My goal with this project is to make a lasting impact by teaching people about the benefits of thrift and trade stores. The manufacturing of clothing and other textiles leaves a heavy footprint on the environment and waterways, and encouraging recycling and the reusing of clothes can lessen that environmental footprint we leave on the earth and also be more affordable for consumers. Thrift stores are a big factor in encouraging people to donate clothes instead of throwing them away. According to Planet Aid, “Americans throw away 85 percent of the clothes in their closet they don’t want, but almost everything can be repurposed in some way.” Another article on Daily Infographic provides more information on the number of textiles being disposed of in landfills, writing, “13.1 million pounds of textiles are thrown away every year,” with a turnout of only about 2 million tons (15%) getting recovered for recycling. In the same article on Daily Infographic, they also write that out of all the textiles being thrown away, “that nearly 48% of [thrown away textiles] is perfectly reusable.” Along with nearly half of textiles that are thrown away being optimal for recycling, textiles are also one of the leading contributors of CO2 emissions in the United States. To add, just a single pound of textiles, “can produce as much as 7 pounds of CO2 emissions.”
My goal with my project is to help encourage students to recycle their clothing by donating to local thrift stores in the area and to show them the benefits of buying reused and recycled clothing. I want this event to be more than a clothing sale; I want it to raise awareness of the benefits of recycling and reusing clothing. Besides it being an economic solution, it is also one step towards helping the environmental and waterways. The more people that are encouraged to recycle and reuse will have a larger impact on the environment in turn.
The plan for my project starts by gathering clothing donations from the community and my high school. I am currently asking local thrift stores for donations and have already received donations from the students at my high school. While getting donations, I’ll be applying to grants and contests to help fund my idea and make it a reality. For my project to become a reality, I will need materials to showcase the clothes when the day of the thrift store event comes. These materials include hangers and clothing racks, all of which can be purchased second hand. Once all the materials are gathered, the Met High School Thrift Store will be opened to the students and public to get second hand clothing in good condition and for affordable prices. At the event there will also be informational flyers, telling the public about the positive affects buying second hand clothing and donating has on the environment.