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.
Posts Categorized: thrifting
The secondhand shopping world is growing, and that is a MARVELOUS good thing. Old fashioned thrift stores are still a staple, but they can be frustrating or overwhelming for some people. So I wanted to talk about various other outlets for buying (and sometimes selling) used clothing, shoes, and accessories. And I’m sure you’ll have more to add!
We’ll start with the big guns. Most thrift stores are associated with a charity, and proceeds from sales of donated goods benefit that charity. Many will also provide job training for those in need. Since goods are donated, you can get everything from designer castoffs to past-season fast fashion. These stores run the gamut from well-lit, well-organized emporia to daunting, dark, disorganized morasses. Just because you’ve had a bad experience at one doesn’t mean you should write off the entire category! Poke around The Thrift Shopper website to find out about stores in your area, and try to sample a few.
As you know, I’m now working once per month as a guest stylist at Arc’s Value Village thrift stores, but I wanted to introduce you to the woman behind this groundbreaking program, Michelle Dustin. Let’s hear from Michelle!
This program was your brainchild! What inspired you to create and launch the Arc’s Value Village Personal Shopper program?
One of my first jobs as a teen was as a cashier at the Arc’s Value Village in New Hope; there I developed a love for the eclectic, unpredictable and adventurous world of thrifting.