Most people have heard of second-hand shopping, more commonly known as thrifting, but how many have actually done it? It is a common belief that thrift shopping is “only for poor people,” or that wearing clothes that once belonged to someone else is uncomfortable. I am here to tell you that there are several perks to thrift shopping, including obtaining a larger variety of clothes for less money, improving human rights, and helping the environment. If you have been raised to believe thrifting is only for certain types of people, then let this article persuade you otherwise.
Second-hand shopping provides a wide range of clothing options for low costs. Thrift stores are not exclusive to certain brands or styles, but rather they have anything from a basic, white tee-shirt to the most colorful and unique dress. It is not uncommon to walk into a second hand store and find clothes from the 90s, or even the 80s. If you are modeling your style after Rachel Green from the well-known TV series “Friends,” then stores like the Garment District in Cambridge will have exactly what you are looking for. That is not to say there aren’t more recent items as well. Second-hand stores are always packed with a unique variety of products. Not only that, but the prices are amazing. The same shirt that you find at Urban Outfitters for $35, you can purchase at a thrift store for only $4. Who wouldn’t want that deal? More often than not, that $4 shirt is in as good condition as when it was first purchased.
In addition to great prices, thrift shopping improves human rights. Often times when one ventures off to the mall, they are not thinking about how the clothes in their shopping bag landed there. It is likely that an impoverished group of women and children were forced to make those clothes for low pay and long hours. Industrialized shopping contributes to the suffering that the people who make these clothes are challenged with. Clothing industries work their employees under conditions so harsh that they most likely violate human rights. Second-hand clothes were at one point mass produced. However, by thrift shopping, you are not contributing to the cruel circumstances under which individuals all over the globe work.
Second-hand shopping is one step closer to saving the environment. From making clothes to shipping them off to stores, unnecessary amounts of natural resources are used. Industries like this are constantly adding to global pollution. Most Americans throw away 81 pounds of clothes every year. These clothes are then sent to landfills and further add to Earth’s pollution. Why should stores use so many resources when individuals are going to throw their clothes out anyway? Thrift shopping is merely a synonym for recycling. By secondhand shopping, you are doing your part to help prevent this vicious cycle from continuing.
Thrifting allows you to experiment with unique clothes for low costs. More importantly, however, it is essential for human rights. Finally, this way of shopping helps to maintain a livable environment.