The term thrift shopping or second hand clothing is often associated with being too poor to be able to buy clothes. This is, obviously, an incorrect association to make. Buying your clothes second hand will definitely save you money but more importantly it is a way to avoid fast fashion, reduce waste and be kinder to the environment. I have spoken about fast fashion before and how it negatively impacts not only the environment but the industry workers who are exploited.
What are some of the benefits of thrifting?
I will admit it did take me a while to get comfortable with the idea of buying my clothes from a thrift store and the first one we tried was a bit of a disaster. It was chaotic and disorganised and we struggled to figure out what was happening.
But we kept looking and have found a few local options that work so well for us. We all look forward to popping in to see what is new.
So why shop at a thrift store?
- You will save money. Because the clothes are second hand they are cheaper than the original and very often you fill find designer labels marked down to ridiculous prices.
- You can create a varied wardrobe. While I am not advocating buying more than you need, because they clothes are so much cheaper you can buy a few more items to add variety to your wardrobe.
- You never know what you are going to find. Thrift stores rely on donations which means you never know what you might find.
- Waste is reduced. What do you do with your old clothes? Maybe you do donate them but most people throw them out (Americans throw out 60-80 pounds of used clothing in their lifetime). By reusing clothing it helps to reduce the amount of clothes that are wasted and thrown away.
- You will save water (and the oceans). The manufacturing of clothing requires large amounts of water. If less clothes are produced, less water is used. Simple. Not all fabrics can decompose in water – polyester, for example will not compose in water which means if it gets into oceans and rivers, it will remain there.
- Air pollution will be decreased. Clothes are produced in factories. Factories produce air pollution. Air pollution leads to bad air quality and climate change. So when you buy second hand you reduce the demand and ultimately reduce pollution.
Local Thrift Stores
Due to an increase in demand for second hand clothing, thrift stores are popping up all over.
- Hidden Treasure: This is obviously local to me but we LOVE this store. It is super organised and has a really great range of clothing for kids and adults. Very few of their clothing items are priced over R30! You can also donate your clothes to them.
- Sungardens Hospice Shop: Also in Pretoria this charity shop is a little more chaotic but they have so much stuff for you to browse through. While you can also donate to this charity, make sure that the items are in working order otherwise it will end up in landfill because they just have too much stuff.
- Yaga: Yaga is an app that allows you to upload the items you want to sell as well as buy from other users. I have bought a few things from Yaga but it can be tricky unless you know your exact size and what styles suit you.
- Gypsophila Thrift ZA: If vintage is your thing you will find some stunning items here.
- The Resellery: Also a nice one to keep tabs on, they often have some really stunning stuff.
- Palinola Thrifts: This store was started by one my friends daughters. If you are into fashion, then you are going to want to check this account out.
Do you buy from a thrift store?