It goes without saying, thrifting is having a moment. Former mallrat millennials now devote their weekends to flea market and thrift store expeditions. The staunch thrift shopper looks no further when it comes to furnishing their homes, families, and themselves, yet the vast majority of Americans remain dedicated to buying new. Though secondhand is the less common choice among consumers, it is the most ethical, practical, and self-rewarding option at their disposal.
Support Your Community.
Many thrift stores, like Inspirations, are small, family owned businesses that rely on the community they are a part of. In turn, they create jobs in the area and provide a necessary service to families with limited resources. Sales from non-profit second hand stores go directly to benefit citizens struggling with disabilities, low-income, and crisis relief, to name a few.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
There are 2 truths in fashion, it changes fast, but it always comes back around. No better to reason to shop secondhand, however, consumers have grown reliant upon fast fashion. Aside from the many human rights violations, the apparel industry is one of the worst offenders when it comes to waste. Eileen Fisher, founder of the namesake womenswear brand, has unabashedly claimed, “The clothing industry is the second-largest polluter in the world, second only to the oil industry.” It requires over 700 gallons of water to grow enough cotton for a single t-shirt. Fabrics are then treated with chemicals and dyes that are released into the environment via wastewater.
The post-consumer statistics, are only more harrowing:
-15 million tons of used textile waste is created in the U.S., annually. Equal to 80 pounds per person.
-The burden on taxpayers is approximately $45 per ton to dispose of clothing waste alone.
– 85% of used textiles end up in landfills, accounting for 5% of landfill waste.
A Look All Your Own
How many times have you had this conservation, “I love your (so-and-so), where’d you get it?”
“The thrift store.”
Envious or envied, it’s understood shopping secondhand guarantees you’ll find something unique. You don’t have to be a fashion risk-taker to feel at home in the thrift store. Nor does shopping secondhand mean you have to change your shopping habits. Whether you’re partial to the brick and mortar or e-commerce experience, countless styles from brands you love are available at a fraction of the cost.
It’s Simple Math
Why pay $500 for a Brooks Brothers blazer, new, when you can pay $12, secondhand? It’s not like herringbone twe ed is going out of style, ever. At such prices, you could have 40 Brooks Brothers blazers, or 1. But who needs 40 blazers? Shopping secondhand means you could have that finely crafted wool jacket, a well-deserved night on the town, and put some money into savings like you’ve been meaning to do. That nagging feeling of buyer’s remorse is replaced by a rush, akin to a runner’s high, that comes from scoring deals on all the items your heart desires. And why not? You made an ethical choice without breaking the bank, treat yo’self!