Why Thrifting Matters, 10 Reasons to Thrift Shop
Thrift shopping involves shopping for previously owned items at thrift or consignment stores, garage sales, or any online reselling platform. Why would anyone choose to thrift shop? Won't used items be dirty? I'll share 10 sensible reasons to thrift shop.
Ten years ago, I started thrift shopping because I honestly had to. My husband was in graduate school, so I provided the only small income we had. As a Christian, I knew God would provide for us, but we also had to exercise extreme frugality and responsible simplicity. For me, thrifting began with work interview wear and subsequent work uniform scrubs. Then, my husband bought a $10 used vacuum with hose attachment that actually survived until recently! It didn't take long for me to be impressed with our thrifting results. I've since focused mainly on thrifting clothes, and here's why.
1. Get deep discounts on new / almost new items.
If you know your brands and material, you can walk away with high-quality items at sometimes a third of retail cost! Have you ever bought a pair of name brand pants that weren't a good fit for you? You wore them twice, so they still look new, but you can't return them. There are a lot of very gently used clothes like this available. You just have to look.
2. Help the environment and keep products out of landfills.
Aside from saving money, thrifting is a good way to reduce your environmental impact. I bought a used stroller for a great price. This kept factories from creating more and allowed a stroller with lots of life left to get used again, instead of getting thrown into a landfill.
3. Support local community members.
This can include purchasing from individuals via online platform, garage sales, or local consignment/charity thrift stores.
4. Foster creativity/upcycle.
I first think of used furniture and refinishing or decorating it when I hear about upcycling. However, this idea can definitely apply to thrifting clothes! There are limitless possibilities for upcycling used clothing. Appliques or embroidered details can be added. Bleach or tie-dye techniques can be used to update items, especially shirts and jackets. Sewing skills can be honed as a sleeve is changed or removed from a dress. There are so many fun and creative methods for upcycling thrifted items!
5. Keep your closet and style fresh.
I really enjoy adding new clothing pieces to my closet. And because of low prices, thrifting allows me to do this frequently. A few years ago, I purposely started dressing better to help myself get out of a postpartum depression slump. One of my goals, which still remains is, I don't want to be wearing the same shirt in pictures that are years apart. Of course, I have a few pieces that are favorites and will never leave my closet. But, overall I want to keep my closet ever-changing, and thrifting allows me to do that!
6. Allows you to tailor your own personal style.
As I get older, I'm finding that I don't enjoy all the latest trends & clothing quality that are sold in retail stores. (I'm not that old, I promise!) Thrifting has allowed me to find more high quality and unique pieces that really speak to my personal style.
7. It's like a treasure hunt!
I've learned to enjoy the thrill of the chase when thrifting. Especially when looking for something specific, thrifting can seem like a treasure hunt. There is so much variety! The more you thrift, the quicker you can get a feel for a store's vibe and product quality. Finding the perfect used item can feel exhilarating!
8. More for your money.
I want to reiterate the cost savings with thrift shopping. Three gently used shirts instead of only one new shirt, yes please!
9. Greater appreciation for your buys.
Finding a nearly new or name brand item is much more pleasant when the cost is much less than brand new. Sometimes you do have to look beyond the state of an item at the thrift store when shopping. A used vacuum or pair of shoes will need to be cleaned. But, after the item gets its facelift, you sure will appreciate it's updated look!
10. Break even on your spending.
This point touches on reselling thrifted products. I've had four children in the last six years. My pants size fluctuates rapidly. But, I've always had cute, name brand jeans that fit well because I've thrifted them all. Gently-used, trendy jeans are always for sale at a fraction of retail cost! And they will retain used market value if you take care of them. That said, some experience or research helps with thrifting good products for resale if you don't wear or use them long. I bought a double stroller used, but it ended up being too heavy for me to handle. But, I was able to resell it for the same purchase price, so it was zero loss to me!
I hope reviewing this list has helped you get motivated to start thrift shopping! When I started thrifting, I had family members ask me why I kept shopping at "stores like that." With experience, I started thrifting better products. Now, my family has accepted my passion for thrifting and been impressed with my purchases. Shop around. Have an idea what you are looking for. Get to know brands and traits of higher quality items. And most importantly, go have fun on your treasure hunt!