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5 Reasons to Embrace the Art of Thrifting

Posted by Goodwill Staff on September 8, 2020

Interiror Thrifter

Thrift culture thrives on diversity, intentional consumerism, and community. Finding one-of-a-kind wardrobe items and other hidden treasures is always a thrill, but there is much more to thrifting than savvy shopping. Thrifting has the potential to make a positive impact on your personal finances, your community, and even the planet.

Don’t believe us? Here are just a few of the ways that embracing the art of thrifting can change your world, and the world around you, for good.

1. Thrifting is Better for the Planet:

On average, American citizens toss over 70 pounds of clothing into the garbage each year. For scale, that’s almost 200 clothing items per person. Only around 15 percent of all used clothing in the United States gets recycled or donated, meaning textiles have one of the lowest recycling rates when compared to other reusable materials. Because thrift stores are fueled by upcycling, they play a key role in decreasing textile waste in their communities. Still, thrift stores aren’t just helping the planet by keeping our landfills textile-free. Upcycling also limits the unnecessary production of new clothing items, resulting in smaller water, energy, and electricity footprints for manufacturers.

2. Your Wallet Will Thank You:

Most of us know that thrift shopping can help people cut spending and improve our financial health, not to mention the health of our closets. But just how much do avid thrifters truly save? More than you may think. Even though Americans spend thousands of dollars on clothing each year, most only wear about 20 percent of the items in their closet. For many, those excess purchases don’t just hog precious closet space, they’re also a major strain on the family budget. Thrift stores allow shoppers to make more intentional buying decisions, and while it may take a bit longer to find the perfect item, a little extra time is a small price to pay for the thousands of dollars it could be saving you.

3. Thrifted Items Are Higher in Quality:

It’s a simple truth, but it’s one that is often overlooked: the clothing items you find in thrift stores are almost always higher in quality than that of the cheaply-manufactured “off-the-rack” items at major retailers. Thrift shoppers hunt for fashionable finds that have been upcycled, meaning their quality and durability have already stood the test of time and will only continue to do so. If you’re tired of buying new clothes only to have them fade, shrink, or wear out after a few washes, thrifting may be the solution you’ve been searching for.

4. You’ll Diversify Your Wardrobe:

It would be silly to not acknowledge the unlimited style options thrift shoppers are presented with on a regular basis. Whether you’re looking to add a few signature items into your wardrobe, or looking to revitalize and refresh it altogether, thrift stores are the perfect place to start. Not only will you be presented with a multitude of high-quality and low-cost options for your wish list, you’ll also be presented with options you may not have considered otherwise. Thrift shoppers have endless opportunities to define and redefine their unique sense of style.

5. Thrifting Supports Your Community:

If you’ve yet to embrace the art of thrifting, you’re not just missing out on affordable fashion. You’re also missing out on the opportunity to make a positive impact in your community. Thrift stores were designed to help families save, and to bring diverse communities together. Thrift culture is all about giving back, paying it forward, and supporting communities. So, the next time you add a thrift store treasure to your wardrobe, you can be certain that your purchase is paving the way to a brighter future for someone around you. Visit our website to hear more about the benefits thrifting has to offer, or to learn about the ways Goodwill is working to support the families and communities we serve.


Written by Goodwill Staff

Mission Support Center
Tel: (414) 847-4200

James O. Wright Center forWork & Training
Tel: (414) 353-6400

Metropolitan Chicago -
Tel: (312) 994-1440