There are truly more reasons than ever to shop for secondhand goods. Whether it's earth health, the fun of it, or finding great like minded people, there are lots of incentives for everyone to make thrift a big part of their 2017 shopping. Read on for some of our favorites, and please comment on any other great ones you have for being a thrift-aholic!
Second-hand items have a story.
There’s something much more rewarding about choosing a one-of-a-kind sweater or wild skirt rather than a generic piece from your fashion big box store. There’s the thrill of the find, the conversations you have along the way, or the truly unique looks that you can create. Second hand just creates stories- from where they’ve been and what you make with them, to what you tell others about their journey.
Saving (yours and the earths) resources and reducing waste.
There is already enough stuff in the world, and every time you buy new you feed the consumer demand cycle for creation of new goods. Buying thrift is better for the environment, it saves resources, it reduces emissions, and those items don’t get shipped to the landfill. Oh, and let’s not forget about the $$ resources you save.
It’s more community-friendly.
Department stores and national or international chains are where most people buy their new clothes and furniture. These businesses rely on global supply chains and overseas manufacturing ordering huge quantities to keep costs low. They also encourage us to consume more and more.
Second-hand stores are mostly independent and local. Many stores are just regular folks, trying to make a living through selling excess stuff. They hire local and often have a great community around the store that know the employees and each other. If you have the choice, why not choose to support local small business where you can get to know your merchants and neighbors and keep your money in the local economy.
It means stepping off the consumer treadmill.
For many, shopping can be a type of entertainment that means buying stuff that you didn't even know you needed until stepping into a store. Many impulse purchases sit unused in closets (we see LOTS of these things in our donation room) Marketers pull at us to shop for the newest trend or hottest items, and we frequently respond like palov’s dog regardless of what we need or even want. Being more deliberate about the choices we make puts us back in control of our lifestyle- and our pocketbook.
BONUS: Shop nonprofit and you serve people in your community
Thrift stores like St Vincent de Paul exist for all of the above reasons, but also to bring profits to our mission of helping our neighbors in need. This includes food assistance, helping find housing or providing emergency shelter, to job training to provide a path to full time employment. There are many choices you can make about where you shop for your thrift and secondhand items, choosing a nonprofit enterprise is one more thing you can use to make your shopping decisions count.