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Thrifty and Thriving: A Guide to Shopping Sustainable


One of 2019’s biggest trends in fashion is making light on an act that most of us loathed for the longest time: thrift shopping. 


Growing up, many of us were burdened with the oversized, worn out hand-me-downs from our siblings, relatives, and neighbors. For those of us who were forced to experience this, wearing someone else’s old clothes were the bane of our existence. Who would have ever thought that we would actually choose to wear someone else’s clothing one day?


2019 has, without a doubt, been the year of being sustainable. We’ve made more ethical choices from ditching single use plastic and replacing them with reusable cups to shopping more sustainably, giving another life to used clothing. 


Every day we make little choices that help save our environment, such as using a canvas bag instead of a plastic one, or our choice to bring in a reusable cup for our Starbucks run (which also gives you ten cents off your order!). Basically, this year is all about saving the Earth. 


So why exclude fashion?


Many Influencers and YouTubers, such as Ashley (bestdressed), Alexa Sunshine83, and Stephanie Vega, have helped to make secondhand clothing look luxurious in their own way. These Youtubers (amongst others) are following the trend of videos on thrifting, many of the videos consisting of  “Thrift Try-On Haul,” “Come Thrifting with Me” and “Thrift-Flip,” where items of thrifted clothing are altered in order to make them more fashionable or to fit their model better. And the results are almost always ridiculously cute!


Buying second-hand is becoming easier and easier. Of course, you could go to your local Goodwill, St. Vincent De Paul, or The Salvation Army- but if those places don’t work for you, you can thrift from home too. Online sites like ThredUp, Depop, and Poshmark allow you to thrift from home; whether buying from the store (like ThredUp) or through the owner of the product directly (Depop and Poshmark). They’re pretty much my favorite sites. Online shopping and still being able to save money? Sign me up!


If buying secondhand isn’t your style, brands like Reformation, Everlane, Patagonia, and Alternative Apparel are showing how easily made sustainable, ethically made clothing can be. Although these brands are on the pricier side (Alternative Apparel being the most affordable out of the bunch), their styles are just as cute and wearable as a fast-fashion brand, such as Forever 21. Because of your budget, fast-fashion prices may be more ideal for you, H&M Conscious is an ethical line of clothing that’s fit to satisfy your need for something cute, something better for the environment, and a budget that can’t excuse spending $100 on a single shirt. Better for everyone! 


No matter what style you wear, shopping sustainably suits everyone. And if you need a reason to thrift, here’s your sign: By buying used clothing, you’re helping to save both the environment and your wallet. 


Now who wouldn’t want that?

Sydney Poynter

Cincinnati '22

Sydney is a current writer for Her Campus and a second year at The University of Cincinnati.
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