Instead of shopping at fast fashion companies such as Forever 21 or American Eagle, more and more sustainable, slow fashion companies have come onto the scene. The downside? They cost more than a typical college student can afford. Enter secondhand clothing. Secondhand clothing is the “recycling of used and/or unwanted clothing, and this reciprocal buy/sell/trade transaction between the customer and the retailer saves an incalculable amount of unwanted clothing from dumps and landfills” (Wikipedia).
In the past year, I have found that I am more interested in thrifting clothes rather than buying them from traditional college stores as I find more unique pieces. Not only does shopping secondhand help broaden your style, it is also beneficial for the environment. According to Sam Corbin of Insider.com, “The fashion industry is responsible for 8% to 10% of global carbon emissions, to say nothing of its water use and exploitative labor practices in countries across the globe” (2020). Thrifting is a great way to help reduce the amount of clothes that end up in landfills. Buying secondhand is incredibly sustainable as it embodies the well-known saying: “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!”
I have known about consignment stores and thrift stores for a while, yet I did not shop at them as frequently as I should have. There is a thrift store in my hometown that sells high-end clothes the wealthy families no longer need. I’ve gotten some Madewell t-shirts and my sister has snagged some pretty cool sweaters there. When my sister and I were little, my mother would always make us go through our closets and set any clothes aside that we wanted to donate. Do as we do and instead of throwing out your old, unwanted clothes, try donating them to your local Goodwill, or even try to sell them on Poshmark or social media.
In college, I was first introduced to Savers by my boyfriend last fall and I have been going there since. It is a great place to get basics to workout in or do crafts because they are inexpensive. I have found a vintage Nordica jacket, super cute cardigans, and some comfy sweaters for my sister’s birthday. They have a large variety of clothes that can add some spice to your closet no matter the season. As Jasmine Fox-Suliaman said in her Who What Wear article, “As it turns out, great style doesn’t have to cost a pretty penny” (2019). They also sell shoes, bags, books, movies, and other little pieces you might want for your dorm or bedroom at super reasonable prices!
Instead of searching for the newest items that all of the influencers are touting on their Instagram stories, try thrifting for one-of-a-kind pieces that will make your friends say, “I absolutely love your outfit!”
Here are some additional articles if you would like to learn more!