Saving the world one thrift at a time


Taylor Crawford

Taylor Crawford’s (‘23) sister, Samantha, models clothes she bought from a thrift store.

Reuse, recycle, replenish is the art of thrifting. Thrifting means to shop at a thrift store, flea market, or garage sale, where one can buy used items. Thrifting is very popular because you can create your own sense of style while shopping with a wide variety of clothes at low prices. If you have never secondhand shopped before, you should absolutely give it a second thought because shopping at your local thrift store benefits your community and planet.  

When shopping at secondhand stores, you are not contributing to fast fashion. The term fast fashion refers to when large corporate retailers rapidly mass produce clothing to line up with the latest trends and sell them at inexpensive prices. With trends always changing, the clothing created by corporate retailers is constantly shifting as well.  

Thrifting reduces the amount of plastic that goes to the landfill and ocean each year. BBC reports that in 2017, roughly 13 million tons of textiles were dumped into the landfill. Secondhand shopping also contributes to the decrease in worldwide demand for textiles. 

“I definitely think thrifting is better than buying clothes new because recycling clothes is better than big companies making clothes new, Julia Fenner (‘23) said.  

“I really like thrifting because it’s convenient and it’s a good way to not support fast fashion,” Valeria Gonzalez (‘23) said. “On top of having underpaid workers, a lot of products made from fast fashion businesses end up in landfills so secondhand shipping is good for sustainability plus its really fun.” 

Secondhand shopping also benefits your community. Non-profit organizations like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, use secondhand goods to finance their programs. 

Goodwill’s press release reads, “In addition, Goodwill trains people to work in a variety of high-growth industries outside of Goodwill such as computer programming, construction, financial services, health care, and many others. In 2012, Goodwill provided such services to 6.7 million people.” 

Another way to support your community and earth is to donate clothes when they have reached the end of their journey with you, either because you have outgrown them or they are not your style anymore. Donating your clothes to your local thrift store or charity helps families in need by supporting the organization where they buy their clothes from.  

“I have donated a lot of clothes that I grew out of, or just didn’t think I would wear anymore,” Julia said. “I would definitely recommend donating your clothes you don’t want/need any more instead of throwing them out! Someone could need it!” 

Some thrift stores and charities one can donate to are Goodwill, Salvation Army, Vietnam Veterans of America, The Arc, and Soles4Souls. 

Going green has never been easier. In the end, secondhand shopping benefits people from every walk of life. We can all do our part to save our planet by donating clothing and shopping at our local thrift stores.