill


Peo­ple are buy­ing more new clothes be­cause they’re cheap On av­er­age, peo­ple liv­ing in the Van­cou­ver area toss about 17 pounds of used cloth­ing in the trash each year.

That might not seem like a lot, but it’s the equiv­a­lent of 44 T-shirts per per­son, said Karen Storry, a se­nior project en­gi­neer with Metro Van­cou­ver — and it adds up to about 20,000 met­ric tons of waste.

A new re­port re­leased this week by Value Vil­lage says, in the era of cheap cloth­ing, peo­ple are buy­ing more cloth­ing They re keep­ing them for less time as fash­ion fads change quickly and keep­ing it for less time than they were 15 years ago.

“With chang­ing fash­ion cy­cles, trends com­ing on, and low prices, peo­ple seem to be con­sum­ing more cloth­ing, and that usu­ally re­sults in more dis­posal,” said Storry.

Metro Van­cou­ver was con­sid­er­ing a ban on tex­tile waste a few years ago, but Storry said it may not be the best ap­proach to deal­ing with the is­sue.

Usu­ally when there’s a ban in place, peo­ple are charged when they bring too much of that banned item to the land­fill, she ex­plained.

“The loads that we would prob­a­bly end up sur­charg­ing would be the peo­ple that are try­ing to re­duce ap­parel waste,” she said.

That would in­clude sec­ond­hand stores that bring items they can’t sell, or the leftovers In Van­cou­ver, 20,000 met­ric tonnes of cloth­ing end up at the land­fill each year. from busi­nesses that buy those un­wanted items and turn them into rags or in­su­la­tion. There’s a cer­tain per­cent­age that they can’t do any­thing with that might be dumped, Storry said.

One an­swer is find­ing ways to re­use or ex­tend the life of clothes. Yet, while most peo­ple are will­ing to do­nate their old clothes, there’s a link in the re­use cy­cle miss­ing. A lot of peo­ple aren’t buy­ing sec­ond-hand.

For the Value Vil­lage State of Re­use Re­port, 3,001 peo­ple were polled in the U.S. and Canada be­tween March 15 and 22 about their cloth­ing habits. The mar­gin of er­ror was plus or mi­nus 1.7 per cent. Sixty per cent of those polled said they buy sec­ond-hand at most once a year.

Sec­ond-hand so­lu­tions at thes­­cou­ver

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