Thrift for Change

Changing the world through thrifting

According to a quick Google search, the word “thrift” has peaked since the turn of the twentieth century.  The definition of the word thrift is: the quality of using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully (according to Google). While I think this is a fine definition, among Millennials and Gen-Z, the term has become more synonymous with: thrift stores. Thrift stores vary in price ranges from Goodwill to high-end luxury consignment shops. You may be wondering… Why would I want to use clothing or goods? Will it not be worse than buying something new? Quite contrary my friend. 

Thrifting your clothes is a great way to save money. The average person will spend over $1,700 a year on clothing. This number could be greatly reduced by thrifting your clothes. A dress that costs $50 or $60 could be found in a thrift store with prices ranging $5-$30. That’s nearly half the price. In short, you could cut nearly half of the clothing budget simply by shopping at thrift stores.

Many people worry about the quality of the items in thrift stores. To that, I just have to say that it all depends. It depends on where you go, the item you are looking for, and how much you are willing to spend. For instance, if you go to a Goodwill store looking for a prom dress with a budget of $10, chances are you will not find much of great quality or great abundance. However, if you went to a more high end dress resale shop with a different budget, chances are you will find a dress and still save money. So, be sure to have realistic expectations when looking for items in thrift stores and resale shops.

Thrifting is also really good for the economy; many sustainable economists emphasize the importance of soon shifting to a circular economy. In a circular economy, things are reused, recycled and repurposed until the item(s) are no longer able to be used. This is essentially the opposite of single-use plastics and other destructive materials. A shift away from fast fashion like SHEIN, H&M, etc. would be very beneficial to the health of our planet by keeping unused and unwanted clothing out of landfills. While fast-fashion is convenient, unfortunately it is not sustainable. 

Thrifting is a great way to save money, help protect the environment, and it is a worthwhile investment if you make the time for it. It may be easy to dismiss thrifting clothing as dirty and bad quality, but the truth is, you can find many worthwhile and durable pieces through thrift stores; not to mention, it gives you a better eco-alternative to fast fashion.