As the overconsumption and production of clothing grow, our desire to opt for the faded denim jacket circa 2008 in our closet over whatever shiny new thing hits the racks at Macy’s diminishes. And it’s understandable — as we change, so does our style.
However, we as consumers should keep in mind that, over time, manufacturers have begun sacrificing clothing quality in favor of quantity to keep up with excessive demand. So while they may look “trendier,” today’s denim jackets are far less likely to hold their value and spot in your closet 15 years later. Assuming you replace every garment you own over the next five years, the longevity of your entire wardrobe will drastically decrease while the cost to maintain it increases exponentially.
So we’ve established that buying new clothing outright is unsustainable for the most part, but why is thrifting any better? Simple! According to Statista.com, most items available at your local thrift store are from times well before that denim jacket in your closet, meaning the odds that they’re more ethical and durable than anything for sale today are high. Add that to lower price tags, accessibility and the chance to save perfectly preserved vintage gems from ending up in a landfill, and there are plenty of reasons to start thrifting.
But remember, the items you thrift are not the end-all-be-all! Thrifting is an art and, therefore, completely unique and customizable to your preference, which may be the biggest pro of all. You’re welcome to use items with luxurious materials like linens, silks and wools just for their fabrics, or you can cut, sew and hem items for a better fit. And don’t be afraid to get creative: finish your garment with a bit of pizzazz to make it more “you.” Add some distressing for a modern twist, colorful patches for something spunky or lace for elegance.
If you want to hone your craft, try these tips for flipping clothes:
1. Shop local. Goodwill is perfectly acceptable for thrifting, but local thrift stores tend to be overlooked and less picked over, so there’s a better chance of finding a treasure! Panache Consignment (pg. ___) is a Gwinnett County thrifting gem!
2. Don’t be afraid to pick up a needle and thread. The ability to sew unlocks all kinds of thrift-flipping potential, and it’s not as complicated as it seems. Start with a needle and some thread (and maybe a few lessons from Grandma). If you’ve got a knack for it, consider investing in a sewing machine.
3. The internet is your friend. Sites like eBay, Depop and Poshmark are great for searchability, have more items than you could ever find in a thrift store, and are typically just as affordable, if not more!