How To Thrift Shop Effectively

 There are a variety of ways to transform your closet into a more ethical and eco friendly one. Besides buying pieces from ethical brands, another great method is to thrift shop. Buying second hand clothing saves the items from ending up in a landfill, and it is thus a more eco friendly way to shop. It is also a cheaper way to shop, as you can find great pieces at a bargain. Thrift shopping can seem a little bit daunting at the start, but I promise you it is an exciting and rewarding way to shop. These are some of my tips on how to thrift shop more effectively.


Be Flexible

One key aspect of thrift shopping is that you never really know what you’re going to get. Some days you might find exactly what you’re looking for, whereas other times you won’t find any items that you like. One thing that will help you thrift shop more effectively is to be flexible. I rarely go thrift shopping with very specific items I want to buy in mind, because I will pretty much always be disappointed. So instead I try to stay more flexible; if I need some new trousers, I will just go thrifting and see what I can find. Shopping in this way has resulted in a lot more success!

Be Creative

It took me a little while to figure out that one of the fun parts of thrift shopping is being creative with my clothing. I mean this in two ways. Firstly, I’ve become more adventurous in my style, because I find unique pieces in thrift shops that I encourage myself to wear. Secondly, I’ve had so much fun playing around with pieces I have bought while thrifting. Cutting a big men’s shirt into a cute cropped top, distressing an old pair of jeans and transforming them into shorts, sewing patches onto a thrifted jean jacket; I’ve become a lot more creative when it comes to my clothing. The pieces you find in a thrift store can always be transformed into something else. I am in no way a skilled seamstress and yet, I have transformed some great pieces. That’s proof that anyone can do it!


Don’t Skip Charity Shops

There is often a difference between thrift shops and charity shops. Thrift shops are often associated with more vintage pieces, and are a bit more pricey. If you are looking for a statement vintage piece from a known label, vintage stores may be your best bet. However, charity shops are great for several reasons. They are often a lot cheaper, and you can get lucky and find some great vintage pieces for a very low price. Plus, you are supporting a great cause by shopping there. I do the majority of my second hand shopping at charity shops.

Take Your Time

Thrift shopping can be time consuming, so take your time. Most likely you’ll have to go to several thrift shops to find some good clothing items, and browsing all the racks in each shop can take some time. So give yourself a few hours to truly get the most out of your thrift shopping trip. Sometimes I like to make a day of it; I invite some friends along and we explore a bunch of charity shops, with plenty of coffee and food break in between. It’s a perfect Saturday in my book!

Go Regularly

Second hand stores get new stock regularly, and so visiting often will give you the best chance at finding some great pieces. If you live close to some second hand stores, make some time each week to stop by and have a browse.

Explore A New Area

Every area has their own charity and thrift shops with their own unique stock, so it’s always worth checking them out. I like to visit shops when I’m visiting a new area, whether just for the day or I’m on holiday, because I always find some good pieces. It’s also a great way to support local business whilst you are travelling.

Incorporating more second hand pieces into your wardrobe is a great step in the right direction in terms of ethical fashion. Get creative and explore your local thrift stores, who knows what cool pieces you might find!

Written by Eline Jeanné (@the_vegan_globetrotter), who also writes her own blog:


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*If you're from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, come say hello to us at Kommunity's Sustainable Fashion Day! Bring your old clothes for their Clothes Swap event as well as for donation. On the 26 May 18, there will also be an amazing Vintage Kilo Sale where you'll be able to get some amazing bargains while reusing second hand clothing that would otherwise end up in landfill.    

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