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Why Thrift Stores Rock By: Margaret Laupp

This might be the hipster in me talking, but I love thrift stores. From the chain stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army to the local mom n’ pop operations, to the upscale “secondhand boutiques”, nothing makes me more intrigued than seeing a thrift store in town. And I’ve decided to share with the world just why you should get excited over them too.

The Price

So maybe this one should go without saying, but thrift stores are incredibly cheaper than your average retail store, even cheaper than the clearance racks. You can regularly find shirts for as low as $3 and pants for as low as $5, which is a pittance compared to the prices you’ll be charged full-price. This is a must for anyone trying to buy a large number of clothes on a small budget. College students, I’m looking at you.

The Good Work

In most cases, the money you’re spending isn’t just going for a profit. Most thrift stores are charity based, in that the proceeds from the purchases go toward a good cause. This could range anywhere from helping the homeless to veterans to people struggling with disabilities. The best part is that most thrift stores use the money in the area, so your money stays in the community. It’s the epitome of shopping local.

The Environment

Thrift stores are tantamount in the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra. While cloth items are necessarily as bad for the environment (aside from perhaps polyester) they can still take up space in landfills, were people to simply throw all old clothing out. When the original owner gives clothes they’ve outgrown, either physically or in taste, to a thrift store, they’re ensuring the items are reused. It’s a little less waste going to the dumpster.

The Unique Finds

If you want to stay up to date on trends, then thrift stores are probably not for you. But if you’ve ever spent a large period of time walking through the mall, you’ll notice most stores tend to have the same types of styles. If maxi skirts are in style for the summer, the majority of stores will have the same style of them in various colors. And those styles won’t change for weeks, depending on when the new items come in. Meanwhile, a thrift store will be changing constantly. Sure, you’ll probably find ugly Christmas sweaters and mom jeans with elastic in the waistband. But there are plenty of other, interesting items to be found as well. And if you’re willing to stand out, it’s a pretty awesome facet.

 

While I don’t see thrift stores seriously gaining in popularity anytime soon, I would advise that you don’t discount them. If nothing else, remember them for your upcoming Halloween costume. If nothing else, thrift stores are fantastic for outlandish items, perfect for terrifying innocent bystanders. Just another reason to love them.

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