A thrift store showcasing preloved clothes and shoes. Photo credit: google images.

Fast fashion has taken off in recent years, and plenty of garments are tossed out daily. As a result, thrift stores and online secondhand market platforms like Mercari are gaining momentum. While some may be discouraged from buying secondhand, others, like myself, embrace sustainability, individuality, and the thrill of finding quality items for less.

Buying secondhand is indeed about finding affordable clothes, but it is also an effective way to reduce waste and pollution. According to earth.org, the fast fashion industry is responsible for “10% of global carbon emissions”. It is also responsible for polluting other resources, some of which cannot be replenished once gone, such as ocean water. 

For this reason, secondhand shopping is a sustainable solution. The secondhand market allows pre-loved items to find a new home, keeping them out of landfills. 

However, buying secondhand is not just about being environmentally conscious but also about playing with individual style. Individual style naturally emerges as you incorporate clothes from different decades, styles, and trends. If you’re lucky, you will come across some styles that can no longer be reproduced, like vintage fur coats. Both online and offline stores will have almost everything regardless of personal style. That is another convenience. 

Unlike traditional retail shopping, thrift stores and other non retail markets offer great deals on used items with tags. Recently, I purchased a beautiful formal dress that retails for five hundred dollars. I bought the dress for thirty-eight dollars on a secondhand app, and it was in new condition. As prices continue to increase, saving money on clothes is a win-win situation. 

Finally, I would like to share some quick tips for finding quality pieces when shopping secondhand. One, do not be discouraged from making an offer on an item you like. Most sellers want to sell their items fast. Second, ask questions if buying online or inspect the item thoroughly if buying at a secondhand store. Third, save alters for the brand names or styles you like as you will be notified every time an item is listed, allowing you to choose the one for the best price.  

In conclusion, thrift hopping is more than just a trend; it’s a movement that offers sustainability, individuality, and affordability. The goal is to reduce waste by allowing clothing to be used for a more extended time. Just because we do not have use for something doesn’t mean it has to go to waste.

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