The benefits of thrifted clothing

January 11, 2012
thrifted clothing, secondhand clothing, shopping thrift stores
Photo: Dressing With Courage - she gives great tips for thrift store shopping!

Fashion blogs focused on purchasing more vintage and thrifted clothing seem to be popping up everywhere these days. It's definitely inspired me keep my eyes open at thrift stores and try to find some diamonds in the rough at a fraction of the cost of regular clothing stores. Although it can be a lot of work, it's also extremely satisfying to walk away with something great at a discounted price.

Of course, shopping recycled clothing is a great way to save money, but did you know it's also a huge help to the environment? I must admit, although I know the environmental benefits of recycling, I hadn't really thought about it in terms of clothing until I read this post on my friend Shayna's blog, Second Hand Challenge.

Shayna made an excellent point when she said, “Clothing waste is a major issue and a huge contributor to the pollution and landfill issues we are overwhelmed with. When clothes cost less, not only is their longevity relatively non-existent, but there is no real attachment on the buyers end to keep it around.”

She then shared these facts from the EPA about clothing waste:

  • An estimated 13.1 million tons of textiles were generated in 2010, or 5.3 percent of total municipal solid waste (MSW) generation.
  • An estimated 14.0 percent of textiles in clothing and footwear and 17.1 percent of items such as sheets and pillowcases was recovered for export or reprocessing in 2010.
  • The recovery rate for all textiles was 15.0 percent in 2010, 2.0 million tons.

So instead of spending hundreds each year on disposable pieces from stores who are offering clothing for cheaper than ever before, why not try and and work a little secondhand shopping in? If you have patience and a bit of imagination, you can find some amazing pieces just waiting to be recycled.

thrifted clothing, secondhand clothing, shopping thrift stores
My favorite thrifty ladies: #1 Kendi Everyday, #2 Five Days Five Ways and Secondhand or Bare Bottom, #3 Thrift Eye

For inspiration, check out some of my favorite thrifted/secondhand blogs like Kendi Everyday (LOVE her style, you'd never believe she buys thrifted), Abbie from Five Days Five Ways and Secondhand or Bare Bottom, and Thrift Eye. These ladies have become pros at mixing thrifted pieces with new items, and they inspire me with every post. Of course you should also follow my friend Shayna's adventure as she attempts to shop only secondhand for one full year (with some rules, of course)!

I, too, have dabbled in the thrifting experience, purchasing this top and this floral skirt, but I have a long way to go before I can attempt to match the genius of the ladies above. If you're local, then I say we plan a thrifting day together - It will be an adventure!


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