For as long as I can remember my mom and older sister have taken me to various thrift stores such as Goodwill to buy clothes. We’re a family of immigrants and growing up we didn’t have much money to go out to the mall and spend lavishly on expensive garments. As a child, I used to be so embarrassed that I wore someone else’s used clothing while all of my friends got to wear new items. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize that thrifting is so much better not only in terms of saving money but also for the environment.
Depending on which source you look at, fashion is considered to be the second or third most polluting industry in the world. Some criticisms of the fashion industry include exploiting human labor and natural resources as well as contributing to major environmental issues. Now more than ever, more and more people are starting to realize the potential consequences of their consumption patterns and gravitate toward purchasing secondhand items.
Disclaimer: No. This isn’t a blog post trying to bash on the fashion industry, nor am I trying to convince you to stop shopping at certain stores and ONLY thrift— that would be pretty hypocritical of me as I am still a consumer of fast fashion myself. Although, it is a personal goal of mine to have 70-75% of my closet be thrifted by 2021.
This blog post is meant to share my own experiences in hopes that it will help you incorporate thrift shopping into your own life if you choose to. If you have any tips and tricks of your own, please leave them in the comments below or shoot me a personal message!
5 Reasons I choose to thrift shop:
- My style is constantly changing so thrifting allows me to buy items that are currently in-trend without feeling guilty for my frequent consumption as a fashion blogger.
- It’s convenient for me to drop off my own donations and get rid of items that no longer fit or just aren’t “me” anymore.
- Thrift stores also sell home goods and a plethora of other items for much cheaper than retail prices. I was able to redecorate my entire room while on an extremely small budget.
- I can stretch the lifespan of items that could’ve otherwise ended up in landfills.
- It allows me to spend time with my family members. Even after all these years, we still love thrifting and buying secondhand items.
5 Tips & Tricks for thrifting:
- Check your local thrift stores for sales and coupons! Yes, thrift stores have deals even with their already inexpensive prices. Going thrifting on sale days or with a coupon gives me an adrenaline rush knowing that I get to save even more money. My mom is 59 years old which means she meets the qualification for senior discounts. Whenever I have my mom check out my items she gets 25% off of everything! Make sure you know what kind of deals your local thrift stores offer and take advantage of them if you’re looking to save money.
- Notice the colored tags. Most thrift stores such as Goodwill or Savers have colored tags and depending on which day of the week it is, certain colors will be on sale. Get in the know by signing up for their newsletters or text messages. Sometimes they’ll even include insider coupons and VIP deals.
- Know when they restock. The Goodwills near my house restock their shelves on Wednesdays, so my mom and I will go early in the morning to ensure that we’re some of the first people to pick through the new items. If they restock on Wednesdays but you come on a Tuesday, most of the “good” items will have already been picked up and you may end up finding nothing.
- Try everything on. If you don’t thrift often, it can be scary to try things on since you don’t know where they might’ve been before being at the thrift store… but I would still encourage you to try everything you pick out on inside the fitting rooms. It would be a pain to spend money and then go home only to find out your items don’t fit. You can wear tight-fitting clothes underneath if you’re scared of wearing items without washing them first. Trying everything on will also enable you to see things like small holes, hidden stains, and broken zippers that you might’ve not seen otherwise.
- Shop every section and size. Don’t limit yourself since you never know what you’ll find! Things get placed in the wrong section all the time and just because you identify as a specific gender doesn’t mean the other sections won’t have items that you’ll love. Petite individuals can also shop in the kids’ section since children’s clothes can be cheaper (and cuter)!
5 of my favorite thrifted items:
1. Vintage Leopard Print Shirt – $10 (~$100 retail value)
2. Topshop Floral Dress – $10 (~$120 retail value)
3. BDG Jeans – $15 compared (~$60 retail value)
4. Ann Taylor Jacket – $20 (~$200 retail value)
5. Free People Jumpsuit – $10 (~$150 retail value)
Overall, I think thrifting is a great way to be more mindful of my consumption and allows me to wear fun and unique pieces that not many other people have. Hopefully, this post will help you incorporate thrifting into your own life if you choose to do so or at least teach you something new! As always, thank you for reading and please remember to support The Clothing Statement by following this blog from the homepage, liking our Facebook page, and following/liking photos on my personal Instagram.