Find out how much your closet is hurting the planet

Secondhand fashion market thredUP launches a handy tool that calculates the carbon footprint of your shopping habit


Between manufacturing waste and shipping, the fashion industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters. But if you’ve ever stopped to wonder “OK, but how much impact can my shopping habits actually have?” you’re in luck: Secondhand shopping platform thredUP (which recently moved into the Canadian market) has rolled out a brand-new tool to help you put that into perspective.

thredUP’s Fashion Footprint Calculator is a joint project with research firm Green Story Inc, who compiled data and research regarding the environmental impact of the fashion industry’s supply cycles and conducted an analysis of the carbon footprint left by customers’ everyday habits.

The questionnaire asks how often shoppers invest in sustainable brands, how often they throw out clothing versus donating, whether you shop online or in-store and how often you do laundry, among other queries.

Along the way, the calculator also offers factoids that are simultaneously nifty and jarring. (Did you know producing a pair of jeans has four to five times the carbon impact as a T-shirt? Thank goodness everyone’s into those high-waisted ’90s Levi’s now.)

At the end, the calculator tallies up your total impact in pounds of CO2 emissions – or, for comparison, how many flights your fashion-related habits are equivalent to per year. I rang in at “medium-low” impact, or the relatively tame equivalent of 4.2 flights from San Francisco to L.A. per year. (There’s room for improvement there, but if I didn’t shop secondhand so often, it would likely be higher. I’d like to thank the Academy, and Value Village.)

If your score is higher than you’d like, maybe you’d like to do your next bit of impulse shopping at a vintage store instead?

@nataliamanzocco

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