Thrifting promotes environmental friendliness and unique finds


A customer browses through the rack of men’s t-shirts at a Goodwill in Redlands on Oct. 9. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News Photo)

Thrifting has garnered more and more popularity throughout the years. Any store that sells donated clothing, furniture and other merchandise at discounted prices is considered a thrift store. Although often thought of as simple stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army, thrifting can also include rummaging through bins and booths at garage sales and swap meets.

Part of the attraction that draws many to thrift stores are its affordable prices and unique pieces. Oftentimes, clothing items at thrift stores only cost a few dollars allowing customers to purchase multiple items for an outstandingly low cost.

Redlands East Valley High School sophomore Alma Shelly King said, “[Thrifting] is a lot more affordable for people who can’t always buy from the more expensive clothing brands.”

King typically looks for sweaters, band t-shirts and jeans at local stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army. Their favorite thing about thrifting is finding old, vintage clothing.

Many also find excitement in discovering unexpected pieces, which can help diversify one’s closet, especially if they are yearning for more distinctive, occasionally unconventional, articles of clothing. In addition, the special experience of finding and purchasing a hidden treasure at a thrift store makes the item even more memorable.

Chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s concept of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” accurately illustrates the fixation over thrifting.

Thrifting is also admired for being environmentally friendly.  Thrifting promotes the reusing of items. As a person gives an item a second life, they are helping decrease the size of landfills and the need for the production of additional items. It can also help preserve water due to less clothing production, reduce chemical pollution and lower one’s carbon footprint, or in other words, the greenhouse gas emissions produced from one’s actions.

According to Goodwill, their stores have contributed greatly in “diverting nearly five billion pounds of goods from landfills and into reuse.”

Thrifting can be a time-consuming pastime that may require a lot of patience, but the thrill of accumulating unique finds for low prices and promoting environmental friendliness makes it worthwhile.

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