By Magdalena Kapela
Adopting a green lifestyle and diminishing my carbon footprint is one thing that I strive to do – I’m just not willing to sacrifice a certain quality of life. Reducing the thermostat a few degrees during the winter months, or making homemade cleaning products isn’t something easy to commit to (I’ve tried both!). So what other ways can one live green and stay fabulous?
According to Earth Day Canada, a national environment communications organization, 70 percent of waste in landfills can be recycled. That’s a significant number! With spring officially here (according to the calendar-not so much weather-wise) it’s time for the annual spring-cleaning to commence. The closet tends to be my first stop; swapping muted winter greys for bright hues. This also tends to be the time I discover a few unused items in my closet; perhaps an impulse buy that doesn’t look so appealing to me anymore, or a pair of skinnies I can no longer get over my thighs. These items need to go. But where?
Obviously, donating clothes to charity is always a commendable choice; but when you have designer duds or barely-worn clothes on your hands, dumping them into a plastic bin at your local thrift shop can just provoke anxiety. This is where consignment stores come in.
Consignment shops connect your pre-loved items with new owners who will give them a loving new home. Unlike thrift shops, where merchandise is donated, consignment stores offer you a profit in exchange for your designer pieces. The store will take your items and sell them for you. This relieves you from the work and expense involved with selling your merchandise on your own. Once the item is sold, the store will take a percentage.
In addition to being green, the act of consignment is also economical. If you are looking to become the proud new parent of an underappreciated Alexander McQueen bag, you can get it for a fraction of the cost by visiting a consignment store.
Unlike thrift shops and charity shops, consignment stores have pretty rigid rules as to what type of clothing they accept (read: no sweat stains, no tears, no missing buttons). So, when shopping at a consignment shop you can be confident that the merchandise is the best of gently used goods available.
Remember: whether you are consigning or making a purchase through a consignment shop, you’re extending the lifeline of a garment. The longer a garment’s lifeline, the longer it stays out of a landfill. So living green and staying fabulous is in fact an option.
Tips for consigning your duds:
- Do not show up with a garbage bag full of your crap: clothes should be cleaned, pressed, and on hangers or neatly folded.
- Pay attention to detail: secure loose buttons, trim stray threads, and go wild with the lint roller.
- Visit the store or website: this will help you get a better idea of what brands and labels they carry.
- Do your research: each store has different policies and guidelines, so make sure you investigate the shop’s rules.
Consignment shops in Toronto worth checking out:
Haute Classics, 1454 Yonge St. W
Kind Exchange, 611 Queen St. W and 379 Queen St. W
Fashionably Yours, 632 Queen Street W
IMAGE CREDIT: MAGDALENA KAPELA