Sustainable fashion has been rapidly growing in popularity within the last year, and I couldn’t be happier. Not only can you find great quality pieces, but they are also only a couple bucks! I have been shopping at my local thrift stores for the past three years and have found my favorite pieces there. Over the years, I have gathered some insight on how to make the most out of your next thrifting trip.
1. Plan ahead
This one may seem silly, but when you walk into a thrift store for the first time, you may be overwhelmed by the endless amounts of racks. One of my favorite ways to plan is to go on Pinterest and create an inspiration board. This in turn will help you stay on track.
2. Set a price limit
Another tip to keep you on track is to set a price limit. Even though the clothes are cheap, you can easily get carried away (I am speaking from experience). There have been plenty of times where I have $50 worth of clothes piled up in my cart. Having a budget forces you to take a second look at your finds and make some compromises.
3. Be open minded
This may seem contradictory to the previous tip, but don’t restrict yourself. The best fashion is experimental. If you really want to try out a new style, thrifting is the way to go.
4. Always check the “Deals of the Day”
My favorite way to save even more money is to take advantage of the stores’ “deals”. Most stores have a weekly deal where a certain color tag is discounted or even $1. I’ve even seen “Fill a Bag” deals. Take these opportunities to get those pieces you’re hesitant about or to get more of the styles you love.
5. Where you shop dictates the type of clothing
Something I had recently learned is that the location of the store affects what types of clothes are donated there. Areas with an older demographic will have more vintage clothing. Urban areas such as cities and the surrounding neighborhoods will have more modern and contemporary pieces.
6. Best days to shop
Another trick I have learned is that some days are better to shop than others. Since shipments come in during the week, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to shop. Weekends aren’t the best because most of the new pieces have been bought and there is more “competition.”
7. Shop in different sections
This one might be obvious, but don’t limit yourself to just one section! Try Men’s, Women’s, and Kid’s. Even try homeware and accessories! Bonus tip: check the ends of racks for piles of clothes that other customers have left behind.
8. Thrift store vs. vintage store
Another great tip is to know where you are shopping. Thrift stores are normally chains that receive hundreds of donations, and the pricing is relatively inexpensive. On the other hand, vintage stores are few and far between and consist of curated items that are usually sold at a higher price point. A similarity is that they both have good quality items, but one you have to do a little more digging for.
9. Join rewards programs
The way I have saved the most money is from joining rewards programs. Perks include member exclusive deals, coupons, and even special discounted days to shop. Best of all, most of them only require a phone number or an email.
I am no seamstress but my favorite way to make use out of pieces that didn’t work out is to upcycle them. Upcycling is a way to transform clothes, accessories, and textile waste into new products. This could be as simple as cropping a shirt and hemming some jeans or creating a tote bag out of scrap material. The possibilities are endless!
Before you use any of these tricks, please do one thing: donate! Before you make your next trip, scan your closet for items you no longer wear, and bring them with you. Continue the cycle of sustainable fashion and get rid of that disposable mindset so many of us have about clothing.