The Pros of Thrifting

I absolutely love thrifting. A huge portion of my wardrobe is secondhand and I have a large collection of thrift store paintings. I think thrift shopping is tons of fun! If you’re not quite sold on the idea, here are some of the benefits of shopping secondhand. 

Great Bargains: 

Thrift stores are (generally) cheap, especially if you know when and where to go. I have a pair of Levi’s that I scored for less than $2 at Goodwill. Most thrift stores charge between $2 and $7 for most clothing items, which is a lot less than most stores. Home goods can be incredibly cheap because there are just so many donations. To get an even better bargain, you can donate to Goodwill to receive a 25% off coupon. Every Tuesday one tag color goes on a 75% off clearance (which is how I got my favorite jeans). If I need a new pair of pants, I always check thrift stores first—I can easily save at least $25 and I can usually find a much nicer brand than I would be buying for myself anyway. 

There’s Really Good Stuff: 

Some people who don’t thrift tend to assume that thrift stores just get junk that no one wants or needs anymore. While there are inevitably some things that definitely should have been tossed, you can easily find really nice stuff at a thrift store. I’ve found expensive clothes and shoes that still had the tag on—things I never would have been able to afford originally. My favorite pair of thrifted boots had a $75 price tag inside and clearly had never been worn! Even if it’s not brand new, most of the things are in good condition and have plenty of life left in them. 

Books are Incredibly Cheap:

Thrift stores get a LOT of book donations, so they are generally dirt cheap—often less than a dollar but even as low as 10 cents a piece. I love to read but can’t afford to pay $10-$25 each, so I use the library and thrift stores often. As much as I love the library, the pressure of having to read and return in a certain time frame can be too much with a busy college schedule. Buying a book for $1 or less gives me all the flexibility I could want, and I don’t have to feel bad if I accidentally bend the cover by stuffing it in my backpack. Library book sales are another great source of super-cheap secondhand books. 

It’s a Treasure Hunt: 

I love thrifting because I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to find when I walk in the door. I love sorting through clothing racks and having every t-shirt be a total surprise. You never know what you’ll find. It’s like a fun, low-risk form of gambling where the only cost is your time in the store. Some days you don’t find anything, others you walk out jubilant, amazed at your good luck. It’s rewarding to find that perfect item in the midst of everything else. 

It’s Charitable: 

Most thrift stores give back to the community. Goodwill runs job training and education programs and focuses on people who couldn’t find jobs elsewhere (like those with disabilities or criminal records). Arc’s Value Village provides services and advocacy to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Right down the street from Hamline, the new thrift store The Flying Pig donates its profits to local social justice organizations, focusing on fighting to reduce gun violence. 

It Helps the Environment: 

Lastly, thrift shopping helps the environment. Anything you buy secondhand is something you aren’t buying new (using up resources and contributing to pollution) and it means that the item won’t end up in a landfill. Unfortunately, people often throw away perfectly usable things, needlessly filling up landfills. Thrift stores provide an alternative, but anything that isn’t purchased has to go somewhere too. Recently the “fast fashion” industry and how harmful it is to the environment has been a hot topic of conversation. Thrifting is a great way to stop contributing to that waste, or at least lessen your contribution. 

So, there you have it. Thrift shopping is AWESOME and no one will ever change my mind. I love combing the aisles for something fantastic, and the joy I get from finding that perfect thing is so satisfying! I appreciate that my fun hobby is making a small contribution to good causes too. I encourage anyone to give thrifting a chance.