Have you ever thought about where your clothing originates from? Ever considered buying pre-loved items?
Recently, as more as more people and more people raise the question of sustainable and ethical fashion, thrifting clothing has become a popular alternative to investing in good quality, sustainable but expensive clothing.
So you may be wondering, what are the benefits to thrifting your clothes?
In the age of fast fashion, many people have turned to thrifting to satisfy their clothing needs.
The rising popularity of fast fashion means following the trends, and this, in turn, means spending more money to keep up with seasonal styles.
The fast turnover rate of clothing in stores have also contributed to more clothing ending up in the landfill in either new or near-new condition. In 2015 alone, the fashion industry produced over 92 million tonnes of waste!
Thrifting clothing can be a viable choice for those on a budget and want to spend less on clothing as well as those who are environmentally conscious and want to play a part in reducing the pollution produced by excess consumption.
Regardless of your situation, these are some of the top reasons why you should try thrifting for clothes.
You save money
Buying second hand comes at a much cheaper cost than buying new, obviously because you’re buying items that are pre-loved.
This is especially great for those on a budget because you can buy more items of clothing for the amount that you’re prepared to spend, and getting more bang for your buck.
You get clothes that last for less money
A lot of the time, clothing that ends up at the thrift store is unworn or only worn a few times. Occasionally you may even be able to find designer labels at a very reasonable price.
If you look for brands that you know are good quality but would never buy full price at a retail store, then you know that those items of clothing will last you a significantly longer time than similarly low priced new items.
Try thrifting at consignment stores
If the idea of sifting through racks and racks of clothes with little to no order to them whatsoever doesn’t appeal to you, you may want to try thrifting at a consignment or resale store.
These stores are generally more curated and stock trendier items, meaning it’s much easier for you to find items of clothing that fit in with the current styles.
However, the downside to these stores being curated in this way is that the prices are marked up, not too much, but enough that you may want to consider going through large racks of clothing at large thrift stores to find those ‘hidden gems’.
You can try out new trends before committing
Trendy clothes that are also sustainable are pricey, there’s no denying that.
However, occasionally you may be able to find a trendy piece at the thrift store for a fraction of the price, perfect for those who want to try wearing ‘trends’ and don’t want to fork out large amounts of money.
You never know when leopard print is going to go back out of style.
You feel like you’re on a treasure hunt
The amazing thing about going through racks and racks of clothing with no particular organisation to them is that you might find something completely unexpected.
It’s not completely uncommon to find a designer or luxury branded item hidden away within the racks. (I actually found a Burberry jacket once.)
You can be as unique and creative as you want without breaking the bank
Now, we’re all human and sometimes we get crazy urges. If you one day decide to try out a new style or go head to toe in full zebra print, the thrift store can accommodate that.
If there’s anything a thrift store has, it’s crazy items of clothing from all decades. You’re bound to find something as long as you don’t mind a little digging.
With trends from the past few decades making a comeback, it’s the best time to go into a thrift store and find that neon skirt or wide leg pant you’ve been seeing everywhere on social media.
Best of all, if it goes out of style again, you won’t berate yourself for spending too much money on it.
You know where your money is going.
If you shop at thrift/op stores that are not-for-profit or a charity organisation, then you have peace of mind knowing that your money is helping disadvantaged people in your community.
Organisations such as The Salvation Army and Vinnies in Australia as well as Goodwill in America provide support and services such as job training, employment placing, to those that need it.
So when you purchase that fabulous new outfit at the thrift store, you’re not only treating yourself, you’re also helping someone else live a little better.
Aside from that, purchasing second hand instead of new ensures that your money goes to those in need instead of supporting child labour and sweatshops in third-world countries.
You reduce your own carbon footprint
By buying clothing second hand and not new, you prevent clothing from ending up in the landfill.
If enough people do this, it can reduce the pollution created by excessive clothing significantly.
Because of its long supply chains and energy-intensive production, the fashion industry contributes to around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Each garment you purchase second hand reduces the demand for a new garment to be made and lessens the cost to the environment.
You may think that as a single person, your impact can’t possibly be that significant but remember that all large goals are made up of many smaller goals.
By doing something, you are helping the environment and perhaps influencing those around you to join the cause as well.
Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to try out thrifting. You never know, perhaps thrifting your clothing may become a new favourite hobby.