I’ve always loved thrifting. Growing up without a lot of money, learning about the existence of Goodwill was like discovering a gold mine. My mom, my sister, and I would shamelessly browse through racks of pre-owned clothing and I’d treasure hunt for trendy and designer items I’d never buy at full-price. My sister would find cute coats and jackets in all types of styles and colors and my mom would find clothing in fits and cuts she preferred from the 90s. Thrifting was like the mall condensed down into just one store, with clothing sorted by category and color. I’d run my hand across fabrics and pick out the ones I liked - silks, tweeds, chiffon, wool. And the prices were always the same - everything was $10 or less. For the price of a new full-priced item, I could score a whole outfit for my growing wardrobe. I was the teenager who owned weird vintage “grandma” blouses as my peers paraded around in Hollister and Juicy Couture uniforms.
Thrifting allowed teenage me to experiment with fashion at a fraction of the price, buy “avant garde” items my mother would never buy me, find beautiful ball gowns and dresses for photoshoots, and even own a few designer items.
I knew Goodwill created jobs for people in need, but little did I know what I was doing was helping the environment in this polluted world of fast fashion, cheap labor, carbon emissions, water consumption, and textile waste.
I’m proud to work at thredUP, the world's largest online thrift store.
Since I’ve started working here, I’ve fallen in love with our product as a customer. I can browse through hundreds of thousands of pre-loved clothing items sold/donated by women around the country, and buy clothing pieces I’m looking for in my favorite brands, necklines, colors, materials. Not only am I finding great pieces for less, I’m contributing to the resale revolution and learning about sustainability and ethical fashion. One of my resolutions this year is to not buy any fast fashion, and so far so good!
Over the past few months, I’ve slowly turned half my closet into secondhand pieces. I’ve accumulated nice trenchcoats, turtleneck sweaters, and most recently, long skirts for summer!
Even though you get to feel good about saving the environment and reducing CO2 emissions, there is nothing like the thrill of thrift shopping, for shopping’s sake. Nowadays, when I wander around mall and department stores, I get so tired of seeing all these new trends. Crop tops, athleisure, hoodies, sock boots - I don’t want to dress like the Kardashians. Even in stores I’ve always loved, like H&M or Zara, I can’t find anything of good quality despite the price. Clothes just aren’t made to be durable anymore - they fall into this fast fashion economy we’ve culturally migrated to in the age of Instagram consumerism, fashion influencing, and this photograph today, toss tomorrow mentality. But stepping into a thrift store takes you back into how the world used to be — a little slower-paced, a little better quality, a little more authentic.
I’m very particularly about my personal style, because to me, it speaks volumes about how I see and present myself…to myself. I love fashion not for the trends or brand recognition but because it’s an outlet for creativity. And with that, I love shopping secondhand for the economic, hedonic, and ethical benefit. Knowing I got a pre-loved piece in a style I love for a great deal gives me peace of mind about combating the harmful effects of textile waste. I #chooseused and it’s rewarding and addicting.
Thrift with me and get $10 off!