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Great Reasons to Shop Secondhand

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Great Reasons to Shop Secondhand

I grew up shopping in thrift stores. I remember my mother searching for me as I hid in between clothing racks, her cart piled high with colorful finds and the happy expression on her face when she found both my hiding spot and the perfect outfit for me. I learned during these excursions about the thrill of finding items marked for $2.00, with an original price tag of one hundred times that! It was and still is amazing what people both give and throw away long before their usefulness is through. While as a child I didn’t have much patience for shopping trips of any kind, I still found most of my adolescent clothes secondhand. My mother also created elegant outfits for her tango classes and hilarious Halloween costumes out of what she found at our local thrift stores.

When I got older and we had a bit more money, we stopped thrift shopping as much and started mall shopping. While these trips seemed “easier” in some ways, they never had the same sense of adventure, not to mention that the cost was far greater both monetarily and to my sense of sanity.

After entering college I luckily rediscovered the joy of thrift or consignment stores and yard sales. At that time I was shopping secondhand for the deals and eccentric outfits I could find, but later I came to appreciate all my used, but “new to me” items for the greater purpose they served. I realized that every thrift store, consignment shop, op shop, online secondhand retailer, yard sale and refurbished electronic store provided a secondhand haven for the millions of pounds of clothing and household items that would otherwise be headed for the dump. I learned that by thrift shopping I could save still useful and valuable items from being heaped into our overflowing landfills and save money and natural resources by doing so.

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Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati

Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


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10:16PM PST on Dec 23, 2013

I'm also visiting this site regularly, this web site is really nice and the users are genuinely sharing good thoughts.

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5:16AM PDT on Aug 17, 2013


10:51PM PDT on Aug 13, 2013

This added a new perspective of the second hand things I invest in, Thanks!

9:40PM PDT on Aug 13, 2013

Thanks for sharing this. I've worked at Goodwill for almost 12 years. One of the reasons I chose to take the job is because we recycle. Though I do shop Macy's one day sale occasionally, most of my wardrobe as well as my household items come from Goodwill or the Good Samaritan thrift stores. We do get a fair amount of new things and alot of gently worn used things. What we cannot sell on the retail floor, we sell to a salvage buyer. If folks have clothing that is too worn or stained to sell, you can still donate to thrift stores that bale and sell textiles to salvage buyers. We appreciate if donors bag salvage clothing seperately and mark it salvage or rags. We will then put it in the bins for baling.

6:47AM PDT on Aug 12, 2013

I hate when I hear of someone throwing away perfectly good items. At the very least - donate them! If Goodwill or Salvation Army can't resell the item, they can usually re-purpose them and/or send them where they can be used.

I donate to and buy from them all the time.

3:19AM PDT on Aug 11, 2013

Thanks for this article.

9:20PM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

Goodwill is across the street from work, so use to visit every week, would buy clothes and books there. a lot of us at work visit Goodwill regularly

3:16AM PDT on May 26, 2013

thank you ;)

4:43AM PDT on May 23, 2013

Great article. Thanks for sharing.

4:28AM PDT on May 2, 2013

I keep spending my thrift store money at the dollar store. It's better to go to the thrift store first since some items are only 10 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents, etc.

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