Hello my fellow earthlings! What’s new? What’s shaking? How’s it going? All is well here- just so rainy. We are busy planning a few vacations and generally running around trying to get everything done.
On Tuesday we talked about how to thrift shop like a boss; a connoisseur of thrift if you will. You may be saying though, “Why would I want to go buy pre-loved clothing? I don’t want someone’s discarded clothing.” And I get it, I really do (kind of). I have always been a thrift shopper- initially due to financial need and later out of choice. I continue to choose to primarily thrift shop because it just makes sense. So, let’s talk about a few reasons why you should at least consider hitting up your local thrift stores.
First of all, let’s dismiss some myths.
Myth One: Only needy people shop at thrift stores. Thrift shopping is not just for “poor” people. Thrift shopping is for everyone! Maybe you are looking for vintage clothing or unique pieces to add to your wardrobe- thrifting is an answer. I have found some amazing vintage pieces and one of a kind clothing that I love. Even if you have an unlimited amount of money I can almost guarantee that if you look hard enough you can thrift some amazing pieces you cannot find anywhere else. Also, it important to remember that thrift purchases often help support charities!
Myth Two: The clothes at the thrift store are dirty and unsanitary. This one kind of irks me. I have never walked into a thrift store that is filled with dirty merchandise. Yes, you are looking at clothing that other people have worn, but hopefully, no matter where you buy your clothing from, you are washing it before you wear it. Now, of course, some clothing will be stained or worn. You just have to sus it out and use some common sense.
Myth Three: There is no good clothing in thrift stores. To which I say- “Are you kidding me?” I’ve touched on this already and talked about it in my last post but this is simply not true. You can find brand name designer clothing. Maybe you are looking for really random accent pieces- the thrift store is a good place to look. It really doesn’t even take long to find a great piece. Follow the steps I laid out in my last post to find quality and unique pieces even faster!!
Okay, so now that we have a few misconceptions out of the way- why should you be shopping at thrift stores? There are so many reasons other than cheap prices. But let’s start there, because it seems like a great place to start!
CHEAP PRICES! Yep, you thought it and you were right! Your local thrift stores are jammed packed of deeply discounted clothing. There is a really popular brand down here in good ole southern USA called Mudpie- very cute and expensive boutique quality clothing. I picked up a trendy Mudpie dress at my local thrift shop for $2 the other day. And it’s adorable!! I’ve also scored J Crew (my favorite preppy style), Lily Pulitzer, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ralph Lauren in my shopping adventures. If you don’t care about brand names just consider the fact that you can find a pair of nice cotton jeans for $4!! Where else can you do that?
CIRCULAR FASHION: What is circular fashion? Circular fashion mitigates waste by using items again and again and again. To get a good idea, let’s think about hyper consumerism and fast fashion for a quick second. Let’s say you walk into a store like Forever 21. The store is jammed full of new clothing. They are constantly receiving new shipments of cheaply made, mass produced clothing and focus on moving merchandise quickly. The clothing is made to be sold quickly and only hold up for a short period of time (likely the current trend season). There is no thought as to what will happen to the clothing after the consumer is done with it. In contrast, circular fashion, well, is exactly what it sounds like. Clothing is bought, worn, donated; bought again, worn, donated, and repeat. Through continued use, recycling, and reusing a cycle is created and perpetuated. I’ve linked an article that does a really great job looking at this concept in depth. I highly encourage you to contribute to and partake in circular fashion. By doing so you are not only encouraging sustainability, you are also not adding to the demand of cheaply overproduced fast fashion. Thrift shopping helps give new life to old things and helps keep unnecessary waste out of our landfills.
IT’S JUST GREEN: What does it cost to produce new clothing? It’s reported that it takes 1,800 gallons of water to make one pair of blue jeans!! When you consider all this water, the energy, cotton, shipping, carbon footprint, chemicals used in production…the impact of one pair of jeans is insane. And for what? A study from the National Institute for Consumer Research in Norway followed a group of people to see how long they kept clothing. They found that 8% of the clothing was never used. All of that water, resources, and pollution for one pair of blue jeans that may never even be worn. Now stop and ask yourself what would happen if we just stopped making new clothing? What if we just stopped? There is already so much clothing in our closets that we would likely be able to clothe societies for years, possibly even decades, without creating new clothing. If we learn to shop at thrift stores, find things we love, reuse or repurpose things, mend what needs mending- we would keep so much clothing out of our landfills and save the earth from unnecessary subjection to carbon emissions, water use, etc. What impact could you make?
All things considered, I encourage you to give thrift shopping a go. Bonus points if you shop at thrift stores that donate to charities, help people, and recycle items they cannot sell. Will you give thrift shopping at go? What are your favorite thrift stores? Let me know, I would love to hear from y’all!!