There aren’t many shopping experiences that are more exciting than thrift shopping. Although it takes a little bit of time, it is so satisfying when you find that special piece of clothing. Add in the sustainability factor of shopping second hand and you just might have your most positive fashion experience yet!

For me, shopping at Value Village is an escape from the fast paced industry that is modern fashion. The marketing of consumer clothing is very powerful and a trip to the shopping mall often results in the purchase of several items that I will most likely only wear twice. Although shopping thrift takes a little bit longer, I find that by sorting through items without the input of those big marketing powers allows me to really find things that I love, given that there is no external influence telling me what I should be wearing. For this reason, the clothes that I have from thrift shops are some of my longest worn and most cherished items.

In addition to finding something special, shopping thrift helps us reduce the global impact of the clothing industry, one of the world’s biggest polluters. It can take over 700 gallons of water to make one cotton t-shirt and I’m not sure if you know what that looks like (I didn’t), but it’s HUGE. To shine a light on this fact, Value Village created an art installation outside the Vancouver Aquarium for National Thrift Shop Day on August 17th. I had the opportunity to attend the exhibit and to participate in their #IGIVEASHIRT campaign to help reduce the 80 billion pieces of clothing we consume each year. The idea behind the campaign is that if everyone thrifted one t-shirt instead of buying a new one, we could save 700 million gallons of waters in 2016. It’s a small change but leaves a big impact.

The next time you’re out shopping, go visit Value Village, find something special and be sure to tag #IGIVEASHIRT.

This post was created in partnership with Value Village. All opinions are my own.