5 Reasons Thrifting is Awesome
In an age when cheap clothes and fast fashion have led to a throwaway mentality, when things go out of style before you even knew they were in, secondhand shopping is a shining beacon of light. Against an army of matching $50 t-shirts, thrifting is the knight in shining fluorescent80sfloralbomberjacket charging to the rescue.
Pre-loved: previously owned; secondhand
The thrifting phenomenon has taken the country by storm. Even though "charity shops" have been around for over 60 years, secondhand shopping has exploded in popularity over the last decade. Wearing secondhand clothes was been widely looked down upon for centuries, but now thrifting is actually...cool.
It's no secret that I'm a huge supporter of secondhand shopping. The majority of my closet (and my apartment) is filled with unique pieces from the last 50+ years. As a kid, my mom would take me to consignment shops and estate sales and thrift stores on a regular basis. I also recently started a popup shop full of vintage and preloved clothes. It's just what I know to do.
But as I've gotten older, I've realized that there are some major benefits to buying secondhand.
1. Thrifting is good for the environment.
Shop with purpose. Thrifting is gentler on the environment by reducing pollution and waste. The average American throws away 81 pounds of clothes PER YEAR. That adds up to around 26 BILLION pounds of clothing going right to landfills. Thrifting is recycling. Point blank. By choosing preloved items over newly produced pieces, you're shrinking your carbon footprint. You're limiting the amount of natural resources it takes to create new fabric, make the clothing, and ship it hundreds or thousands of miles to the store. Giving a used item new life rescues it from those 26 billion pounds going to the landfill by keeping it in circulation. And when you're done with it, you can donate it again for someone else to find and love. It's a gift that keeps giving.
2. Thrifting is good for your wallet.
Most thrift stores offer extremely low prices compared to their retail counterparts. It's common sense that the more money you can save, the better off you'll be. There's no feeling that's more rewarding than scoring an awesome secondhand jewel for a fraction of its original cost. Despite being less expensive, secondhand items are often actually better quality than new ones. It's a good sign if it's so durable that it lasted long enough to be donated. The longer it lasts, the longer it stays out of the landfill.
3. Thrifting is good for your community.
Many thrift shops serve some charitable cause, whether it be job training and placement, funding a mission of some kind, or simply providing impoverished communities an affordable shopping option. Not to mention giving your money to local shops puts it right back into your local community. It's much easier to track where your clothes and goods have traveled. Instead of having been shipped halfway across the world, thrifted items are locally sourced.
4. Thrifting is good for the globe.
In addition to being nice to the planet, thrifting is nice to people. Buying secondhand reduces both new items being produced AND the need for someone to produce them. Mass production often comes at the cost of human rights. Women, children, and impoverished people are usually at the highest risk for worker rights violations--low wages, long hours, poor working conditions, etc. So while you can certainly seek ethically-sources items, nothing is more ethical than recycled goods.
5. Thrifting is good for your wardrobe.
Unleash your creativity. Create your own unique style. Stand out from the crowd. You have to get creative and think outside the box when you shop secondhand. It's an exciting challenge to style something old to look new. You'll find one-of-a-kind pieces for your closet or your home. They each tell a story and have a unique, mysterious history. And good news: vintage is IN. Trends cycle in and out of style, which means there thrift stores are chock full of treasures that are good for the environment and great for your aesthetic.
To see how I style my own secondhand wardrobe, you can follow me on Instagram.
So, we can all agree that thrifting is awesome, yes? Yes. If you haven't jumped on the secondhand bandwagon just yet, give it a try. As the great Natasha Bedingfield once said, release your inhibitions. Get creative and get thrifting.
What's your favorite part of thrifting? Tell me in the comments below!
Show me your thrift style! Use the hashtag #VagabondaryStyle on Instagram when you show off your secondhand love.