Brandon Leibowitz is a seasoned writer for global thrift retailers, Savers and Value Village. He is a frequent contributor to blogs such as Social Media Examiner, Businesss 2 Community and several others. Brandon is recognized as a strong social media influencer due to his knowledge of and dedication to the industry.
Thrift stores are a haven for people who love vintage clothes and want to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle. While thrift shopping is your best bet at shopping ethically on a budget, not everyone has the gift to find good thrift items. Moreover, a lot of people don’t realize the extensive benefits of buying secondhand clothes. So they end up buying new clothes that they barely wear.
Why shop at a thrift store?
If you’re still wondering what you could possibly gain from buying secondhand clothes, here are a few good reasons to start:
- The first benefit of shopping at a thrift store is the cost-saving factor. Secondhand items are essentially cheap without any compromise on the quality. With proper search, you could even end up with something valuable like a vintage designer outfit or a timeless piece of jewelry.
- Another reason to start buying secondhand is because you’ll be promoting an eco-friendly lifestyle. You’re reducing consumption when you buy pre-loved clothing that you can wear for a long time. This way, you’re preventing items from being tossed into the landfill. You’ll be doing your part in preserving the environment
- Need an outfit for a costume party? Why spend hundreds of dollars on something you’re only going to wear once? Thrift stores are the best place to find affordable costumes for Halloween or ugly Christmas sweater parties. Reduce waste by reusing old costumes and pieces of clothing to create an awesome costume.
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Tips for shopping secondhand
Before you get started with your thrift shopping, here’s a basic shopping guide to help you pick out the best pieces:
- Begin with research – Avoid heading blindly to your nearest thrift store. You must first conduct research and find useful information to help in picking the right items. Check out the latest trends and find inspiration on what kind of clothes you should be shopping for. For instance, suede skirts are a huge trend so you could look for a vintage suede skirt from the 70s. Try researching style trends by browsing various mainstream brands online.You should also examine your closet and take a picture of items that you haven’t worn much. Look for thrift items to match those less-frequently-worn clothes. This will help you in making the most of everything you have. Make a list of what you need and what you should be looking for, so you don’t forget. You can then check thrift store directories online and find out which stores are closest to you.
- Inspect carefully – One of the biggest mistakes first-time thriftier shoppers make is buying whatever they find without inspecting them. Closely inspect every angle of the garment for tears, stains, snags, or damage of any other kind. Turn each item inside out and see if there are any lining issues or loose threading in the interior.
Image Source: PixabayYou also need to check for pieces of hardware on the garment such as zippers and buttons. See if there are any pieces that could need replacing. Try to avoid items that smell too musty, as it may not wash off so easily.
- Finding vintage labels – If you’re in search for vintage labels at a thrift store, you should look for union tags and brand labels. Union tags will be marked by a scalloped circle that has a diagonal threaded needle behind it. You’ll find the letters ILGWU and AFL-CIO at the center and the edge will have “Int’l Ladies Garment Workers Union” printed. If you’re unable to identify the brand tag, you could also find out if it’s listed among the Vintage Fashion Guild’s Label Resource.
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- What to avoid – While you can find great clothing items and accessories at thrift stores, you should avoid buying certain items. For instance, items like helmets (unless they’re for costume purposes), make-up, mattresses, running shoes, and halogen lamps may not be so safe to buy secondhand.
Now you have a basic idea what you should do to get amazing thrift finds. Invite your friends along if you need a second opinion about the things that you’re going to buy. Think of all the money you’ll be saving and how much you’ll be contributing to the environment when you buy secondhand. Get started with thrift shopping and begin an eco-friendly life.