Posts Tagged: thrift

Doing Better Moving Forward: Thoughts on Sustainable Style One Year Later

A style blogger recaps shopping and dressing sustainably for a year.

In September of 2015, I watched “The True Cost” and it changed my life. I decided that I would never again purchase any fashion item that was not either:

  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Secondhand/used
  • Handmade
  • Created using sustainable materials
  • Created using fair trade/transparent labor practices

I wrote about my reasoning and thought process – including how I would handle the items in my existing wardrobe that didn’t fit these criteria – in this post, so if you’re curious about the backstory, I highly recommend taking a peek at that first! But if you’re up to speed on all that, I’ll dig right into how I’m feeling after a year (and a few months) of living with these restrictions.

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Reader Request: Researching Thrifted Items

researching thrift store brands

Reader Susan had this fantastic question:

How do you go about finding information on thrifted items that seem to have come from nowhere? About a month ago, I thrifted the most wonderful pair of black leggings/slim pants, and I would love to get another pair … but Google as I may, I can’t track down any information about the brand or where it might be sold. The label inside the pants reads “Schmattas 18+”, and that brings up exactly nothing useful in an online search. (At least, I think that’s what it says. What I read as “schmattas” is in some kind of less-than-totally clear font.) The size and care tags are still there, but don’t have any information other than what you’d expect.

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An Argument for Consignment Stores

Consignment-Store-480x360

One of the most eye-opening and alarming facts I learned from watching “The True Cost” was about thrift stores. I already knew that some of the clothing that gets donated ends up somewhere other than on the racks, but I had no idea how much. Do you? Well, around 80% of donated clothing ends up going to textile recyclers because thrift stores receive FAR more clothing than they could ever house and sell. And although 55% of that 80% is recycled into industrial materials like insulation and pillow stuffing, 45% is exported to developing countries. The film pointed out that when this influx of clothing arrives – relatively new, sometimes trendy, and definitely affordable – it can cause local clothing makers to lose business. Or be driven out of business entirely. And the sheer amount that shows up is more than most communities can handle, so much of it ends up in landfills.

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