With the holidays upon us, the buying frenzy of December and the New Year has already begun. From my own experience I can tell you just how easy it is to get caught up in department stores and online shops with the never ending sales and deals. However the sad truth is that even if you are shopping ethically or perusing organic brands, the statistics don't lie, anything bought NEW new has a huge impact on our environment while creating a demand for more production. One pound of textiles emits more then seven pounds of carbon dioxide, not to mention the amount of water that is used to produce textiles is tremendous. In fact the amount of water usage is so tremendous, that it is estimated that to make just one t-shirt, over 2,700 liters of water are used. (Don't believe it? Find out more and calculate your own water footprint HERE).
Even more shocking, is that each year over 11 MILLION pounds of textiles are thrown away, and end up in landfills in the United States. This means that the average American throws away over 65lbs of textiles a year. Yes! SIXTY FIVE pounds of textiles are thrown away each year per just 1 American, that's 455 pounds of carbon dioxide emitted and 175,500 liters of water wasted (again per just 1 American), for nothing more than a filler in a landfill.
Don't worry however I am not here to say that all shopping is bad, in fact I am about to offer you a guilt free shopping experience (ummm yes GUILT FREE). Because their is another option where you can truly buy gifts that have the lowest possible impact on the earth, and that is buying vintage & second hand. When you buy used, you give the item a second life (sometimes even a third or fourth), while not creating a demand to the orginal manufacturer.
My favorite website for guilt free shopping while pursing the internet is always the online luxury consignment shop called The Real Real. Two of the biggest draws to this website are the flash sales (meaning even huger discounts on luxury brand names) as well as their guarantee that every pre-owned luxury item sold on The Real Real is authentic. Another bonus of The Real Real is that if you buy an item from their online consignment shop, they offer to buy it back (of course after you wear it and flaunt it) as they know that luxury items are made with craftsmanship and built to last. With over 4 million sales of pre-owned luxury items, The Real Real has already made a huge impact on cutting down the demand for new luxury items.