Four Reasons to Skip the Mall, and Head to the Thrift Store!

Written by Jocelyn McEvers


Posted on August 03 2022

With fast fashion on the rise, those who value ethics and sustainability (like myself) have
learned the importance of purchasing thrifted and preloved pieces of clothing. To me, one of the most gratifying feelings in the world is scoring a completely unique, one-of-a-kind piece at a thrift or vintage store. Though spending countless hours digging through bins at the local Goodwill may not appeal to some, my experiences with thrifting have taught me that more often than not, you are bound to find at least one hidden treasure. If you aren’t sold on the idea of thrifting/ shopping vintage quite yet, its benefits related to sustainability, individuality, quality, and supporting local communities/small businesses might just change your mind.
1. Sustainability
Currently, our Earth is facing the harsh effects of mass production and an abundance of waste like never before. Due to ever-changing trend cycles and the practice of fast fashion, landfills across the world have become exhausted and overrun. Although this issue needs to be tackled on a much larger scale, you can make a truly meaningful difference by choosing to donate and shop at thrift/vintage stores. By participating in this environmentally-friendly form of consumerism, you will prevent the pollution of Earth by providing a new home for clothes that would otherwise pile up in dumpsites.
2. Individuality
One of the most enticing aspects of thrifting is that it gives the shopper a chance to cultivate a wardrobe that is original and unparalleled. More often than not, the items that end up in thrift and vintage stores are the only one of its kind. This means that you not only have the opportunity to distinguish your personal style, but you will also be the only individual to own a particular piece. In the fashion industry, there is truly nothing more memorable than wearing something that no one else has!
3. Quality
You may be surprised to learn that the selections in vintage and thrift stops are usually of higher quality than those of large retailers. In conjunction with fast fashion, name brands are known to replicate trends as quickly and cheaply as possible. The result: poorly made clothing that is bound to fade, rip, or become worn out in a matter of weeks or months. However, items that are donated to thrift stores are typically inspected to determine if they are in sellable condition, and the pieces that qualify are then put on display. Because they have survived being used by other individuals in the past and satisfy quality tests, it is safe to say that most thrift store purchases will remain intact as long as you desire.

4. Supporting local communities/ small businesses
A substantial portion of the money that is accumulated by thrift shops goes towards providing the funds that are needed to keep charities and nonprofits afloat. Organizations such as Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and Savers/Value Village contribute a percentage of their profits towards efforts that ultimately finance social, technological, educational, humanitarian, and economic causes. At the same time, thrift stores offer a wide selection of clothing and home goods at affordable price points. This factor further supports communities by providing lower-income families with a place to purchase nearly any kind of item they may need.