1 Apr 2018

Why We Should Thrift

"Thrifting: When one visits several different thrift shops, second-hand shops, and vintage clothing stores in the hopes of buying several items of cheap and unusual clothing and other items"

We all remember a few years back when Macklemore released that song about raiding the thrift shop (here's my best impression of him in that faux fur coat), but thrifting has been happening way before Macklemore burst onto the scene. 

The benefits to shopping in thrift/charity/vintage shops are incredibly important to the promotion of ethical fashion as well as ethical employment, the environment and so many other things. The majority of clothes found in these kinds of stores have been spared being banished to the landfill and have been given a second chance of finding a loving home. Buying second hand also ensures you're lowering the emissions caused by the transportation of clothing. Admittedly the damage is done as the clothes have already been transported but you will have removed yourself from the supply and demand chain, every little helps right?! 

I don't mean to sound like a proper hipster but the main appeal to thrifting for me is the chance of finding unique items that nobody else will have. Shopping on the high street means you're bound to see other people with the same items as they're usually mass produced and quickly turned over in the larger retailers. The clobber you find in thrift shops is a lot more diverse, there's usually only one of each item (which can be a bad thing if you don't buy it there and then!) 

The turnover of clothes (especially in charity shops) means it's pretty much a different shopping experience every time you visit a store. Because these stores rely on donations there's no real structure to new arrivals so you could visit a store at 3pm and find nothing, and by 5pm they may have your dream wardrobe if somebody has delivered a lovely bagful of clothes. 

Fashion is known to be quite cyclical, meaning everything comes back into fashion eventually. Who'd have thought I'd be wearing wide legged trousers 5 years ago? Who would have guessed tie dye would come back into fashion into 2011/2012? The best thing about fashion being so cyclical is you could find a genuine vintage designer item from when it was in fashion the first time! I picked up a pair of straight legged Savile Row trousers this weekend along with the Dickies trousers and New York tee I'm wearing above. The sweater was bought vintage about 6 years ago along with the Adidas jacket which has served me very very well. 

Finally and most importantly for an introverted hermit like me, the better thrift shops and usually found outside of the city centre which means you don't have to deal with crowds and queues. Here are a few tips on getting the best out of your thrift experience.

  • Go to areas where rich people live
  • Do your research. Check the labels on the garments and do a quick Google search, a lot of the clothes will be from the high street and rubbish quality.
  • Take a bag with you. You never know, you may hit the thrift jackpot!
  • Try the clothes on. It goes without saying really but obviously charity shops don't do refunds so try before you buy. 
  • Be thorough when shopping. With everything being pre owned and pre worn, there may be stains, rips, cracking. 
  • If you can't get out, shop online! Ebay, Depop, Facebook groups, Vinted. There's so many options.
Show me your thrift finds, I'd love to see them! 


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