Thrift shop racks

7 Tips for Successful Thrift Shopping

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7 Thrift Shopping Tips

We wear clothes every day of our lives, but we rarely spend enough time thinking about where our clothes come from and the processes they go through to end up on our bodies (which is interesting, considering how much research and analysis we do on food that we eat and skin care products that we use).

I certainly didn’t realize the processes involved in making one single article of clothing until I did some research. According to sustainable textile researchers, there is a huge concern for the sustainability of fashion today. When clothes are made, they go through several different processes (starting in its rawest form – whether that be a plant, animal or even crude oil – and then bleaching, dying, etc) which all have an environmental impact. One article that I read predicted that by 2030, the climate impact of the fashion industry is going to match today’s total annual US greenhouse gas emissions. So crazy!!

So what can we do about this? 

I have had such good luck with second hand stores, and I think that is a good place to start. Not only are they cheaper, but by wearing “pre-loved” clothing items, we reduce the demand for brands to continue producing their apparel in such big quantities. Here are some thrift shopping tips to read before you head out! 

1. PRICE! Thrift stores can be SO much cheaper than traditional clothing stores. They also frequently have regular discounts, or if you donate clothes or household items, you also may be eligible to save more money. I have found name brand items with the tags STILL ON for much cheaper than the original price.

2. Visit thrift stores often. Thrift stores don’t put out regular orders – what they have depends on what has been donated most recently. If you frequently check in, you may have better luck on finding something you like.

3. Take your time and go through the whole store. Thrift stores won’t have multiple sizes of one item. This makes every single item in there unique! Make sure you set aside enough time to go through all the racks.

4. Don’t be afraid to tailor. Some clothes won’t be a perfect fit, so don’t be afraid to alter them if need be! I have bought men’s jeans that I cut into shorts, sweaters that I have cut into crop tops, and more. Since you are buying items for a better price, it’s okay to add a little more work into them to make them perfect.

5. Check clothes carefully. Check clothes for stains, rips, loose threading, missing buttons, stuck zippers, etc. Usually the thrift store will do a great job at checking for this, but sometimes things like this can be missed.

6. Shop seasonally. You may have more luck if you shop after everyone has cleared their closets for the year. This is also when you’ll find the best prices. For example, buy your winter boots in May and your summer dresses in September. 🙂

7. Consider the area you’re shopping in. Thrift store inventory comes from surrounding neighbourhoods, so you may have the best luck shopping in areas where you can relate to the style there.

Have you had luck at a thrift store lately? Let me know!

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I’m Sydney. Obsessed with travel, food, dogs and adventure, I spend my days finding new ways to appreciate life.

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