Thrifting – What, Why, Where?

I am stunting and flossing and saving my money and I’m hella happy, that’s a bargain, bitch.

Thrift shopping had a nice little blip in popularity for a moment thanks to the musical stylings of one, Benjamin Haggerty, more commonly known as Macklemore. On the surface it seems pretty lush – save money, save the planet. BOOM! Sustainability. Nailed it. Well…it may not be that easy, because where the heck do I start?

What:

What exactly is thrift shopping? My favorite definition is thanks to the ultra-reliable, Urban Dictionary which names a thrift shop as A place that sells used clothing (and other items) for dirt cheap. Contrary to popular belief, thrift stores are not necessarily nasty or strictly for poor people. (Although some do smell like basement.) Yes, there’s a lot of junk there, but you can find something nice if you look hard enough.

Good lord, that is hilarious, but also true. There are a lot of people who I know who have never and/or refuse to shop at a thrift store for a multitude of reasons, basement smell being a big one. Pair that with the stigma of thrift shopping and you have a recipe for, “No way, Jose.” The biggest shift here needs to be in thinking. Stores (at least established ones) screen all items before cataloging them and placing them on the shelves. They check for wear and tear and do tend to choose items that will sell. Clothing and items they do not accept typically goes to a landfill or recycle. Many places like Goodwill and Salvation Army only put a small fraction of donated clothing on the shelves while most of the clothing is recycled.** So even if your clothes are not in the greatest condition, they can be recycled.

The second deterrent seemed surprising at first, but on closer inspection this past weekend I was shocked at what I saw as well – the prices. When I can buy a new top at H&M for $7, it feels a little strange to spend the same amount to buy something pre-loved.

Why:

Why should I do it? *See above A.K.A save money and save the planet. I think the biggest thing to keep in mind is you need TIME to search through everything.

Where:

Locations vary by where you are located but my personal favorite is Value Village. There are other thrift shops that gear more toward the younger set, like Plato’s Closet, but I’m always finding anything that is trendier there. Other ideas are:

  • Goodwill
  • Buffalo Exchange
  • UGM
  • VOA

And there are local shops in towns and cities, which will give you opportunities to save the planet and support small business owners.

I took on a challenge the week before last involving thrift shopping. Be sure to check out the mini-teaser I posted on YouTube to see what my challenge was and where I went to accomplish it!

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