Okrika: How Shopping Thrift Can Help The Environment 7

credit: webuyrags.com

Reducing and recycling are words we have probably come across over the years but how often do we think of doing something about it? Granted, some of us reuse plastic bottles or know people who use them to sell zobo and other liquid products, but how many of us take into account the impact recycling has on the environment?

The process of manufacturing garment has been known to have a harmful effect on the environment, regardless of the materials used. These environmental hazards range from chemicals pesticides to the toxic by-products from the crude oil used in producing synthetic fibres.

Credit: Photo by John Greim/REX/Shutterstock (4842668il)
Women’s jacket selection in a thrift shop. Various America

The thrift/resale market is said to be the fastest growing sector in the apparel industry, which is estimated to be worth $41 billion in the year 2022.

However, this market is still one of the most slept-on industries in this part of the world. Why? This might be due to the fact that, thrifted clothing items  (otherwise known as ‘Okrika’) is associated with poverty and dirt.

However, modern-day fashionistas and bloggers are changing this narrative by boldly wearing thrift items without the shame associated with it. If fashion influencers are not enough reason for you to hop on the pre-loved trend, then maybe the fact that you might be helping the environment by shopping thrift will.

Credit: Instagram/ soars_trendhub

The fashion industry is very wasteful in that fashion houses ceaselessly manufacture clothing items to meet new trends every year. As a result, the unsold clothes are sent to wastelands to be burnt which in turns pollutes the environment.

The thrift/resale industry is a big avenue to do your bit in the reduction of all kinds of pollutants from the garment manufacturing process to the landfill waste.How? When you buy your favourite designer outfits for less in thrift stores or markets you help reduce the production of excess garment which will cause a ripple effect in reducing transportation and wasteland pollution.

credit: Instagram/ nimsofthewest

Also, wisely purchasing durable thrift items can help force the fashion giants to reconsider child and slave labour within the industry. Buying durable clothes out of necessity that last longer, help keep the environment clean one cloth at a time.

This might be a tiny contribution compared to the environmental problems at hand but it’s a start.

Don’t forget to use them well and give to the needy when you’re no longer in need of them.

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7 thoughts on “Okrika: How Shopping Thrift Can Help The Environment

  • Khayr

    Very insightful post. I used to shop thrift store items in my undergrad days and I’m ashamed to say I see it as something I did cos I was too broke to affford brand new. I’m trying to not see it in that light now, hoping to get more thrift finds as I go on, though it’s safe to say I draw a line in some clothing items sha 😀

    • Husnie Post author

      You can also start by decluttering your wardrobe and giving pre-loved clothes out. People repurpose our clothes better than we do and it’s a beautiful thing to see. Thank you!

      • Neemah

        I do thrift clothing for my children… I know other women who do, hubby doesn’t like it, so I buy, wash and iron and when he sees it on them, I tell him its “okirika” and he seems surprised it can be that nice… For me, once in a while for shorts… then shoes, I draw the line on underwear though.

  • Hadiza

    I agree. I feel like I suck at thrift shopping though and I always struggle to find out what to pick and I just give up. One thing I do, however, is to take care of my clothes and give them out when I’m done with them. It gives me joy seeing others repurpose my outfits in ways I couldn’t have thought about. I also think fabric recycling is great for the environment and one should look into stores that do that if your clothes are too trashed to give others.

    • Husnie Post author

      Fabric recycling is a really good idea, I don’t think there are stores for that in Nigeria. Fortunately, I can sew so I amend clothes before giving them out and I also use the ones that can’t be saved as cleaning rags (learnt this from my mother).
      I take my time when buying thrift tho, I’m not a designer freak but I do check the labels cos there are some design houses well known for their durable fabrics and impeccable tailoring.
      Also, Thrift clothes here involves a whole lot of washing before wearing, so you don’t want them give way before you start using them.