How To Thrift Shop Like a Professional
The average amount of clothing brought to a landfill over the course of a year amounts to roughly 26 billion pounds per year. It takes about 400 gallons of water to make one shirt, while a pair of jeans needs at least 1,800 gallons. Now combine those two statistics. Think about how much water is wasted over time. Why produce more clothing knowing that 26 billion pounds per year will end up in landfills all over the world? The answer is money. Money is the reason for arguably every environmental challenge we face today. The companies producing these mass quantities of t-shirts do not care about the long-term effects on our only planet. But just because they don’t, does not mean that you should follow in their footsteps.
You can do a number of things to help eliminate the waste being dumped in the landfills and oceans every day. Besides the basic environmental awareness practices like using reusable products, picking up garbage, and recycling, there are other ways that you can help create a more sustainable planet. You can help save our only home by being mindful of the statistics above when you shop for clothing. Shopping at thrift stores or thrift websites is not only a win for the environment but also for your wallet. Now, I am not saying that you should only shop at thrift stores from this point forward. However, you may be surprised once you learn the ropes of a thrift store just how enjoyable the experience is.
Thrift shopping has become all the craze over the past few years so it’s no surprise that you can now thrift shop online with apps like Depop, Poshmark, and ThreadUp. These apps eliminate the overwhelming nature of a thrift store. You can search for a specific item based on your price range, size, style, occasion, and so much more. The difference between using these apps and going to a physical store is that you can expect to pay more when purchasing through the apps. The seller can be anyone who has unwanted clothing they are looking to get rid of. The percentage you make on each sale as the seller will differ from app to app. The app will take a cut of your sale, so the seller will mark up the item as much as they can to make the most on each sale. However, the price is not set in stone. Most apps will allow you to negotiate the cost of the item with the seller. Do not underbid them! Keep in mind that you will have to pay an additional fee for shipping that the seller does not profit from. Although they have the item listed for $20, they might only make $15, and you might pay $28. Think about it from the seller’s perspective when you are negotiating on items.
How to find a good thrift store
Of course, there is the famous Goodwill which is always a good option when you look at it from an environmental perspective. Because it is so well known, it is usually the first place that I used to consider when donating clothes. However, I stopped bringing my items to Goodwill stores when I found out that less than one-eighth of the companies profits go to job-related programs, as they claim. Shopping at Goodwill is not a crime. However, if you are looking to shop at or donate to a thrift store, you may want to consider checking out your local thrift stores. The non-chain thrift stores are more likely to be owned and operated on a local level. These are the businesses that rely on your business to provide for their families. To learn about the importance of supporting local read this article from Nature Hub: https://medium.com/naturehub/why-you-should-support-local-and-small-businesses-5a89b73322a4
How to find good pieces while shopping:
The key finding that perfect thrifted item is not to limit yourself. No, this is not a motivational speech. What I mean is not to limit the sections that you look in. If you normally wear a size six, don’t just look in the size six section. Look in sizes four, five, seven, and eight. Keep in mind that these items are either gently used or worn in and sometimes come in without a size tag. Therefore, the employees are left with making their best judgment when putting it out on display. My favorite pants came from a section that was two sizes too small for me and they came with the retail tags still attached! It is beneficial to look in the surrounding sizes and look in the opposite gender’s section. This is my ultimate thrifting hack: if you are a female looking for oversized flannels and graphic tees, the men’s section is where you can score big. There are times when I go thrifting and don’t even walk through the isles of women’s clothing because of all of the goodies I can find in the men’s section.
Whether you are thrifting for financial reasons or sustainability, you can apply these hacks next time you need to indulge in retail therapy. Follow the link for a list of the best locally-owned thrift stores in Houston: https://www.neighborhoods.com/blog/the-neighborhoods-with-the-best-thrift-stores-in-houston