A “Second-Hand” Convert, and Why You Should be Too!

I love buying used items. The feeling of finding something that is completely original, allows me to express myself, and can be creatively integrated with other items in my home brings me SO much joy. Plus, searching for the hidden gems is half the fun!  

Even if I didn’t personally benefit from thrifting, (monetarily, creatively, or as a hobby) I’d be heavily persuaded by the impact our shopping as on the environment. As many of us try to be more conscious about our waste, I encourage you to be thinking about your textile waste as well, because according to this source on the matter,  

The volume of clothing Americans throw away each year has doubled in the last 20 years, from 7 million to 14 million tons. 

This is why I firmly believe in purchasing 90% of my wardrobe and home goods through second-hand sources. Through vintage stores, thrift-shops, consignments, or even Buy Nothing groups, the options are endless to get new-to-you items as well as guarantee your retired items have a better shot of a continued life than wasting away for 200+ years in a landfill.  

Avoid the fast fashion brain wash 

Through my experience shopping second hand, I’ve learned that a lot of us are brainwashed by the fast fashion market, told that it’s normal to be consuming at such a high rate. It’s not. Told that because the individual items are “cheap” that spending over $100 to get free shipping is a great deal. It’s not. We’re being sold this lie because it’s both beneficial to these brands and fits into our existing image-conscious culture, but no longer can we continue to ignore the negative effects happening as a result of us acting on this lie. 

At this point, I’m such a second-hand convert that I have been largely turned off from shopping online or at retail stores. How someone can continue to shop at Boohoo (owner of brands like Pretty Little Thing and Nasty gal) while they are riddled with controversies of modern slavery or operating through Coronavirus outbreaks and lockdown is beyond me. 

The Benefits Roll in 

Let’s face it, we are likely all already conscious of the fact that as a culture, we spend too much on too many things. So, I’ll leave you with more benefits of thrifting for the most important person in your life, you! 

  • $$$– Brands have begun to donate their excess items to avoid waste, which means you can actually find many new items with tags still on, for a quarter of the price. We’ve spent most of our life justifying these excess purchases but don’t worry, you’ll find ways to spend all that saved money. 
  • Adapting the Trends– Clothing always comes in cycles, meaning the resurgence we are currently seeing of the 90’s or the 70’s have been, and will continue to be, found in thrift stores! We tend to think we need to keep up with the latest style (thanks to the fast fashion brainwashing), and the good news is that you can recreate these styles from quality items that have already shown they are lasting.  
  • No more Matchy-Matchy – Literally never again will you show up to an event with the same purse, jacket, shoes, dress, as anyone else. If you take pride in being a unique individual, this is for you! 
  • Evolution– You will truly see your creativity and style evolve. When you buy the things that fast fashion is telling you to, you’re accepting a given narrative and style being actively sold to you. When you search second hand, you force yourself to think consciously about your style and your body. 

4 thoughts on “A “Second-Hand” Convert, and Why You Should be Too!

  1. Kayci!
    Thank you for this enlightening post on textile waste and why thrift stores are so important. In the last year, I have stopped shopping fast fashion and I feel like it has almost bettered my fashion sense as well. There needs to be comprehensive change in our society to stop allowing large corporations to get away with the child labor and waste that is used to produce out “trendy” clothes. One day I hope there will be more ethical non-secondhand options as well. I’m excited to check out Arcs Value Village! I’ve been on a Depop and Goodwill streak for too long.

    1. Thanks Rachel! I’m happy to be finding out thrift shopping has gained in popularity for all of its various benefits. I agree with you that not only do the people need to get on board but there needs to be regulations on the fast fashion industry. Even being conscious I STILL fall prey to an online deal because I feel like a new item will boost my mood and it will be almost instant gratification *eyeroll at myself* But, it’s a work in progress 🙂 & I highly recommend Arcs, they’ve got a great mission seem to donate pretty significantly.

  2. WOW, this is a whole different perspective and I love it! I am so very proud of you for shopping second hand. When I lived in MN I really enjoyed going to Good Will 🙂

  3. Loved this!! I did a blog on thrifting too but I had never heard of this store. I’ve been trying to thrift more because I love clothes so much so I’m definitely adding this store to my list, great read!

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