Thrift Shopping: A Great Way to Save Money and the Environment

Trends seem to come and go as the months pass along, but thrifting seems to be the one trend that won’t give up. Because of social media, more and more younger people are realizing how great thrift shopping is not only for their bank account, but also for the environment.

Since starting college I’ve become more accustomed to thrift shopping for numerous reasons. With around five go-to stores I like to visit here in Mankato, thrift shopping is more accessible than in my small hometown. 

Everything here is about a 10 minute drive away and with thrift stores all around the city, it’s accessible to anyone with a car or bus pass to visit and shop.

Affordability is another aspect people look into when thrifting. These second-hand clothes and houseware items fit almost, if not all, budgets for college kids to spend their extra cash on, making it easy for them to find some hidden gems. 

With all of our focus towards tuition, books, and other supplies that go into school, it’s nice to be able to have a little shopping trip without spending our whole paycheck on it. 

As far as saving the environment, thrift shopping is one of the most ethical ways to do so. This method of shopping allows people to recycle clothes and other materials that would have otherwise been thrown into landfills. It’s also a great way to support small businesses in your local town.

With the pros come the cons, and thrift shopping seems to have a long list of them despite all of the good aspects that are associated with them. 

Shopping in thrift stores is always a hit or a miss, no matter what you’re looking for. Some days you can get a great haul of staple clothing items while other times it takes you months just to find the one thing you were looking for. 

I know this experience all too well and it gets frustrating. It leads to me either buying the desired item brand new, or forgetting about it until months later when I find it on the racks. Many others will also turn to fast fashion in order to buy the product they’ve been eyeing, which causes another issue itself.

Fast fashion is when a company will use cheap material and labor to create products that are desired with a wide audience, and with the constantly changing trends it’s easy for these companies to mass-produce products and throw the leftovers in landfills.

The convenience of fast-fashion is also what gets people to turn to them. The prices are always low and it’s easy to find whatever you need on the vast range of these fashion sites. 

In the end, thrifting is always a great way to shop second-hand, but sometimes finding these items are harder to find than one thinks. There is no ethical consumption under capitalism, which makes it harder for people to find the things they need. Whether you buy from thrift stores or not, they’re a cheap consideration to add into your shopping experience.

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