Second-hand Goods in Canada - Statistics & Facts

With rising concern for the environment, people have become more involved in reducing their ecological footprint through recycling. The used and second-hand goods industry, which involves the transfer of pre-owned items to a secondary consumer, has therefore increased in popularity in recent years. While the internet and free online classifieds sites have greatly aided in the growth of the industry, social mission shops and second-hand clothing shops remain among the most common channels used to acquire and dispose of second-hand products.


In 2016, Canada was one of the largest global traders of worn clothing and other worn articles, ranking fourth among the leading exporters of used clothing worldwide. Kenya was the key destination for used clothing exported from Canada that year, with a trade value of approximately 17 million U.S. dollars (approximately 24 million Canadian dollars as of December 2016) exported to the country.

Non-profit organizations, such as Goodwill, Saint Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army are among the largest retailers of second-hand goods in Canada. These organizations raise funds by collecting and reselling donated items such as small electronics, homewares and fashion goods, with entertainment and hobby-related products the most likely items purchased from thrift stores in Canada as of August 2015. While Canada’s most populated province Ontario, dominated the industry with 962 used merchandise stores in 2015, residents in Alberta averaged the most second-hand products acquired through purchases.

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