Did you know that the top you’re wearing most likely required fertilizers, growth regulators, pesticides and other toxic chemicals to produce? Ew!
Besides providing unsafe working conditions in the world’s poorest countries, the global textile industry is one of the most ecologically harmful in the world. If only more influencers could mention that when they unbox the latest fast fashions on their Instagram accounts. Sadly, many consumers rarely think about where their clothing comes from.
According to Courtney Figler, who owns the most adorable thrift shop in Saint John, second hand is not in style everywhere.
While a growing number of consumers in Toronto and Vancouver consider thrifting a sport, it’s still somewhat frowned upon in smaller cities and towns. Courtney has been actively trying to change that in Uptown, Saint John. She uses The Kindness Closet, a true hidden gem and second hand gold mine on North Market Street, as a platform to educate consumers about fast fashion’s carbon footprint and inspire them to get more creative with their clothing.
Courtney’s Instagram account is as equally charming as her shop with amusing content featuring stylish outfits and all the reasons shopping second hand is better than shopping first hand.
Five reasons to shop second hand in 2022
1. Savings! In many cases you’ll find high quality products and luxury brands at lower prices. Check out the gorgeous second hand gold and emerald green glassware above for $13!
2. One-of-a-kind clothing. You’ll never bump into anyone wearing the same outfit again, ever. How embarrassing.
3. A second hand t-shirt doesn’t require 200 gallons of water to make. You will also prevent waste by keeping clothing and other items out of landfill
4. You’re supporting a good cause. Most thrift stores are non-profits or they're linked to a charitable organization.
5. You supporting a local business.
The tiny pink shop quietly opened earlier this year with quality clothing in all sizes and a wee but whimsical selection of vintage kitchen wares and art. Courtney talks as passionately about fashion and the circular economy as she does about striving to help individuals in her community meet needs that aren’t being met elsewhere. Slightly behind the counter but still easily accessible is a food cupboard for anyone who’s hungry. Much of what’s in store at the Kindness Closet is donated by the local community and curated by Courtney.
While the shop is small, the selection of clothing is vast and her plans for the future are even bigger. Be sure to follow Courtney at @TheKindnessClosetNB for community events, educational programs and amazing sales on already inexpensive clothing.