You know that period in your mid 20s where you can’t really shop at Forever 21 anymore but you also can’t afford big name brands? When all of your sentences start with so I was listening to this podcast today… but you still call your mom with laundry questions? That’s me.
As I’ve moved into this new phase of adulting I’ve learned a few things:
- My mom was pretty much right about everything. Like when she told me not to over tweeze my brows. I made that mistake in the 7th grade. I blame Gwen Stefani.
- Almost any problem can be solved with a combination of coffee, dry shampoo and dogs.
- Quality over quantity is best when it comes to most things, especially clothes.
I was shocked to hear that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry and the second largest consumer of water. Textiles that end up in landfills take approximately 30-200 years to biodegrade, and they release harmful toxins into the air as they do so. And synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon and acrylic release microfibers every time they are washed which ends up in our waterways and oceans.
After that, I couldn’t even buy a cheaply made crop top without a montage of my future children slathering on SPF 5000 playing in my head.
As I looked through my closet, I found that the clothes I’d left untouched were often impulse purchases I justified because they were cheap.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good deal and I don’t believe you have to pay premium prices for pieces that you love.
So the question became: how do I purchase clothes intentionally, and minimize my waste while staying within my budget?
Thrift shopping challenges me to be more thoughtful when purchasing clothing. It also enables me to live a more sustainable life without breaking the bank.
Emily Scott, thrift shopping expert and owner of Encourage Vintage taught me how to analyze pieces before purchasing. Her technique is to look for unique styles, patterns and fabrics, then study the label and the material. The process forces me to slow down and really visualize how a piece will fit into my wardrobe.
There’s something special about snagging a one-of-a-kind piece that feels all your own. Thrifting has allowed my style to evolve and let my personality shine through. Rather than buying and styling clothes exactly how I saw them on a catalog model, it challenges me to create a look that’s unique and personal.
Thrift shopping can feel intimidating at first. Luckily there are some amazing shopable Instagram accounts and websites that make vintage goods easily accessible for everyone! Boheme Goods , Na Nin and Encourage Vintage (where you can purchase the top I’m wearing) are a few of my favorites.
There are also some rad sustainable fashion brands, but they can be a little pricier. My current closet is a mix of vintage and staple investment pieces from ethically minded brands such as Amour Vert and Reformation.
Happy thrifting, friends!