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Tips and tricks


Buy Second-Hand Without Compromising the Planet or Your Style!

8 April 2024 | By Mélisande Blanchet
Tips and tricks

When it comes to environmental impact, the fashion industry is quick to be on the receiving end of all the blame (and with good reason!). In fact, the textile industry is responsible for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions in a single year (!!!). Globally, 85% of textiles end up in landfill sites within the same year. And all of this is without mentioning the heavy social impacts of cheap labour (read here: modern slavery), which raises important ethical concerns.


Knowing all this, I wondered how it was still possible to buy sweaters for the low-low price of $5.00 without asking any more questions! Where does this garment come from? What’s it made of? And above all, what are the real environmental and social costs generated by these trivial pieces of textiles, which will be worn no more than 20 times? At that moment, a realization hit me like a hailstorm in the middle of July. Impossible to hide one’s head in the sand. That day, I challenged myself to buy only second-hand for the next year. Since then, over three years have passed, and I still haven’t given up.

So, the question of the day is how can we, as individuals, limit the environmental and social impact of our textile consumption? Because yes, as individuals, we do play a role in all this mess!

Here are a few ideas on how to buy second-hand without sacrificing style or the planet:

Do some digging in thrift shops

Needless to say, these days, thrift stores are sprouting up in towns and villages like dandelions budding at the first light of spring. They’re everywhere. The days of mothball-scented basement bazaars are (almost) over. Dare to enter, arm yourself with patience and go enjoy the search. Incredible finds at low prices are eagerly awaiting you at thrift stores, I promise!


Make friends with your neighbours

Having a slow cooker that you use twice a year is great. But having a slow cooker that you use twice a year and lend to your neighbours the rest of the time is even better! Asset pooling is the next 2024 trend! There are more and more platforms available to give or lend your things and bring joy to your neighbours. On Facebook groups like “As-tu ça? Veux-tu ça?” and “Buy Nothing”, on apps like Partage Club (English content available), or on good old-fashioned neighbourhood bulletin boards. No more excuses! There are many ways to get in touch with your neighbours, to dare to ask, offer or start a conversation.

Encourage companies to offer second-hand options

More and more companies are following suit and offering a second-hand section on their online platform. Such is the case with SAIL’s reSAIL initiative, which offers customers a section on their website to shop for and resell second-hand clothing (purchased at SAIL, of course). We love that. More of this, please!!

Rent instead of buying

Have a friend’s wedding coming up? Are you attending a masquerade-themed costume party? Is your closet overflowing with fleece rather than evening gowns? It would be a real shame to buy a fancy outfit only to wear it once! If borrowing from a friend or family member isn’t an option, know that there are platforms like Loue1robe where you can rent gently used clothes at a great price!

Throw a clothes-swap party

Heard of the Switch & bitch concept? It’s simple and fun—let me explain! All you have to do is give your closet a good cleaning, collect a few pieces to part with and invite your friends to do the same. Set a date and a place, and that’s when the fun begins! It’s a great opportunity to get together with friends and swap clothes. Much more often than we think, what we no longer want can actually make someone else happy! And for those pieces that don’t find a home at the party, they can be taken directly to a donation centre.


Repair instead of discarding

Let’s reassess our tendency to throw away our favourite pair of jeans as soon as they show signs of wear, like holes or snags! Most of the time, all it takes is a little willpower to try to repair before throwing away! So, it’s time to learn how to thread a needle and discover the fundamentals of sewing. This practical knowledge has unfortunately been lost all too easily through the generations. Ask your grandmother, your mother, your aunt or use YouTube to teach you! You’ll soon realize that it’s not all that complicated!


So, knowing what you know now, what’s stopping you from taking the plunge? Dive into the infinite universe of second-hand!


Partage Club:


Mode rapide (fast fashion). Radio-Canada. October 27 2022.:’industrie%20du%20v%C3%AAtement%20est,cours%20de%20la%20m%C3%AAme%20ann%C3%A9e.

The environmental costs of fast fashion. David Suzuki. November 29 2023. :

Mode éthique ou fast-fashion? David Suzuki. March 15 2024. :

The Travelling Jar, Logistic Manager

Mélisande Blanchet

An avid lover of life, Mélisande is constantly looking for new ways to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle and to inspire others to get on board to preserve our delicate Mother Earth. When she’s not wandering around Quebec looking for the best place to pitch her tent, she’s probably in her kitchen making natural cosmetics or expressing her creativity on paper in an unusual location.

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