Are you a thrifter?
What is it about thrifting that keeps people going back for more? It's not like it's anything new and most of us would shun at the idea of buying someone else's hand-me-downs because of this fear that its dirty or that it could fall apart easily. Obviously, don't buy those things because your health and safely definitely come first. Little brothers and sisters have to "make it work" with inheriting big brother's and sister's gently used jeans. Sorry. Mom and Dad can't afford those expensive jeans you want right now. Or how about that furniture that you spent way too much money for at the store? Yeah, they guarantee you that its the best, but it could easily fall apart in less than a year. Ugh! I have learned my lesson with buying cheap furniture. I don't care how great the sales are, I need my furniture to last nearly forever.
Several years ago, a coworker of mine told me about how he and his wife would go estate sale shopping all the time...and he even found $20 in a jacket!. He would check the estate sale website and there is a sale that is taking place nearly every single day. My husband and I decided to check it out for ourselves, and now, we estate sale shop all the time. We don't mind buying things sold as is as long as we can recognize that what we got was worth it. If you're lucky, the seller might just give away some of their stuff for a more reduced price or even FREE. Yes FREE! We've bought a vintage trunk, bar stools, a deep freezer, clothes, dishes, tools and more. We're not hooked but during the summer time its hard to refuse a good sale.
But why? Here are a few reasons: 1) sustainable shopping, 2) better deals, 3) better quality. I've spoken to older sellers and they have been hanging on to great quality furniture and clothes that's hard to find these days in stores. There is an argument that the quality of clothes and furniture is lacking and that's no secret. We have fast fashion and high producing companies to thank for our increasing demands, but just because we want it fast doesn't mean that the quality needs to suck. So here we are. Vintage and thrifted finds are in such high demand right now and the reselling clothes has become a billion dollar industry. Yes, you can keep up with what's on the runway, but I bet you someone has that $1000 "this and that" for less made by a different designer. I'm not going to tell you how to spend your money, but keep your options open.
YouTube is flooded with thrifting hauls and upcycle tutorials galore. You can make almost whatever you want or support those small business owners and buy what they have. There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying something brand new from the factory, but the problem is that when these stores can't sell the product, it makes its way overseas. Anything that can't be used or recycled is thrown away as garbage. Consumers have become wasteful with clothes and home goods. Instead of throwing it away, see if it can be fixed or even redesigned. I understand that there are folks that just can't grasp the technique of upcycling in any way and if they can't fix it and don't take it to someone who can, in the trash it goes. That's being wasteful.
Over the years, I have tried to make a conscious effort to recycle more and fix what can be fixed. I have found new and used clothes for my husband and kids at estate sales. I stopped buying brand new clothes for myself because I fell completely in love with thrifting and sustainable shopping. If I have something that has sat for more than 1 to 2 years untouched, I donate. No second thoughts about it. I'm not prefect but making the effort means something more than not trying at all. So when you're undecided about that brand new couch or that $200 shirt, ask yourself, is it worth it?