The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I started thrifting when I was 16, not long after I moved to California. I was born and raised in a very small town in Northern Illinois, where buying secondhand and having a unique sense of style was discouraged by other teens. One of the many factors of culture shock I experienced when I moved was the expression of oneself through clothing. I saw so many different styles and personalities through my classmates’ outfits when I got to California, and it didn’t take me long to become comfortable exploring my own creative expression! Thrifting has so many benefits besides being a great way to develop a unique sense of style, and as someone who loves to thrift, I’d love to share them with you.
Thrifting as opposed to shopping fast fashion or buying new is a great way to help reduce waste. According to Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries, in the United States, individuals throw out 60 to 80 pounds of textile waste each year, and it can take months and even years for these materials to break down in landfills. Buying secondhand as opposed to brand new clothing can immensely benefit our planet. According to the Geneva Environment Network, “Fashion production makes up 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams”.
Thrift shopping is a significantly cheaper method of buying clothes than retail shopping, and this is one of the main appeals for me personally. As a part-time worker and college student, it’s important for me to be more frugal with my money. Thrifting has been a great way for me to save while still maintaining a wardrobe I love and purchasing the things I need. Some shops can be more expensive than others. Curated stores, for example, are usually pricier because the items that are put on the floor have been carefully chosen and are usually trendy or represent what is in style at the time. Goodwill is still a very cheap option, although I have been to plenty of shops that have even lower prices!
Furnish Your Home
Furniture can get very pricey, especially if you need to furnish an entire apartment or house. Finding used furniture is a great way to get all the items you need for your home, and it will make your space more unique which is a plus. I found a couch at Goodwill for just around $40 and it was the cutest green color with a plaid design. Thrift stores also have other furniture items, such as desks, tables, chairs, and lamps.
Go on a Treasure Hunt
You never know what you will end up with when you go thrifting. Most of my favorite articles of clothing are items that I have thrifted. They are extra special to me because I know most likely I am the only one with that specific item. I’ve found jackets with patches sewn on or items that have been embroidered by the previous owner which adds so much character to the pieces.
Gain a New Hobby
Thrifting is therapeutic to me; I often go alone wearing earphones to listen to music while I spend hours exploring several shops. It’s also a great activity to do with your friends because it’s cheap and easy! If you haven’t explored your local thrift shops, I recommend giving it a try. Washing the clothes you find before wearing them is a wise decision, and remember to have fun with it!