By NICOLE NEMETH
My grandma is a very thrifty person. She strongly believes in getting the most for her money, whether it’s by fixing her own car, tailoring her clothes or buying items second-hand.
In fact, my grandma absolutely loves to go thrift shopping and much of my childhood was spent inside stores like Value Village, St. Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army.
Almost everything I’ve owned was previously loved by someone else. As a kid I would proudly boast where I scored my new flared jeans and striped T-shirts even if it did embarrass my older sister. Apparently bragging about second-hand clothes wasn’t cool, but I didn’t care.
However, in more recent years I’ve noticed that more and more people are realizing the benefits of buying used items: you can buy high quality items for much cheaper, it’s better for the environment, many thrift stores donate to charities and every trip is like a treasure hunt; you never know what you may come across.
Unfortunately there are still people out there who view second-hand shopping as something only poor people do, that it’s dirty or degrading. That’s not true.
Many people from every background obtain used items whether they are hand-me-downs, collectibles, antiques or refurbished electronics or obtained from yard sales or through trading items. When you think about it, there really is no difference between buying a previously played video game at EB Games or one from a local thrift shop.
In addition, people who love to dress fashionably but can’t afford to dish out big bucks for designer duds can often find quality brands for a fraction of the price if they simply take the time to sift through the racks. Guess jeans, DKNY sweaters, Chanel purses, Doc Marten boots. I’ve come across all of these items and more on my frequent Value Village explorations.
People who aim to live an eco-friendly lifestyle are foolish if they’re not making the effort to purchase used items. It’s the best way to recycle and reuse clothes, furniture, housewares, electronics and more. Not to mention, by avoiding big retail stores you’re reducing the amount of waste produced when making a new items.
The Salvation Army offers assistance for children and families in need, they provide shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people struggling with addiction. Value Village stores donate items that have not sold in the past few weeks to developing countries and they have working relationships with over 140 non-profit partners across the U.S., Canada and Australia. And many other thrift stores donate to charities as well.
The benefits of thrift shopping are plenty. It only makes sense to forgo the mall the next time you feel like spending your hard-earned dollars and visit your local thrift shop instead.