Shopping second-hand is better for the planet and your wallet. It’s a great way to find unique clothes, accessories, and other items you can’t find in stores. You can also get some excellent deals on designer brands.
Thrifting is not gross! It’s an adventure! You never know what you’ll find when you go into a thrift store. You might find something that no one else has or something that’s been discontinued by the company.
Better For The Planet & Your Wallet
How does buying “used clothes” work in the planet’s favor?” There are a couple of ways. First, it prevents clothes from going into landfills, and it tells manufacturers to produce less.
The average American throws away 81 pounds of clothing per year. That’s about 5% of the total weight of their trash! When you buy second-hand clothes, you are preventing this from happening. You are also saving money by not buying new clothes that are overpriced and made with cheap materials.
These cheap materials are detrimental to the health of the planet. They generate approximately 8-10% of new carbon emissions every year! Buying secondhand is a vote for producers to make less of something as it doesn’t sell. If it doesn’t sell, they don’t make it. Also, the prices charged for pre-loved items is more affordable allowing you to get a higher-quality piece for less cash.
Get Thrifty Like A Pro
So how does one shop secondhand without the stress? Largely the same way that I teach all my clients to shop, with a plan. No plan = no hope. Follow these steps.
1 – Know Your Style Personas
These are what all those online quizzes claim to solve by pumping out a single answer such as boho or what’s popular now, to add a word to core (like Puritancore) and call it a style. This is just a way that the general populace has found to cope with the fact that our style is not just one thing. Know what all of your personas are and how they mix together to create your unique look. More on style personas here.
2 – Know what your closet needs
If you haven’t cleaned out your closet in a while it’s important to do that here. Think about it like grocery shopping without checking to see what ingredients you already have. You come home only to find that the lasagna you wanted to make isn’t going to happen because you’ve got no noodles but three containers of ricotta and the ground beef is rotten. You’ll want to know what you own, the condition it’s in and if it matches what you discovered in step one. After this assessment is made put together a list of what you’re looking for.
3 – Know What To Look For
Get comfortable spending time in a store for a while. It requires patience and thoroughness when thrifting in person. You’ll want to use the list you made in step two as a guide to direct your attention. Then inspect each piece like a drill sergeant inspecting barracks. Look for holes, missing buttons, stains, and fabric quality, (ex: Is it stretched out?) Even being thorough I have brought home pieces with missing buttons or holes that I missed, usually because I was rushing. The moral of the story, take your time.
To Bag It Up…
To wrap it up in a great big bow through personal experience, I have had to update my wardrobe twice this year due to pregnancy. Both updates were done by thrifting and saved me hundreds of dollars! Best of all I can re-donate the items I bought or alter them to fit my postpartum body. Save your money and the planet by shopping secondhand AND look great doing it!