Sustainable Back-to-School Shopping

Why Thrift Stores Are the Way to Go

Sustainable Back-to-School Shopping

With back-to-school season coming up, it’s important to think about where you’ll be shopping for yourself or your family. Before you start browsing the shelves at your local mall or department store, take some time to consider the monetary and environmental benefits of buying slightly used clothing at your local Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Store.

The Environmental Cost of New Clothing

We all know that new clothing can be expensive. But most of us don’t think about everything that goes into making our clothes. When you buy new clothing, there’s a higher cost than just what’s shown on the price tag. According to, the fashion industry today produces a whopping 1.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year. Just one person buying second-hand clothing can prevent more than 500 pounds of these carbon emissions in a year. YOU could be that person!

Textile production also requires a large amount of energy and water. Overall, the fashion industry accounts for more than 2% of the entire world’s energy consumption (, and according to, one kilogram of cotton, the equivalent of a single new t-shirt, takes 713 gallons of water to produce. That’s enough to sustain one person for 900 days!

On top of the sheer amount of resources it takes to manufacture new clothing, reports that only 12% of materials used for producing clothing are actually recycled. And considering that we wear most of the clothes we buy only seven to ten times before we toss them, it’s hard to even imagine the amount of waste the fashion industry is producing.

Why Shop at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Stores?

Not only do Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Stores offer an affordable alternative to expensive retail stores, with lower prices and an ever-changing inventory, they offer a more sustainable shopping option. Every piece of clothing we stock has been donated, meaning no extra waste is created when you make a purchase. The clothing we can’t sell is sold to a recycler who sends it to other countries, or makes it into things like rags, car seat stuffing, and insulation to ensure we contribute as little waste as possible to landfills.

Lastly, when you shop at one of our thrift stores, you’re directly helping kids in need. All the profits made at our stores help children at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch through psychiatric residential treatment, specialized education, spiritual life programs, and more. You can be sure your money is going towards making someone’s life better.

Shopping for new clothing can be fun, but it’s important to consider the resources it takes to manufacture it. Next time you’re restocking your closet for the academic year, stop by Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Stores for an affordable and sustainable outfit.

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