There was once a time when the phrase “thrift shopping” was associated with funky-smelling Grandma clothes from Goodwill and the kind of people that scold you for not recycling. Luckily, the shopping trend has gotten a cool-girl rep over the past few years. It’s not only become socially acceptable, but actually trendy to go thrifting and see what deals you can score. More importantly, people are beginning to recognize the eco-benefits of wearing recycled clothing and practicing sustainable shopping habits. With the rise of fast fashion, the average lifespan of a garment is now only around 7 wears before being tossed out, leading to enormous amounts of textile waste and clothing that ends up in landfills. The best way to reduce waste is to eliminate the need for such high amounts of new production by shopping recycled and previously worn clothing. Below, we’ve put together a guide to help you find the best thrifting style for your fashion needs.
Goodwill may have gotten a bad rep in the past, but if you’re willing to do some serious digging and thorough cleansing (I may or may not throw my thrifted finds in the wash at least twice before wearing them), you’re bound to find some gems. One of my favorite things to do if I’m on a budget is to find some basics at Goodwill and upcycle them into something more my style- you don’t have to have crazy DIY skills just to turn an old t-shirt into a cute crop top! Don’t forget about your local thrift stores either. A lot of family or non-profit owned thrift stores donate a portion of their proceeds to a charity or provide jobs to those in need. My personal favorite is my Miracle Hill store, which supports our local domestic violence shelter for women and children. Not only do I score some affordable and cute styles, I know that I’m helping both the planet and my community!
Go Thrifting Online
Ever raided your best friend or sister’s closet? Online thrifting is kind of the same concept, except better because you never have to give that cute top back! With sites like Depop or Poshmark, you can shop other women’s closets and have an endless selection of styles at your fingertips for half the original cost. One of the pros of sites like these is that you know the quality of the clothing or accessories you’re purchasing is going to be up to standard. Since you’re paying $5 instead of $0.05 at Goodwill, sellers only list garments that have been gently worn and are still in great condition. And if you’re looking to start a side hustle, listing your lightly loved clothes on reselling sites like Depop and Poshmark can be a great way to earn a little spending cash. ThredUp is a similar site that sells gently used clothing, except instead of shopping individual women’s closets, you can browse all listings by filtering preferences like brand or the type of garment. With so many options, there’s no longer any excuse to not ditch your fast fashion habits!
Second-Hand Luxury Shopping and Rentals
Hopping on the bandwagon trend of online thrifting, sites like The Real Real have popped up that cater to higher-end budgets. If you want to treat yourself to a luxury item, but don’t want to break the bank, try scrolling through The Real Real’s never-ending listings of designer handbags and accessories. If you have a big event coming up that you want to look your best for, consider renting instead of buying. Most formal wear that we purchase is typically only worn once or twice a year before being thrown out, resulting in money loss for you and more textile waste for the environment to deal with. Sites like Rent the Runway and Style Lend provide a great alternative and allow you to rent a designer gown or outfit for a fraction of the cost, letting you live out a true Cinderella moment. Or just fueling your need to never wear the same outfit twice on Instagram. We don’t judge.
Whatever your budget or occasion, thrifting is easier and more accessible than ever. Show the planet (and your wallet) some love and get to searching for the ultimate thrift find!