Thrift Stores – Good for the earth and Your Budget

thrift store

With all the focus on the environment these days, shopping at thrift, second hand, or consignment store has become the eco-friendly way to refresh your wardrobe. As a bonus, thrift store shopping is considerably easier on the budget than shopping for new items. If you haven’t considered thrift store shopping before, here are some great reasons to try it:

1)      It’s good for the environment – Instead of buying new, look for gently used items first. Every item of clothing bought second hand is one less purchased new. Clothing manufacturing is not a green industry overall so every little bit we can do to reduce the amount of new clothing produced is helpful.

2)      You can buy locally. Thrift, second hand, and consignment stores all get their donations from the communities they’re in, so there is minimal transportation of goods. This is better for the environment and good for the local economy since the money usually helps out in the community the store is located in.

3)      It’s good for your community. Many thrift and second hand stores support community causes – Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and Value Village are the big chains and all 3 give back to the communities in which they are located. Locally run thrift stores by community organizations are often non profits that give all proceeds back to the community that they’re located in. Thrift stores can also act as a sheltered workplace for people who need support in order to be employed.

4)      You can score some awesome deals. Over the years, I’ve found designer purses, brand name clothing, and even a leather jacket all for great prices. One of the purses even had the original price tag tucked inside – a $135 Kate Spade purse that I bought for less than $5! I can’t promise that you’ll find a deal like that when you go, but I can say that you won’t find one if you don’t look!

5)      You can find some really unique items and be creative. If you’re someone who likes to stand out from the crowd, why get your clothes in a store where there are hundreds of the same outfit? Almost everything in a thrift store is a one off, which allows you to be creative and put together an awesome outfit, that’s truly one of a kind.

6)      Their sales are better. Thrift stores have some amazing deals – some have 50 or 75 percent off sales on certain tag colours or items, others have “fill a bag for $10” deals. Ask the staff at your favourite thrift store what promotions they have, and how often.

7)      Two words: treasure hunt. I love the thrill of the hunt –finding something awesome and unexpected. Thrift stores are amazing places to find unexpected treasures – you truly never know what you’re going to find!

By shopping at a thrift, second hand, or consignment store, you’re saving yourself money and saving the environment at the same time. It’s a win-win situation!


Thrifting Thursday: The Perfect Winter Coat

Last week we began a series on secondhand shopping, thrifting. Today a reader shares her thrifting find. Christy found the perfect winter coat, and here is her post:

a winter coat for $7

There isn’t a parent out there that wouldn’t agree that kids are expensive. There are always things to pay for and stuff to buy. And that is especially true when it comes to clothes. Kids never seem to stop growing.

I have two girls. They are two years apart and so I have been able to recycle clothes. There are a lot of hand-me-downs for my youngest daughter. I try to keep budget in mind when I buy clothes for the kids. I am not the kind of parent who runs to the store to get the newest, fanciest or most expensive thing. I think I get that from my parents. I am one of five children and so my parents just couldn’t afford getting everyone new clothes all the time. So we got a new outfit and new shoes at the beginning of the school year and then the rest of the year things were only purchased when absolutely needed. So as a parent, now I am always looking for ways get the best bang for my buck  and buying second hand for some things is a good way to do that.

I have a couple of places I like to check out every once in a while, especially for seasonal clothing and essentials. Once Upon A Child, Value Village and a local independent second hand clothing store for children and youth called Revolver Resale Clothing.  What I like about Once Upon A Child and Revolver is they are selective about what they buy and you can find name brand clothing at a much reduced price. When shopping at Value Village I find you have to be much more careful about what you buy, it takes time to find a gem but it is possible. One of the best things I ever purchased second hand was for my youngest daughter. I needed to pick up a winter coat for her. It was late in the season and so most retail stores have very little selection so we decided to check out Value Village. And we struck gold. We found a beautiful light weight ski jacket in her size. It clearly had never been worn and it clearly looked like a second. It had a defect in the hoodie portion of the jacket. The zipper that attached the hood to the main jacket was not sewn properly. No problem. My mother sews and it was a  pretty simple repair for her. The best part? The price. I picked up this fantastic new coat for a bargain basement price of $7. Yup you read that right. It was only $7.

So there are gems hidden in those racks of second hand clothes. You just need to have a keen eye. I don’t shop second hand for everything but it can really help keep our family on budget, especially when we are close to the end of a season and just need something to get us a few weeks until the change of weather. It is also great because it helps the environment, not just your pocket book. You get to give clothes a second life and keep them out of the landfill and that is something we all need to do more of.

This post was written by Christy Laverty:

You can find Christy at :

Her Blog:

or do as I do and follow her on Twitter:

Thanks Christy so much for sharing your story of second hand shopping and you are right it gives clothes a great second life and it does keep them out of the landfill.

If you have a thrifting story you would like to share on Common Cents Mom let me know.