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 social mission and second-hand shops remain important to the growth of the industry, Kijiji, an online classified advertising service, was the most common channel used to acquire and dispose of second-hand products in 2017.

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. Canada’s most populated province Ontario, dominated the industry with 967 used merchandise stores in 2016. Residents in Ontario averaged the most second-hand products acquired through purchases, followed by residents in Alberta.

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