Save some cash, save the planet, and dig for some hidden thrift shop treasures.
Summer is finally here! (Well, almost.)
As the weather heats up, we’re drawn to brighter colors and lighter fabrics — cue your desire for a complete closet refresh. It’s tempting to invest in an entirely new wardrobe to match the coming season, but fashion can come with a hefty price — both for your wallet and the environment. Did you know that it can take up to 1,800 gallons of water to make a single pair of jeans? 1,800 gallons!
This year, instead of heading straight for the mall or diving into the abyss that is online shopping, consider checking out your local thrift store for all your summer fun needs — from poolside lounging to graduation parties or weddings. Thrifting can be a great way to save money (and the planet) while prepping for summer.
Like anything, thrifting can be an art. We’re here with some tips and tricks to help you get your thrift on this summer.
Before you go:
1. Grab clothing and accessories from your own closet that you no longer need and are ready to recycle. Make room for those new finds and donate to local charitable organizations while you’re at it.
2. Get on the mailing list or join the store’s loyalty program. Research what days have deals for certain items — up to 50% off, or buy one get one free. You might even be able to get a discount on your birthday.
3. Set a budget. It’ll help you stay focused on items you actually need. Even a small budget can get you quite a haul at stores like Savers, where nearly 95% of the items sold are under $10.
4. Bring a friend. You’ll cover more ground in the store and have someone there to give an opinion on your more peculiar finds.
5. Looking for something vintage? Check out these tips on snagging awesome vintage finds (for instance, did you know that metal zippers and side-snap closures are a sign that something was made before the mid-60s?)
6. Wear something that you can try things on over — like a tank top — so you skip the dressing-room lines.
7. Brainstorm a list of five items you’re looking for. If nothing else, this will give you a place to start when you get there. But…
8. Be adaptable, the best part of thrifting is an unexpected find.
When you get there:
9. Think outside your own box. Keep friends and family in mind: a friend who’s a different size than you are or a niece who needs a new book for summer break.
10. Give yourself some extra time in the store — hunting for hidden treasures takes time.
Shopping for clothes:
11. Don’t limit yourself to your typical size. Sizes vary so much by brand and era; it’s worth looking through at least four sizes smaller and larger than your usual.
12. Plan to try on your items before you buy.
13. In the summer months, keep an eye out for seasonal finds: sun hats and swimsuits and flip-flops — oh my. Stock up on the essentials.
14. Don’t be intimidated by the shoe section: high quality, barely used shoes at a huge discount. Check the soles for wear.
15. Even if you aren’t a craft expert, you can probably sew a button back on, hem a dress, or cut out some shoulder pads. Or you can visit your local tailor.
16. Looking for jorts (jean shorts) this summer? Find a pair of jeans with a bit more room in the thigh, cut off the legs, and roll the hems for some quick, super-comfy new shorts.
Shopping for knickknacks and housewares:
17. Check out the housewares section for seasonal party decorations. Lemonade pitchers, margarita glasses, and festive dishes galore.
18. Keep an eye out for gardening supplies — it’s never too late in the summer season to plant some flowers.
19. In books, you’ll find great reads for your next beach vacation, including current best–selling paperback fiction. Why spend full price?
20. Recipe books too. Nothing beats perusing through a hard copy of “Grilling for Dummies” or “50 Easy Frozen Yogurt Recipes.”
21. Looking for a complete set of dishes? You’ll find matching plates, mugs, bowls, and more in any thrift shop.
22. Keep an eye out for cast iron pans — with just a little love, even pans that look pretty beat up can be good as new.
23. The kitchen appliance section might surprise you — cake-pop makers, cordless wine chillers, donut makers, milk frothers, juicers, and so much more.
Before you check out:
24. Look for an outlet (or ask an employee) to test your new appliance before you buy it.
25. Didn’t find what you were looking for? Try again tomorrow — seriously. Thrift shops like Savers put out up to 10,000 new items at each store every day.
26. Or try thrifting in a new area. Each store is unique, so it’s worth trying the location on the other side of town or wherever you happen to be vacationing.
27. Have fun. It’s a no-brainer, but an important reminder.
Thrifting is a win-win-win for your wallet, the Earth, and your community.
According to the Savers 2017 State of Reuse Report, over 6 in 10 people said they shopped thrift in 2016. As more people choose a thrifted tee instead of a new one, over time, this can help reduce resource waste — like thousands of gallons of water to create that new tee or a pair of jeans.
See you in the aisles!