32 billion new garments are produced for the US market every year, and 64% end up in landfills - here's how an online thrift store is trying to change that

32 billion new garments are produced for the US market every year, and 64% end up in landfills - here's how an online thrift store is trying to change that

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  • Fast fashion may be easy on our wallets, but it's hard on our environment. Of the 34 billion garments produced for the United States market each year, 64% end up in landfills, according to Green Story Inc. data.
  • Buying secondhand is an easy solution to lowering your own carbon footprint, and ultimately moving towards making a sustainable future for fashion.
  • ThredUp, the largest online resale site, just teamed up with Conscious Commerce to launch the Choose Used Capsule Collection, a limited edition collection of secondhand pieces screen-printed with fresh designs.
  • This Earth Day, ThredUp will donate 10% of net profits from every item in the collection sold to the ThredUp Circular Fashion Fund dedicated to supporting sustainable fashion initiatives around the world.

Most shopping trips are filled with a lot of questions.

Is this the right size? Is it worth the money? Will I actually ever wear something this color?

When buying clothing, asking questions is a good thing. Being more conscious about the purchases we make is usually better for our wallets, stopping us from making impulsive buys that tend to be both a waste of money and closet space. But, when's the last time you second-guessed a piece of clothing because of its environment impact?


If you're like most shoppers, the answer is probably never. I'm guilty of it too. Most of us are. But after hearing the stats regarding all of the waste produced and water used to make textiles, it's hard to ignore fashion's environmental impact.

Fast fashion is affordable, but it's destructive. Every year, 32 billion garments are produced for the United States market alone. And 64% of those pieces end up landfills, which are responsible for producing a lot of methane emissions. Then, there are all the natural resources that go into making your favorite T-shirt or pair of sneakers. According to the World Wildlife Fund, it can take 2,700 liters of water to produce the amount of cotton needed to make a single T-shirt.

That's why this Earth Day ThredUp, the largest online consignment and thrift store, is inspiring consumers to shop secondhand and "choose used." ThredUp teamed up with Conscious Commerce, a company founded by Olivia Wilde and Barbara Burchfield to help retailers launch sustainability initatives, to put forth the ChooseUsed Capsule Collection. The goal of the limited edition collection is to shed light on the harmful effects of fast fashion on our environment, and celebrate secondhand shopping as a fun and sustainable solution.

The Choose Used collection features a selection of over 4,000 unique garments that boast eight original designs, created by Wilde and Burchfield then executed by the ThredUp team. Each design is screen printed onto a used item, so you're getting a secondhand piece that's been revamped to feel new. Prices vary based on the piece, as the collection includes garments sourced from all different brands, from affordable Old Navy to high-end Vince.


The garments, boasting bright colors and witty sayings, are a fun way to show your support for a sustainable fashion future. There's a simple statement tee that says "I wear used clothes" in bright block letters and one with a smiley face that reads "thank you for choosing used" on the back, inspired by the messages that mark single-use plastic bags. And, for every garment purchased, ThredUp will donate 10% of net proceeds to the ThredUp Circular Fashion Fund, which is dedicated to supporting sustainable fashion efforts worldwide.

What would happen if we all choose used?

According to proprietary data from Green Story, Inc., if everyone in the United States bought just one secondhand item in place of a new one in 2019, we could save almost six billion pounds of carbon emissions. That number is equivalent to taking over half a million cars off the road for a whole year. When it comes to helping the planet, consuming less and reusing products we already have are some of the best things we can do.

Right now, you can contribute to a cleaner fashion future by choosing to shop secondhand first. Whether that means buying a unique new T-shirt from the Choose Used capsule or choosing to make a more conscious closet all together by shopping at thrift stores or resale sites like ThredUp, your actions can make a real difference in helping our planet. And, as an Earth Day special, if you shop at ThredUp today you'll get a cute "Used" pin included in your order.

Shop the ThredUp x Conscious Commerce Choose Used Capsule Collection

Shop all secondhand pieces at ThredUp

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