Hello everyone, I’m going to try my hand at writing another one of these mytake things. Not everyone was a big fan of my first one while others seemed to enjoy my second one. So, three times the charm, right?
If it isn’t obvious enough yet, I love the planet. Unfortunately, as much as I love fashion, there has been a real issue with “fast fashion” companies that sell cheap clothing (usually made by underpaid or even underage workers) to major retailers, harming the planet severely. Some people choose to remedy this by only buying from trustworthy, more expensive brands … I choose to fight this issue with thrift stores.
Even if you don’t want to stick it to the fast-fashion industry, you might want to save a few bucks, at least. Thrifting is an awesome way to do that if you know to how to buy intelligently and maintain used clothing.
So, here are my tips.
Pick and choose your thrifty paradise
Not all thrift stores are made equal. Value Village is a big one here in Canada, but after becoming more commercial and actually taking in NEW unused products, they jacked up their prices. Nowadays, I
prefer Talize, but you can decide what store you like best. Just make sure more than anything:
1) It’s a clean facility. If you’re seeing filthy clothing and surrounding areas, maybe don’t shop there.
2) Everything is clearly labeled. Some second-hand stores will try to trick you to lemon-squeeze what they can out of you.
3) That workers can detail how they treat their clothing and goods upon receiving them. We’ll talk about washing your clothes later, but realistically, most thrift stores SHOULD wash most if not all articles of clothing before they go on the rack. ESPECIALLY under garments.
Check for coupons and return policies
Lots of thrift stores will bump up their punchline by offering weekly coupons and deals, making it possible to get cute items for dirt-cheap. Also, some places are lenient enough where you can actually return your second-hand items – but few places do this. Make sure you check for all available coupons and what the company’s return policies are, because you might find an awesome piece only to realize there was a missing seam or a hole in it that you didn’t notice.
Don’t be shy, try it on! Safely
I know people worry about thrift stores being unclean, but that doesn’t mean they are or not there isn’t a way to try things on safely. I personally try things on over things like shorts and tank tops, just to make sure the garment more or less fits me, even though I’m straight sized.
If you want to try something on, go ahead! Just keep an undershirt on or bottoms of a thinner material so you can slip things over top. If you’re not scared of germs, you can try things on as you would in any other store.
Wash it good
I always wash clothes with cold water on shorter cycles to save water and energy, but after a thrift haul, I make an exception. Even if the store you buy from washes clothes when they receive them, you can’t account for other people trying them on. To make sure that the clothes are clean enough to wear, I always wash them in hot water (and depending on the material) on a heavier cotton or towel cycle to make sure they are totally clean before I begin wearing them.
Some additional tips…
- Inspect all of the clothing thoroughly. Like I mentioned before, not every store has a return policy. So, you need to make sure you check every crevice and seam of the item you’re buying.
- Not everything at the thrift store is equal! I avoid buying things such as blankets and hats, for
example, due to the risk of lice or bed bugs. While I trust my local thrift store to be clean, there are some things just not worth risking.
- Take your time! You’re going to find a lot of pieces that are outdated and un-stylish, but don’t give up. I’ve found brand-name pieces for dirt cheap by simply being patient and shifting through the sea of items in my lifetime. From Guess Jeans to Louis V bags, if you keep an eye out and take your time, you can have an awesome pay out.