There is no denying that #Thrift is gaining momentum in the social media world. A quick search of the hash tag reveals a whopping 1.2m public posts. You may be wondering why this mode of shopping is gaining in popularity. It could be just another trend, it could be a consciousness shift in consumers, or it could be just the greatest way for you to shop, support your community, and have your say in the health of our wee planet. Either way, I’m here to tell you why to embrace thrifting like an old friend bringing you tubs of hummous.
I’ll also help you with a few of the hows at the end, so keep reading.
- Not So Old
Ok, let’s get real, not everything you find in charity shops is gold. BUT. There are plenty of diamonds in the rough. The shiniest of these are ones with the original shop tag still on. When I first started thrifting, I was shocked at how many items still had the tag on. I’ve bought black skinnies, the blue dress featured here , a lipsy skirt, and so many more. A haul video of new items thrifted will be linked here very soon.
- Experiment With Your Style
It’s not easy finding your personal style, but it is important for some people. I have often rejected the idea of fashion and looking well because I didn’t agree with the practices of the fashion industry. I took this to extreme and sometimes didn’t even have functional pieces because I refused to compromise my ideals. However, in rejecting myself a second skin, I lost touch with my personal style. This is definitely a worthy reason to embrace thrifting. The clothes are cheaper which makes it easier for you to experiment, you also know you can just re-donate any clothes that you don’t like, AND the biggest one for me, you don’t have the guilt of supporting an industry which brings very little good into the world.
- Vote With Your Money
Did you know that the fashion industry is the 2nd leading pollutant in the world after the oil industry? The cost of clothes has reached an all time low, thus making them extremely replaceable products. A dependency on trends and consumption has led to the coining of the phrase ‘Fast Fashion’. The aim of popular high street fashion brands has become about quick turn arounds, and the next big seller before this season has even begun. The quality of the clothing produced has plummeted with the prices. I have often gone back to shops to replace one of their shoddy products I had bought only months before. Repeat custom like this is what keeps these colossal corporations going, and it is their crap quality clothing which lies to rot for hundreds of years polluting our earth. It has brought amazing positivity into my life to break the cycle and choose to spend my money supporting greater causes. This leads me nicely to my next reason for embracing charity shopping.
- Charity: Add to the Millions
There are many fun ways to give back and do good. In Ireland, thrift shops and charity shops are one in the same. Choosing to spend your dolla in a charity shop is one of the easiest ways to get that good karma you crave. There are questions about the revenue of charity shops and how effective they are. I did a little research and found an Irish Times article from this year outlining the revenue, costs, and profit of the big players in Ireland. At the top is SVP (Saint Vincent DePaul) with 199 shops in the country and a whopping intake of €25,000,000 in 2015. Alas a chain of that number obviously costs a lot to run, leaving the profit margin and money that goes to charitable work at €6m and how much go to charitable work. To read more of the statistics, click here.
- Waste Reduction: It’s in your pockets!
As mentioned in point one, Fast Fashion lends itself to massive pollution through the waste generated. I also mentioned in point 2 that the costs of running charity shops are high, therefore, there is a very real risk of a loss being made. If there were no charity shops in your town, what would people do with their unwanted clothes? Simply put, your money will keep these shops open. If you donate instead of throwing out, the clothes may be loved again instead of ending up in landfills. If you’re clothes can’t be sold, according to the times article, the charity shops will sell these clothes to textile companies for re-use. You can add greatly to your community by supporting your local charity shops, because without them, there would be millions more garments to add to those landfills today.
So I know there are more reasons, and other people may have their own ideas, so please share what you think it the comments below.
I am also aware that this may be a new consideration for some people reading this post, and I think it is so amazing that you have made your way here. You will hear me say this a lot, but it’s about progress and not perfection. So, go easy on yourself, start small. Small changes lead to big energy changes and more sustainable actions. I’m making a detailed post on how to get the best out of your thrifting experience, but for now I will leave you with these 3 tips to get you started:
- Know your size by eye
- Check for quality
- Go with a goal
There you have it, my 5 reasons to embrace thrifting. Now go forth and save the world.