Why I love secondhand shopping. I am a thrift queen.
Even as recent as five years ago, I never would’ve considered myself to be a thrift queen. But here I am, in my 41st year on planet Earth, and there are few things I love more than rescuing an item of clothing otherwise destined for landfill. Scouring secondhand stores for discarded treasures, rescuing and rehoming them, and giving new life to an otherwise ‘dead’ garment have become some of my favorite ways to spend my time.
I’ve had a lifelong love affair with discount shopping, which, up until recently, I considered guilt-free shopping. Today, I shop 95% secondhand, undoubtedly ‘discount’ shopping, which I do consider guilt-free because it is environmentally favorable compared to shopping brand new.
Yet, I still consider myself vulnerable to making unnecessary purchases, what I call unconscious consumption. If I don’t stay on top of myself, I can get sucked into a deal just for the love of a deal. Yes, shopping secondhand is my guilty- pleasure. It is one of my favorite hobbies to date. But it is also a passion. And it's really good for the environment. It's sustainable fashion.
I know how easy it can be to fall into a shopping binge at somewhere like Goodwill because it happens to be $1 day or a 50% Saturday (anyone else been there?). No matter where you shop or how ethical the brands you buy from, over-shopping is not guilt-free. At least it doesn’t feel that way to me.
Buying things I don’t really love, need, or want (just for the deal) feels suffocating and it feels out of control. It creeps in when I’m not being conscious or keeping myself grounded. The thrill of the deal is like a real addiction for me.
There may be a temporary high from a $1 designer score, but if I don’t have a place for it in my life, it becomes nothing more than clutter once I get it home and realize ‘ewww, this is not me at all.’ Clutter feels crappy; it creates mental congestion, which can really get us off track, cause procrastination, and devour our self-esteem.
Curating a closet full of confidence is curating a sustainable wardrobe. A purchase with a purpose is a sustainable purchase. If you are utilizing what you have to make you feel great about yourself, you will feel more satisfied with what you already have and even relieved of always needing more, cheaper, better clothing.
This is about making intentional and purposeful purchases, no matter how much money you spend on any given item. Do you love it? Will you use it? Where will you wear it? Can you mix and match it? Does it fit well? Do you feel confident wearing it? Do you love how you look in it? Is it a high-quality, well-made garment?
Shopping secondhand for me is a whole lot more than just a hobby. It is a part of my purpose and how I want to express myself as an advocate for sustainable fashion. I do feel that secondhand shopping is the most sustainable shopping you can do. It is a way that I choose to live a stylish and sustainable life. I hope you will stand by as I continue to develop and hone my craft and uncover the clues of how I plan to use this to bring more good to the world.