As we head into 2020, we have all become more aware of the horrific mess the ‘take, make and waste’ approach of production has created and the need to shift from a linear disposable economy to one that reuses the resources most cleanly and effectively.
Whether it is billions of tossed plastic cups or discarded clothes, the exact figures do not matter anymore. Our planet is choking on trash, not to mention the greenhouse gas emissions and contaminated water. We can all participate in the reuse movement by learning the art of thrift store shopping.
Many are giving pre-loved items a second chance at life and for excellent reasons. Not only can great quality pieces be found for too-good prices, but by buying second-hand items, we are helping keep still-wearable items out of the landfill and reduce wastes caused by new productions.
To help you get the most out of your thrifting adventure, here are some tips and tricks:
1. Create A Plan Using Your Smartphone
It is very helpful if you have a list of what you will look for based on what you already own. This will help keep you focused on and budget. Also, save photos of fashionable items and inspiration on your phone for a guide. This will make it easier for thrift shop clerks to help you locate specific items or let you know if they have something similar on their racks.
2. Sell Your Pre-Loved Items First
One good way to stick to your budget is to look for a thrift store that not only sells pre-loved items but also buys them. Whether you want to get extra cash or simply clean your wardrobe before adding new purchases, these shops are excellent for trading-in the items you no longer want or need. You can also start shopping while the staff inspects and price-out your inventory. You can also sell clothing and accessories online and donate some.
3. Dress Properly
Depending on your location, most second-hand shops do not have fitting rooms. To remedy this, wear a tight-fitting and comfortable top and leggings so it will be easy for you to try things just about anywhere in the store. It is not recommended to get something without making sure it is a good fit because most thrift shops do not allow returns or refunds.
You may also spend hours in a thrift store so you will really need comfortable clothing and shoes. A crossbody bag is also recommended since your hands will be busy browsing many racks.
4. Shop with Cash Only
You will surely stumble upon beautiful pieces that are unique and it is very easy to fall into traps thinking that they are worth buying because they are inexpensive. To stay on budget and avoid impulse buys, bring only cash when thrifting. Just get what you need. Make sure that they are a perfect fit to your current wardrobe.
5. Save Time by Checking the Aisles
Rummaging through several piles and racks of clothes is not for everyone. Do not waste time and miss out on potential treasures. Learn how to do a quick scan. Based on what you are looking for and your preferred designs and colors, enter the shop and scan every rack for pieces that stand out and catch your attention. If it did not attract you at first sight, forget about it. This requires focus and is a skill you will develop over time.
6. Tailor Your Thrift Store Finds
Whether it is brand-new or second-hand, every item in your closet should fit you perfectly. Pre-loved items may need alterations. Simple modifications such as hemming can be done at home using a comprehensive instructional guide. You may also need to take your items to dry cleaners. For more intricate customization, consult a tailor.
7. Be Nice with the Staff
Once you find a thrift store that fits your style and budget, make friends with their clerks. They can help you while shopping. They can give you valuable information such as when new deliveries are in and the dates of sale.
You’ll never know what you might see in thrift stores, but with these tactics, it is sure to be worth it!