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By Niamh Withers

Fast fashion has become extremely popularized over the last few years because of its affordability for consumers and ability to rapidly produce trendy items in a timely manner. However, this industry turns a profit by partaking in extremely unethical practices such as poor working conditions, significant amounts of water pollution and textile waste, and the use of hazardous chemicals and plastic-derived materials. One way to boycott these companies is by purchasing your clothes second-hand. 

Thrifting is a much more sustainable way to shop because you are protesting these unethical corporations, while still purchasing extremely affordable clothing. In addition to this, it keeps clothing in a cycle of use and consumption for much longer. However, with the surplus of items that can be found in these stores, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. That’s why I composed a list of 8 tips to help you shop second-hand!

  1. Go in with specific pieces or a particular vibe in mind.

Stepping into a thrift store for the first time can be overwhelming. There’s such a wide variety of clothing, each being very different from the next. Having an idea of what exactly it is you would like to purchase can help you narrow down your selections.

  1. Set aside time to look through EVERYTHING.

I’ve always found that I gain the most from my thrifting experiences when I sort through every single rack. Some of the best finds can be well hidden in between hundreds of other boring pieces. If you don’t try to look carefully, you might miss something really cool!

  1. Shop in small towns.

Small town thrift stores are often home to many unique pieces and sometimes, designer items! 

  1. Keep an open mind.

Some clothes may not seem the nicest on the hanger, but if you style them correctly they can become huge statement pieces for your outfits! 

  1. Shop for clothes that are out of season.

People tend to donate clothes at the end of each season! For example, in the summer people donate their winter clothes because they don’t need them much in the hotter months. 

  1. Bring cash.

Using cash can help you ensure that you don’t go overboard on the spending. Having a variety of bills on hand it can make it easier to negotiate down to a lower price. 

  1. Tailor Your Finds.

If you find something you absolutely love but it’s a few sizes too big, don’t be discouraged! It’s difficult to find clothes at the thrift store that fit you exactly how you want. Getting items tailored or learning to sew is always good to keep in the back of your mind when you are thrifting because you can always make a pair of pants smaller. 

  1. Find out restock days.

If you’re able to find out the day the store restocks, you get first dibs on all the new pieces when the store is the fullest.

Niamh is a junior at Manhattan College studying Marketing with a minor in digital arts and humanities. She loves animals and heavily enjoys art, music, & podcasts.