“I’m gonna pop some tags only got twenty dollars in my pocket,” said artist Macklemore in his song titled “Thrift Shop.”
Thrift shopping is a cheap and fun way to shop for unclaimed pieces of clothing, but not everyone does it for the same reason. According to the Association of Retail Professionals, only 16 to 18 percent of Americans shop at thrift stores in any given year.
Goodwill Industries was founded in 1902 in Boston by Edgar J. Helms, who was a collector himself. This is one of the many thrift stores where people had access to an array of styles in one place. Helms used household items in the richer areas of Boston and hired the poor to morph them into eccentric outfits. The outfits would then be resold or worn by the workers who made them.
Thrift stores are for everyone, they look to offer different clothes option to those who are financially unstable or those who adore a unique style. There are many thrift stores around like Goodwill, Salvation Army, Finders KeepHers, All Things and More, Studio Antiques who cater to those that desire a unique and affordable style.
“We aim to improve the economic self-sufficiency of 20 million people and their families by 2020. Times have changed, but Helms’ vision remains constant,” the Goodwill organization remarked.
Thrift shopping also contributes to the sustainability of a healthy environment. The recycled fabrics reduce the build-up of waste and pollution. Every piece of clothing that is reused and bought by somebody else adds one piece less of clothing and extra pollution. All of the oil and gases used with machines to produce fabrics and cotton clothing will be used less, making the air cleaner.
“Something that might have ended up in a landfill, refusing to biodegrade and wreaking general long-term havoc, can now have a second chance at life in your closet, on your wall or in your kitchen,” according to One Green Planet, an environmental-friendly website.
Thrift shopping also contributes to employment and training programs for the disabled. “Goodwill Stores are linked to a great cause — 83 percent of Goodwill’s revenues go directly into employment and training programs for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment,” Goodwill noted.
Shopping at any thrift stores gives people the leeway to be their own fashion designer. They can pick clothes that appeal to their style sense and put it together with something eccentric. These stores also offer items that are economically feasible rather than the ones you find in an over-expensive department store.
Givona Jenkins, a current shopper at Goodwill, remarked, “Shopping at a thrift shop has given me the opportunity to choose items for the family that I can make my own, which I would not normally fit into my budget.”
¨I am able to buy items that are no longer sold in stores and even clothes items that can be used in a costume,¨ Jenkins added. “My advice is to just really look around. And they always have really good furniture that’s in good condition.”
There are many benefits that come from thrift shopping. One of them is that you will develop a unique wardrobe because thrift stores have a diverse array of clothing styles so you’re less likely to run into someone wearing the same shirt or pants as you.
“I would say don’t overlook things there’s a lot of stuff in thrift stores that always get overlooked, and people just ignore them because they think that they are like too crazy or weird.” Tatiana Kalish, a very skilled shopper, and senior at Da Vinci Communications advised.
“Sometimes you can make a small duration and it can be the coolest best new thing ever,” she added.
Thrift shopping can be fun for everyone and many people do it worldwide. The money spent goes to charity, so you can upgrade your wardrobe in a cheap and giving way. You get the chance to run into that perfect dress you’ve been looking for or an exciting object you’ve been searching for because of its value. Try it out if you haven’t- it’ll be worth it.