The sustainable fashion revolution is well underway and in 2018 and 2019 thrifting was more wide-spread than ever. In 2020, it’s just going to get bigger. If you know me, then you know that thrifting and perusing estate sales is just about my favorite thing to do. It’s insane what people get rid of, and it’s even crazier that things that don’t sell go straight to the landfill. That includes barely worn ‘brand name’ items that cost $100+ to buy brand new. Seriously, what the heck! Today I’m sharing why you should shop second-hand.
Consumption is basically shoved down our throats. We need to “buy the latest trends” to fit in or feel more confident. We need to “treat ourselves” to that new pair of $200 boots or even a $20 shirt that we wear once and never touch again because we “earned it.” It’s not sustainable for our finances, the environment, and our closets. Shopping consciously has changed my perspective on the fast fashion industry. If there’s a trend you want to try, I guarantee that it can be recreated for a fraction of the price by buying from consignment, vintage, or thrift store and generally those brands are going to last you much longer than a purchase from Forever 21 ever will. Bold statements- I know.
So let’s get into it + at the end you can find my favorite thrift pick-ups from the year!
Here are 4 Reasons Why You Should Shop Second-hand:
1. It’s budget friendly!
I briefly mentioned this earlier, but thrifting is so cheap. It’s hard for me to want to spend $20 on a shirt when I can find one brand new with tags for $7 at Goodwill. A lot of businesses will take their merchandise that doesn’t sell and donate it. My local goodwill gets donations from Target, Columbia, and Calvin Klein. So much of the clothing has tags on them that has just been crossed out with Sharpie.
Most frequently, I find the really budget-friendly items from the goodwill outlet (aka the bins). Okay, that sounds really scary and I think the first time I walked in I turned around and walked right back out. It’s an interesting place and not necessarily in a good way! But, I have found my best finds there. Basically if you haven’t heard of the bins, everything is thrown into giant blue bins and you dig through them (bring gloves). Some things are what didn’t sell from a regular Goodwill, some is just because there is too much stock, and some is because it was donated at that specific place. The bins charge by pound, so it’s something like $2.19 for up to 25 lbs and then $1.29 for 25+. That means I can get a lot for barely anything.
I also find really cheap clothing at local non-profits thrift shops. My favorite one near me has $3 clothing if it was priced under $20 originally on Thursdays and has lots of vintage pieces which is my style. Estate sales also have really cool pieces for cheap (usually Sundays are half off days) if vintage is your style.
2. You can make money!
I resell on eBay so I go to the bins at least once a week and I find great brands (like Eddie Bauer, Pendleton, North Face, Columbia, Anthropologie brands, etc) in great condition and can turn a profit fast. I will generally spend $10 in one trip to the bins and get around 5 items and then can sell the lot for $100. It takes about an hour to source there and then I ship things out during my lunch breaks throughout the week.
I also know that a lot of people can make money by sending their clothes into ThredUp, using apps like Poshmark and Vinted, or selling on sites like Etsy.
Want to follow my Vintage Instagram Shop? It’s @maddiedeervintage.
3. It’s environmentally friendly!
It is absolutely insane how much clothing is actually thrown away. It’s easy to think that it doesn’t matter, but thrifting aids in water preservation, decreases landfill waste, reduces chemical pollution, and lowers your carbon footprint. Only 20% of textiles are recycles and 80% are sent the landfill. Plus, buying new can support brands that have unethical practices and already produce a huge amount of waste.
Not only are we reusing resources that already exist when buying second-hand, but it means not supporting fast fashion brands. There is a HUGE overconsumption problem, especially when it comes to clothes. Right now, the mindset seems to be that clothing is just disposable. If you buy something and end up not liking it, you can donate it (which like I talked about, a lot ends up in the landfill), or just let it sit in your closet, taking up space. This is definitely an *opinion,* but shouldn’t we use our money to buy things that really bring us joy and make us happy?
Want some more stats on the benefits fo thrifting? Check out ThredUp’s post here!
4. It means developing your sense of self.
When I really started thrifting, I realized what my style is. Some trends I’ve liked in the past, but usually it just felt like I was dressing for someone else. Half the time in high school I would end up in an oversized hoodie and yoga pants, anyways (yikes).
Through thrifting I’ve been more creative with what I wear. It’s basically like treasure hunting because I never know what pieces I’m going to find or I’m going to be drawn to when I walk in. Shopping for clothing used to give me unneeded stress. Now, I actually enjoy it. It’s become a hobby, a source of income, and a sense of community.
My Outlook on Buying Second-hand as a Vegan:
Okay, not that I feel the need to explain myself (well, maybe I do), I just wanted to add this in. I am vegan, which if you read my blog you probably know that already since I’m fairly open about it. With being vegan there comes a lot of controversy because everyone has different opinions (usually strong ones) about how you should act. Like for example, some vegans will not go out to eat at a restaurant that serves meat while others will if there is a vegan option.
Another one of these strong opinions is that some feel buying animal products second-hand is okay while others do not. I feel like this is a really valid argument (if you don’t care about this, feel free to skip on ahead). Personally, I will not buy things made of animal products new, but I will buy something second hand. In the case of second-hand, I think about what the lesser evil is in my opinion. If something is in a thrift store and I like the way it looks, but there is no guarantee that someone is going to buy it or better yet I’m at the outlet where I know it will be going to the landfill after, I will buy it. I feel like getting use out of it is a lesser evil than just letting it get thrown away.
In this case I’m also not supporting the direct manufacturer who created this product. I think buying something with animal products supports the producer of that product and signals interest (therefore they will create more things like this product). It’s also more resourceful to use products that are already in existence. Sometimes, you can’t get around an animal product anyways. For example, when I was in AmeriCorps we needed very specific boots that had to be leather. In this case it would be much better to buy second-hand if possible (I wasn’t vegan at the time, this is just an example).
That’s basically where I stand on that. You don’t have to agree with me, but I thought it would be helpful to mention because below I have products that used suede in some of my favorite thrifted finds of 2019.
Here are my Favorite Thrifted Finds of 2019:
I found so many cool things this year from vintage Columbia + Patagonia jackets to depression glass and super cool vinyl records (Uh, Charlie Brown Christmas from 1970? Hellooooo). Here are my top 8 favorite thrifted finds of 2019!
1. Nike Air Max -$60 from a vintage Instagram account
These aren’t thrifted exactly and definitely not vintage, but I got them second hand. I snagged them from a vintage-reseller Instagram account I follow.
2. Wrangler Mom Jeans
These aren’t exactly a rare find or anything but I love them none-the-less. Mom jeans and vintage wrangler are really big right now and for good reason! They fit perfect, and are a total look.
3. World War II Military Flight Jumpsuit
This was one of my first finds when I started going to estate sales. I grabbed this Military Flight jumpsuit for $13.50 which is more than I usually spend but it’s so cool! It also fits me! Other flight suits are $100+ on eBay so I’m glad I snagged this.
4. Minolta hi-matic sii Rangefinder Camera with Flash
I grabbed this camera for $30 at an estate sale with the flash! It’s a film camera and this was probably my find of the year since it’s going for $300+ on eBay. At first I didn’t notice this camera when I was looking around, but then I heard someone talking about how it was a neat looking camera and I had to double back. I love cameras in general and have wanted to experiment with film, so I can’t wait to use this!
5. Brass Middle Eastern Vintage Dallah Coffee Pot
Okay, I had never seen anything like this so I thought it was so cool. It is beautiful and I love all things vintage brass so I am hoping to use this as a décor piece. I picked this up at a goodwill for $6
6. Vintage Mid Century Mugs
I love the unique glaze on these mugs and so I knew I had to grab these. They were only $2 each at a Goodwill and I am still deciding on what to do with them because I have a lot of mugs.
7. Galaxy Fine Porcelain by Sakura 14k Gold Mugs
Surprise… more mugs! Seriously I’m obsessed with mugs and I absolutely loved these when I saw them. They were $2 each at Goodwill and I am hanging on to them because I want to find the rest of the matching plates and all. They are from the 90’s and so far, I’ve had no luck!
8. Fire King Peach Luster Collection
I love vintage glassware. It’s hard to come by colored glass but when I do I grab it. For some reason, I just fell in love with the Fire King Peach Luster Collection. It’s from the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s and I usually only find it at estate sales. I’m trying to collect the entire line and I’m just waiting for the day I walk into an estate sale with all the pieces. I only pictured one of the pieces I found but I also found a bowl and two small casserole dishes that were only $1- $2 each.
Have I convinced you to shop second-hand yet, or do you already? Let me know in the comments below what your favorite find of the year was if you thrift or your thoughts if you don’t thrift!
By the way, did you catch my New Year’s Resolutions post? Check it out by clicking the hyperlink and let me know your New Year’s Resolutions!