Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink!

this is the first sweater i ever bought at a thrift shop with my own money. cost me a buck.

When I first began this blog in 2011, I had a few goals in mind. I wanted to share my passion for thrift shopping for a variety of reasons: support for charity, support for volunteerism, keeping things out of the landfill, and sharing the thrill of the hunt. While many of my posts (and often the most popular posts) feature a new thrift shop or something I’ve found at a thrift shop, I always wanted this blog to be more than just a way of bragging about the things I’ve found. I call it “thrift shopper for peace” because being a peace-maker is also a value that I hold dear and my passion for thrift very much stems from a desire to be a peace-maker with my environment and on a local, national and even global level. My tagline – reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink – is a way to emphasize ideals that are important to me.

I’m always excited when I discover others who also share this passion and two things have come across my radar in the last few days that I want to share with you.

Waste Reduction Week

October 21-27, 2019 is Waste Reduction Week in Canada. It’s actually a year-round initiative aimed at a circular economy, resource efficiency, and waste reduction. The goal is to celebrate innovation and encourage Canadians to make environmentally conscious choices. Each day of the week has a different theme:

The website is loaded with ideas, inspiring stories, and resources to help people get started. It can feel overwhelming but if you choose one thing – say, making a commitment to reducing food waste in your household – you’re already making a difference. Here’s an inspiring story I read in the Vancouver Sun this week:

Reduce, Repair, Reuse

photo: Jason Payne, Vancouver Sun

Monika Markovinovic is a woman from Port Moody who once lived in Toronto and worked as a fashion editor. She loved clothes and she always had the latest, trendy items from mass market, fast-fashion retailers. But as she learned more about the environmental and social impacts of fast-fashion, she began to change her habits. She made a commitment to eliminate all clothes shopping – not even second-hand shopping – for a year. She used what she had in her closet, learned how to repair pieces that needed it, and in the process, changed her life. Today, she shops less, shops second-hand, shops local.

Read the full story here – it’s more than just her story, there’s also great information here about the impact of the fashion industry on the environment.

Getting Active

And finally, I learned about Waste Reduction Week because of a Facebook post from the mayor of Abbotsford, promoting the Clothing Fix-it and Swap, coming this Saturday, October 19th to Abbotsford. At the event, you can bring clothes that need repair and someone will help you fix it. You can also swap good-condition used clothes for something new-to-you! I love the idea that someone will help you fix it – as opposed to dropping it off for someone else to do the work. You have the opportunity to pick up a skill as you repair something so that you can get more wear out of it.

I’m going to try and attend the Clothing  Fix-it and see if I can learn how to repair the lining of a beautiful winter coat that my sweetheart bought on our honeymoon at a flea market in Rome, Italy.

After 33 years, it’s still an excellent coat but the innards are in bad shape. I’ll let you know if I have any success!

What’s one thing you are committed to doing to reduce waste?

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