Secondhand Clothes Thrift Stores

Phrases to Avoid If You Want to Maintain a Sustainable Mindset Towards Fashion

Slow Fashion Guide: 21 Changes You Can Make Today - TPS Blog
Phrases to Avoid If You Want to Maintain a Sustainable Mindset Towards Fashion

Whenever I’m asked for advice on experiencing fashion sustainably (I’ve decided I prefer to say experiencing over shopping because consumption isn’t the be-all and end-all of this issue), I tend to always answer with, “Ask questions“, which initially stemmed back to how I came to educate myself on fast fashion’s human and environmental impact.

Fashion Revolution, the organisation that played a big part in my education and understanding of the industry, bases its main campaign around “Who made my clothes?” and asking brands for transparency but to me, this sense of curiosity and urge to ask questions should go further.

With the likes of Extinction Rebellion’s new fashion boycott spurring on more people to analyse their shopping habits and questioning whether we need to be buying any clothes at all (once we already have a decent amount to wear), I believe it’s important to evaluate how we approach shopping – or avoiding it (which I’ve discussed here) – and the language we use.  We need to ask ourselves. We need to slow down and understand how we truly feel, and especially when shopping, we need to avoid certain phrases…

“I need this.”

I’ve definitely experienced plenty of those, “That’s so me!”, squeal-worthy moments, so, it might seem nitpickish to call this out as an issue but it’s all part of consciously shifting your mindset and attitude towards shopping.

Now that the majority of my shopping occurs on a second-hand basis, I truly understand the difference between needing and wanting. This doesn’t mean that I’m numb to impulse and spontaneous purchases; charity and thrift shops can still bring out that sense of excitement and temporary fulfilment in you but it just comes with minimised guilt.

For me, this distinction between necessity and longing extends to my blog and my approach to receiving samples and gifted products. If I don’t need it or if I already have a similar item in my possession then I will politely decline.

There’s no issue in wanting, in fact, I’ve previously written all about actively lusting over items and why I believe wish lists can be more useful than I once deemed them to be.

“I probably didn’t need this.”

Similarly, this is a phrase which derives from impulse purchases and is almost the exact opposite attitude of what somebody who labels themselves as a ‘conscious consumer’ might have. In simple terms, if you probably didn’t need it, then why did you buy it? ‘Treat yo’ self’ culture is something that we’ve all become fairly desensitized to and it’s understandable, seeing as retail therapy is scientifically proven to be just that – a form of dopamine-inducing therapy.

Shopping sustainably though (or avoiding shopping altogether), is all about taking your time to mull over your decisions and work out what the best option is. To shop, or not to shop? That is the question!

Limiting the number of times we fall back onto the excuse of treating ourselves, is a way of not only restricting the size of our wardrobes but a way of saving ourselves money in the long-run.

“I’m not sure why I bought this.”

I see this to be different to the previous two phrases because it doesn’t just suggest that what you bought was an impulse purchase; it also suggests the attitude you might have towards the item in the future. Shopping sustainably also means owning responsibly.

Fashion Revolution coined the phrase “Loved clothes last”, meaning that if we care and respect our clothes, no matter how ethically produced they were or what materials they are made of, they will ultimately last longer because we will do our best to look after them.

(However, this is not a reason to fall back into the habit of supporting unsustainable and unethical brands just because we know we can make their products last. That’s like continuing to use single-use plastic bottles just because you can refill them over and over; there are other ways of doing things that won’t be harmful to start off with.)

None of these phrases strictly imply that you’re living and consuming unsustainably but I believe that what we say and think about our clothes and what we bring into our lives can have a huge effect on our mindset towards consumption. So, if we can change our attitude towards genuinely knowing why we buy what we buy, it could help us all be far more considerate.

“It’s really in trend right now.”

Aside from the sustainability aspect, the lack of guilt and the fact that it’s a habit I’ve had since I was a child, one reason I love shopping second-hand is that it allows so much more room for individuality.

Clothes are not separated into styles and seasons (at most, you might find clothes organised by colour) and there are no look books and stylised campaigns to influence your decision making. There are no trends, which makes avoiding this phrase relatively easy.

Trends and the vast amount which are generated by the fashion industry’s constant cycle of seasons, maintain the rate of production of new garments and feed into this idea that what we are wearing and searching for, is never enough. There will always be another season with another set idea of what we should be wearing, therefore, another reason to buy.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying trends but I recommend taking the time to sit with those feelings and analyse them once the peak of the trend has passed. I use apps like Depop and the Saved function of Instagram to store trend-led items for sale so I can source them sustainably in the future if the style is still something I appreciate.

“I really need to stop buying more [insert item of clothing]…”

This is the phrase which I believe is easiest to scrap entirely. Don’t get me wrong, it’s understandable (and even appreciated) when somebody owns something in their wardrobe in a selection of different colourways because it’s a dress/shirt/pair of trousers that fits and suits them better than anything else – for some people, that’s essential, especially when it comes to finding the right sizing (even more so from an ethical or sustainably focused brand which might not always have the most inclusive size-ranges).

When it comes to your wardrobe as a whole though, it’s time to recognise when enough is enough. For me? I don’t need any more blouses and tops. I have too many to balance out the number of bottoms (trousers, shorts and skirts) that I own.

That doesn’t mean that I’m going to suddenly decrease the size of my wardrobe (a smaller wardrobe doesn’t necessarily make a more sustainable one) but it does mean I need to be making the conscious effort to stop adding more in the future, even if it is from a guilt-free source like a local charity shop.

Analyse your wardrobe and figure out what your limit is. From my experience, physically limiting myself (with a lack of storage space or from living out of a suitcase) has meant I’ve been able to calculate this more easily. You can also opt to buy pre-owned clothes. You can visit one of the thrift stores in Lebanon, TN if you want to buy secondhand clothes.

Thrift Stores

Thrifting 101

Tips for Thrifting During the Coronavirus
Thrifting 101

Thrifting is a fun way to shop for unique pieces that not many other people have. It may take multiple trips, but it’s all worth it when you find that one vintage item for $5 that you know will get you tons of compliments.

Thrifting is not for the faint of heart.  It’s not made for convenience or a quick find. There are no mannequins or models showcasing the items being sold, which leaves you on your own to dig through the racks to find those hidden pieces of treasure. However, that’s the part that I love the most about thrifting.

Thrifting makes you work for what you want, which only adds to the excitement and pride you feel when finding those special items. When you walk into any thrift store or consignment shop, you have full reign and freedom without the pressure from aggressive sales associates.

Shopping second hand is a great way for you to shop ethically and sustainably. Some of the best Thrifting 101 rules are to find inspiration, keep an open mind, and be realistic with each find. The hope is that this post will help you on your thrifting journey, whether you are just starting out or a veteran thrifter looking to find a new method.

The thrifting trend, however, was jump started as the popularity of individuality began to rise. Many young adults found themselves low on cash, convicted by the dangers of fast fashion, yet wanting to express themselves. This led them to two main choices, indulging in fast fashion, or embarking on the journey of shopping secondhand.

Fast fashion, while keeping up with the trends in a cost-efficient way, comes with many side effects. While shopping at many department stores like Forever 21 and H&M is convenient, many of these companies source their items from labor factories overseas. These factories often utilize unsafe working conditions that take advantage of their workers.

Once you embark on the anti-fast fashion pursuit, it is easy to be overwhelmed or confused. Shopping from sustainable and ethical brands can be expensive, but not knowing what to do when you walk into a Goodwill or consignment shop can be even more daunting.

For me, the journey to a sustainable fashion lifestyle has been a long process. I started off spending way too much at thrift stores. I would come home with anything that looked interesting, ending up with way too many clothes that I wasn’t excited to wear. I quickly realized my new habit was not efficient.

I needed to find key pieces that fit my style that could be worn in multiple outfits. While it is so easy to want to take home that one of a kind, bedazzled, lavender grandma sweater, how many times are you actually going to reach for it when you’re getting ready in the morning?

Here are the top three tips that have helped me the most when hunting for the perfect find:

Before I even enter the store, I start by doing research and compiling a bunch of photos for inspiration. Pinterest has become my best friend for collecting all the outfits I want to recreate, while also helping me stay up to date with any new trends. Preparing to yourself to thrift with inspiration puts yourself in a good mindset to look for certain items to match those pictures.

One thing I have learned from thrifting is the art of scanning through the racks. It is best to keep in mind certain colors and textures that you like best. This will save you an immense amount of time and help you not feel too overwhelmed by the large amounts of clothes.

My second tip is to keep an open mind. This is the perfect place for you to find something out of your comfort zone since the prices are so low. Using your Pinterest inspiration, find things you’ve never tried before!  Every store is different so don’t be discouraged when you visit one and it isn’t anything like you expected. Each place may have a few gems, but they may also be drowning in large amounts of old raggedy t-shirts and stained jackets.

If you see anything with the smallest amount of potential, pick it up and try it on. You don’t ever want to miss out on a good find by closing off your options and being narrow-minded. You also will never find golden pieces every visit. There may be several times where you walk out empty handed, and that is totally okay.

Lastly, be realistic with yourself. Stay open-minded but ask yourself, “am I really going to wear this or put it to use?” You need to be brutally honest. If there is no way you can fix it up to make it look good on you, then leave it for someone else to find. A key point is to be sure you’re sticking to your size range. You may start trying to convince yourself you’ll just get those Levi’s 501s that are three sizes too big altered, but we all know they’ll sit in your closet for weeks before you even remember you bought them.

It is pointless for you to shop second hand, but then waste it by never using those purchases. Use your inspiration to help gauge whether that item will execute the vision you have in your head. You will know when something strikes your eye and is worth purchasing. A key tip is to see if you can style a piece you like in 3 different outfits from your own closet. A closet full of niche items is no closet at all.

Overall, thrifting is great for any person balling on a budget. It may be time consuming, but it is so fun and rewarding. You’ll quickly learn you don’t need a lot of money to make your visions come to life. Now, go off and start searching for those gems at thrift shops in Lebanon, TN. You got this!



5 Tips for Back-to-School Shopping on a Budget | FamilyApp

Did you know that August is Back-to-School Month? This whole month is dedicated to preparing kids, parents and teachers for the new school year. This process includes meeting teachers and tackling that shopping list. 

When shopping for back-to-school this year, do not forget about the value that thrift shops in Santa Rosa Beach, FL can offer. Here is why you should do back-to-school shopping at thrift stores and what items you can find there.


Back-to-school shopping can be expensive, especially if you have a few kids returning to school. The good news is that thrift stores can help you save money and still get high-quality items. These kinds of stores have affordable prices and even offer special sales. You can even find high-quality items that will withstand whatever your kids are doing at school.

Another reason to thrift back-to-school essentials is to help save the environment. Your kids outgrow clothes very quickly. That means your kids might only get a couple of months of wear out of their clothes before having to buy new ones. Thrift stores allow you to donate your kids’ clothes and buy new ones. Donating instead of tossing unwanted clothes helps reduce textile waste and the demand for new clothes. 



Kids grow fast, which means there is a high chance your kids’ clothes from last year will no longer fit them. Buying your kid a whole new wardrobe for school can be expensive, instead of paying full price for clothes that their kids will outgrow in a year, thrift them. 

Thrift stores Independence Missouri locations carry a full range of kids’ clothes. These stores have clothes for everyone, from the tiny preschooler to the graduating senior. Here is a list of clothing you can find at thrift stores: 

  • Jeans
  • T-shirts
  • Sweaters
  • Hoodies 
  • Jackets
  • Shorts 
  • Skirts
  • Dresses


Just as fast as kids grow out of their clothes, they can also outgrow their shoes. Kids need to have shoes that fit them correctly otherwise, this will cause discomfort, poor development or foot problems. Buying a new pair of shoes can also be expensive. 

The good news is thrift stores carry kids’ shoes at an affordable price. They have comfy tennis shoes for everyday wear, flats for picture day and even boots for those chilly autumn days. Do not forget to also bring in those pairs of shoes that no longer fit your kid.


Reading is an important part of a kid’s development, especially if they are just learning. It takes a lot of practice for them to develop this skill. That is why experts recommend that your kids spend at least 20 minutes a day reading. To keep your kids excited about reading, you need more books. You can find lots of affordable books at thrift stores. They have books for all reading levels. 


Whether your kid is doing remote schooling or going to a classroom, they will need somewhere to do their homework. Creating a workspace for your kid will help them stay focused and increase their productivity. If your kid does not have their space, create one for them with thrifted furniture. Thrift stores carry inexpensive pieces of furniture like tables, desks and chairs you can use to create a workspace.

thrift shop thrifting

Reasons Why You Should Always Buy Used Books

Thrift Store and Book Nook — AnimalSave
Reasons Why You Should Always Buy Used Books

While all books are wonderful, used books hold a special attraction for voracious readers. Knowing that the stories within have been experienced by someone else and have made a circuitous journey to get to you is incredible. Even if you are buying more practical books, buying them used is a great way to get what you need without draining your funds for other things.

They Save You a Ton of Money

As with buying anything secondhand, buying used books is an effective way to save a lot of money. Brand-new books are often overpriced simply for the fact that they are new. Guess what? The words are the same whether the book is new or has been loved by readers before you!

Used books from a thrift store in Destin, FL can cost a small fraction of the price of a new book. This is especially true of larger books like textbooks, which can run up the cost of your purchases more quickly than you would think.

They Allow You to Read More

For truly avid readers, a fully stocked bookshelf is never enough. If you want to keep yourself inundated with new books to read, buying used is really the best way to go. Not only can you get more books for each dollar that you spend, given how cheap they are compared to new books, the sheer variety of books you can buy secondhand will also ensure you have plenty of different genres to read.

Buying used books makes it so you never have to experience the awful emptiness of not having another book at hand to read.

You Can Expand Your Horizons

Chain bookstores only stock the latest books that every single person who reads is going to pick up. If you are sick of just reading the same popular books as everyone else, there is no better way to avoid it than by buying your books used.

Given that used books can come from many different people from all walks of life, you never know what you may find hidden away in the corner of a used bookstore. Keeping an open mind is important, especially while reading, and opening your mind to stories or ideas you had never considered before can be a huge benefit to your life.

You Get to Enjoy the Search

When you walk through the same chain bookstore that you always go through, very little will surprise you. Because of this, you simply walk to the genre you already like and take a quick peek to see if there is anything new. On the other hand, searching through used books is like going on a treasure hunt. You never know what you might find if you dig deep enough.

Who knows; maybe you’ll find an esoteric out-of-print book from an obscure novelist, a treatise on a little-known historical occurrence, or simply something that will make you laugh at its cover. But you never know if that book could be your next great read until you try it out. Looking for new books is part of the fun of being an avid reader, so enjoy searching the used book section of your local secondhand store.

It Helps Out the Environment

At the end of the day, books are still just collections of paper—paper that depleted a lot of trees to make. Tossing old books is such a waste of both a good book and all the paper that was used to make it. You can have a small part in helping the environment by keeping these used books out of the trash and on a bookshelf.

Resist the urge to buy a new edition of an old book with a cool new cover when there are a great many editions of those books still in stores all over the place. This allows us to keep information and stories circling while also protecting the environment.

They Let You Contribute to Your Community

Many secondhand bookstores, contribute greatly to charitable organizations that help your local community. If reading and helping your neighbors are both important to you, then buying a used book instead of a new one is just one small way that you can give back while getting your reading fix in as well.

It’s a win-win for everyone involved. You get a new story to read, the store can continue to fight against the larger chains, and your community gets a cut of the money you have provided for the book as well.

Thrift Stores

Top Tips for Thrifting Home Décor

Tour Jennifer Perkins' Colorful and Eclectic Home | DIY
Top Tips for Thrifting Home Décor

More often than not, when people think about going to a thrift store, they imagine the rows upon rows of affordable clothing. While that is certainly a fantastic reason to come to the thrift stores, there’s more than just clothes nestled in those aisles. Among them is a wide array of home décor items that you might not be able to find anywhere else.

The eclectic selection of items that they have on display may be a lot to take in once you get there, so I’ve compiled some of the top tips for thrifting home décor; that way, you can get the most out of your time.

Prepare Before You Head Out

While heading to a thrift store without a plan in mind and just seeing what you can find is fun, home décor items might take a little bit more of a plan to get right. You’ll want to look around your home and find places that look a little barren or boring and imagine the kinds of objects you could put there to liven them up.

Make a list of items that you are definitely looking for—for example, consider if you need a lamp for your bedroom or a centerpiece for your dining room table, and keep those pieces at the top of the list. Then, make a more general list below of items that you would be interested in obtaining. This way, you’re not going into the store without some kind of plan.

Go as Often as You Can

Just like with clothing, home décor items go quickly once they’re out on the shelves. This means going to the home décor section of your local thrift shop as often as you can because new items are sent to the sales floor all day. You can never really predict what you’ll find there or when a great item will only be on display for a day or two before it’s snatched up.

Search for the Brand Label

If you really want to get an incredible deal on a piece of furniture or décor, you’re going to have to do some digging. You never know what kind of brands people will donate or that get lost in estate sales. It’s worth the time to check every inch of a piece that you like to see if you can find a brand name for it. This will give you a better idea of the piece’s value and, if you’re lucky, you may just be able to find something vintage or rare.

Dig Deep for the Best Finds

It may be easy to simply scan the aisles quickly, but you may miss out on some items if you don’t take your time. Reach into the back of shelves, move things out of the way, and really get in there if you want to find the best stuff. Sometimes, the stuff at the front of the shelf is just in the way of the perfect item for your home, so don’t be afraid to really get in there.

Items To Keep an Eye Out For

There are some home items that lend themselves well to being bought in a thrift shop. You should definitely keep your eyes peeled for these certain items while you’re out shopping.

Baskets and Bowls

These pieces are seemingly very simple but buying these from retail stores can actually put you back more than you would think. Baskets and bowls are also super versatile, you can make them into furniture, planters, wall hangings, and all sorts of other useful home items.

Artwork and Wall Hangings

Looking to give your walls a unique feel? The thrift stores in Destin, FL have lots of artwork and wall hangings that you won’t find anywhere else. Not only are they unique, but they’ll also be much cheaper than anything you’ll find at a retail home goods store.

Kitchen Items

A kitchen needs a lot of things to be considered complete. Thankfully, a lot of those tools and cooking instruments can be found at thrift stores. You might even find some nice wine glasses or your new favorite coffee mug if you look around enough.


Whether you’re looking for the next great read or you just want your shelves to be a little less barren, books are easy to find at almost any thrift store. They make great additions to any room and can be put on display as much as you want or left in the background as subtle décor.


If you’re trying to class up your place a little, you can go a long way with a nice mirror. Not only will you find some truly unique mirrors to add to a room’s aesthetic, but they also are great for making small spaces seem much bigger.

thrift shop Thrift Stores

Why You Should Thrift Shop With Your Kids

Thrift Store Shopping In-Store vs. Online | Goodwill Arizona
Why You Should Thrift Shop With Your Kids

Struggling to come up with things to do with your kids is something that every parent goes through regularly. Children need entertainment and mental stimulation to learn and grow. Here, you’ll look into why you should thrift shop in Destin, FL with your kids so that you can see how fun and beneficial it can be for them.

It Shows the Value of a Good Deal

Something a lot of parents have trouble with is making their children understand the value of the money they spend. You can use thrift shopping to teach your children a different way of thinking about the things they buy. They get to see how you can find great items at prices that are much cheaper than retail, thereby illustrating how some retailers will try to gouge them for more money. It’s never too early to teach your child how to be smart with their money.

It’s a Treasure Hunt

One of the best reasons you should thrift shop with your kids is how fun it can be. To a child, a thrift store is like one big treasure hunt. You never know what you’ll find, you have to dig into the racks to find the treasure, and the offerings change between each visit. Make a scavenger hunt out of your trips to the thrift stores to make it even more entertaining.

It Allows Them to Express Themselves

With thrift shop items being much more affordable than other retailers, you can feel free to let your kids go wild with their finds. Giving your children the freedom to express themselves in the moment is one of the best ways to develop their own sense of self. Let them try on something that you would never have picked out for them; it might just become their new favorite thing.

It Lets Them Be Creative

Thrift shopping with children is all about being creative with what you find. Let them go off on their own to find things they like and can turn into something else. Work with your children to determine how you can turn a piece of furniture into something new for them. Maybe an old entertainment system can become a storage unit in their playroom—or perhaps it can feature in an obstacle course they want to build. Your only limit is your—and your child’s—creativity.

thrift shop thrifting

Why Thrift Shopping Is So Fun

Learn the best way to make the most out of your thrift store adventure |  News and Events | Volunteers of America
Why Thrift
Shopping Is So Fun

We could all use a new hobby or interest nowadays—something that can pick our spirits up when times are difficult. If you’ve never been to a thrift shop before, or if you’ve never done any serious thrifting, you’re missing out on a ton of fun. What is it about thrift shops that make them so alluring to so many people? In this article, you’ll know exactly why thrift shopping is so fun.

The Thrill of the Hunt

We’ve all heard the saying that the journey is always better than the destination or that the anticipation of something is often better than the thing itself. Thrift stores are full to bursting with that sense of anticipation. As you run down the aisles of the thrift stores, you never know what you’ll be able to find. That buildup of excitement as you enter the door continues throughout your shopping experience.

The Feeling of Discovery

The journey may be incredible, but the nice thing about thrift shopping is that the destination is usually just as satisfying! Once you find that perfect item you were looking for—or better yet, an item you weren’t looking for—that’s when you’ll really start to understand why thrift shopping is so fun. The combination of the search and the discovery of something new is a feeling that we don’t get to experience often in our day-to-day lives.

The New Sights To See

You never know what you’re going to find in a thrift store, and the shelves are always rotating. The store can look completely different from one week to the next. The best part about this is finding something you didn’t know you needed until you saw it on the shelf. You might find:

  • A piece of vintage clothing
  • The perfect knickknack
  • Obscure books to read
  • The last item you need to finish off your kitchen or living room

Exploring all the new items that come in is one of the favorite parts about thrift shopping, and it’ll be one of yours as well.

The Satisfaction of a Good Deal

Is there any feeling quite like knowing you just got something new for the lowest price possible? That’s what thrift shopping is all about. Getting a great deal (whether you need the item or not) is one of the best parts of thrifting. You won’t find better deals on great finds than inside a thrift store. If you’re looking to get the most for your money, you owe it to yourself to go for thrift shopping in the thrift stores of Destin, FL

thrift shop Thrift Stores thrifting

A Basic Guide to Thrift Store Shopping

A Basic Guide to Thrift Store Shopping

Lots of people dislike thrift stores, for a number of reasons. Often people feel they are “above” thrift stores, that thrift stores carry nothing but junk, or that thrift stores are dark, dirty, and depressing.

While there certainly are some pretty dismal thrift stores out there, most are fairly clean and well-organized stores that weed out the broken, filthy, and otherwise unusable before putting stock on the sales floor. And the customers come from all walks of life, from street-walking transvestites to trendy college kids to retired heiresses.

“Thrifting” is fun and it’s cheap — and it’s also a good deed, providing funds for various charities as well as keeping perfectly usable goods out of landfills and incinerators to provide a few more years of service.

If you’re new to thrifting, here’s a few pointers to help you make the most of a visit to a thrift store near you.

Be nice. The people who work in thrift stores are, as you can imagine, not usually paid very well. They may not be paid at all, as many thrift stores provide vocational training or rehabilitation services to people on some form of state aid. So be nice to them, just because it’s the right thing to do.

Do the circuit. Thrift stores tend to cluster together in areas with high traffic and low rent. Make a day of visiting all the shops in an area. Since each of the major charities that runs thrift stores tends to appeal to a different kind of donor, each store will have a slightly different kind of stock, so take the grand tour and take it all in.

Know the specials. Many thrift stores run different kinds of specials, often offering discounts of 50%, 75%, or even more off their regular daily prices. In my area, one chain takes 50% off anything with a different color tag every week, another discounts anything dated over a month ago, and still another puts out a monthly calendar with different half-off items each day (like ‘anything with a zipper”, “anything plastic”, and so on).

Know your charity. Some thrift stores are run for profit, so this doesn’t apply to them; for the rest, knowing who sponsors the store might provide valuable insight into what you’ll find there — or incentive to patronize (or not patronize) specific stores.

Be creative. One of the fun things about thrifting is that you will see things that lend themselves to uses quite different from their original intended functions.

A waste-basket can hold poster tubes, a suitcase can act as a coffee table, a record crate can be turned sideways to organize binders, etc. Keep your eyes (and mind) open for objects the might fill a need in an unusual and interesting way.

Have a use in mind. This is a warning: don’t get carried away. Be creative, be practical, but also be sure that you can actually use everything you pick up at thrift stores.

Low prices and the “here today, gone tomorrow” nature of the stock can lead to hasty purchases. Don’t shop for needs you might have, down the line — shop for things you can use immediately when you get it home.

Give back. Don’t forget to drop off the things you no longer use or need when you’re at the thrift store! Most of us have a pile of stuff to give away “someday” — old clothes, an unused piece of furniture, a box of books pulled from the shelf to make more room. When you’re heading to the thrift store, pack it up and take it with you.

Haggle. I don’t like to say this, because I hated when people bickered over prices with me when I worked in thrift stores. Don’t haggle for the sake of it — chances are you’re already getting a bargain, and stores aren’t under any huge pressure to move any particular item (unsold stock, especially clothes, is often sold to exporters who ship it overseas).

But thrift store employees don’t have much to go by in pricing goods for sale, and they make mistakes — if something seems clearly overpriced, ask to speak with a manager (don’t put floor staff in an awkward position) and make a more reasonable offer.

Don’t be afraid to leave empty-handed. Thrifting isn’t like other shopping, where you go in with a list of what you want, get it, and go. Thrifting is a scavenger hunt, where you can hope and dream about the Ultimate Bargain but have to expect not to find it.

Half the fun is in the looking — and in thinking up goofy uses for the unidentifiable products that someone, somewhere, once thought fit to spend good money on, or in making up back stories for the forlorn detritus of people’s lives, stuff marked “Bobby, 1st grade” and “Cheryl, love you forever, Dina”. Have fun and don’t worry if nothing strikes your fancy enough to take home with you.

Thrifting is obviously not the most efficient or productive way to shop, so think of it as part of your leisure activities (with occasional payoffs) the time you spend hopping from store to store is what you do next action lists, priority quadrants, and time tracking to make time for.

Take a day your next free weekend to explore the thrift stores in Lebanon, TN and see what you come up with!

thrift shop Thrift Stores thrifting

Benefits of thrift shopping for students

Benefits of thrift shopping for students

Shopping today takes many different forms from shopping centers to online websites, but one way to shop that has re-emerged on the scene is thrift shopping.

Thrift stores first popped up in the late 19th century, according to Time magazine. When the industrial revolution introduced the mass production of clothing, clothes were seen as more disposable.

As urban populations grew, the size of living spaces shrunk, and more possessions were being tossed. Time also reports that thrift stores like Goodwill and The Salvation Army started becoming organized like department stores and changed their name from junk shops to thrift stores in the 1920s, allowing the middle class to feel comfortable shopping there.

In 2018, there are currently more than 25,000 resale, consignment and not-for-profit resale shops in the U.S., according to The Association of Resale Professionals.

About 16 to 18 percent of Americans will shop at a thrift store during a given year, according to America’s Research Group, a consumer research firm. For consignment and resale shops, it’s about 12 to 15 percent. Whereas, 1.4 percent of Americans shop in factory outlet malls, 19.6 percent in apparel stores and 21.3 percent in major department stores.

In 2012, rubber, leather and textiles made up nearly nine percent of the 251 million tons of waste produced in the U.S., according to the EPA.
Throwing out old clothing just shortens its journey to a landfill.

Cotton takes one to five months to biodegrade in landfills, whereas nylon can take 30 to 40 years, and synthetic fibers, like polyester, can take between 20 to 200 years to biodegrade, according to a Biodegradability Study on Cotton and Polyester Fabrics.

“Buying second-hand is better for the environment because it’s recycling someone’s old into my new,” PSUC junior environmental science major Teresa Moran said. “It also saves me a lot of money as a college student.” Thrift stores have clothes that aren’t sold in mainstream stores today.

Graphic sweaters from the ‘90s, flannels with oversized look and even retro boots are just some of the things people can find in a thrift store.
Michael Otton, PSUC senior environmental planning management said, “You can find things that you wouldn’t find in department stores, and it’s really cool how you can find various fashions from different eras.”

Otton frequents thrift shops because of the low cost of everything, even expensive articles of clothing like winter jackets.

“Unlike department stores, I have never walked into Salvation Army and spent more than $10 on one item,” Otton said. “I have found some of the most high quality stuff for so cheap at thrift stores, and it’s always so exciting to dig for new stuff.”

Thrift stores are like treasure hunts to some shoppers. Thrift stores today can carry a wide variety of items and clothing from kitchen appliances to retro hats for very low prices.

“You can find so many unique items that you really can’t find in any retail store nowadays,” Lewis said. Thrift shops in Lebanon, TN are appealing to people for unique items and low prices.

“Whether or not I’m looking for oversized sweaters and flannels or an outfit for a themed party, I can always find something,” PSUC junior environmental studies major Charlotte Martindale said.

“I also feel like most items that I have purchased from a thrift store have been made from durable material in comparison to some new items bought at malls that are also priced way more than items in a thrift store.”

thrift shop Thrift Stores thrifting

Three Reasons Why Thrifting is Better for the Environment

Three Reasons Why Thrifting is Better for the Environment

Thrifting or shopping secondhand is a great way to reduce your environmental footprint while finding some really cool and unique items that you wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere.

Buying items brand new might not seem like it has a very big impact on the environment, but every small action counts. By shopping for things second hand, you are voting with your dollar as a consumer to not support the industries that cause pollution and tons of waste.

Here are some of the many reasons why thrifting is better than buying new items. 

1) Less Resource Consumption

The creation of new things takes a lot of resources, especially in today’s world of fast fashion and hyper-consumerism. Some of these natural resources are being used at a rate that is faster than they can be produced and are non-renewable.

When it comes to clothing, electronics, and other home goods, it takes a lot of water and energy to make these items. When you thrift something, you are not directly supporting the demand for new things to be made, and this has a positive impact since resources and energy were already used to create that item.

Specific to clothing and textiles, less fabric is wasted, and the water footprint of an item becomes less since the life of the item is extended. 

2) Fewer Things are Thrown Away

Not only are we using fewer resources when we thrift something, but overall, less things are thrown away as well. Shopping second hand is a great way to give a new home to some awesome items that would otherwise end up in the trash. 

In today’s society of consumerism, people often buy things without realizing they don’t really need them, and with items that are cheap and accessible people tend to throw them away.

To help lessen the impact that this has on the environment, you can choose to donate things instead of tossing them and consider looking for an item secondhand next time you need something.

 One thing might not serve the person that originally bought the item, but maybe it’s an item you’ve been looking to have or something that goes great in your home. With thrifting, you keep these items from going to waste by giving them a new life. 

3) Less Chemical Pollution

It takes a lot of manufacturing and processing to be able to create new things. When it comes to clothing, textiles need to be grown using pesticides, and then those fabrics are treated with harsh chemicals and dyes that can be not only harmful to the environment but also to our health.

When we create synthetic fabrics, greenhouse gases are released which contribute to climate change. These chemicals contaminate our water, soil, and air, and this can impact wildlife and the quality of many resources we use to survive.

Toxins can also disrupt our hormones and gut microbiome, and there’s still research to be uncovered as to how these chemicals can impact our bodies.

By choosing to buy secondhand, you aren’t supporting the demand for new products to be made using these chemicals, and the negative impact the item has on your health can also be much less compared to buying the item brand new.

These are just a few of the reasons why shopping second hand is beneficial for the environment. Whether you find something new with the tags on it still or a preloved vintage item, you are choosing an option that didn’t involve new resource and energy consumption, potentially saving something from being thrown into a landfill, and lessening the burden of pollutants on the environment that come from consumerism. 

Shopping at the thrift stores in Lebanon, TN are a great way to find some pre-loved pieces that still have a lot of life in them. The beauty of thrifting is that you never know what you are going to find!

Whether you are donating your unwanted items, looking for something specific, or just seeing what is out there, thrift stores are a great resource to find cool items while saving money and the planet.