Tag Archives: thrift stores

Thrift Store Shopping Shouldn’t Make You Feel Poor

The problem some people have with thrift store shopping is that they feel it’s something poor people do. There’s the image of a dirty store with old, unwanted clothing. When you find a good thrift store in your area, you’ll find that the reality is far from that image.

There are a lot of very good reasons to shop at thrift stores. Being poor or just on a really tight budget are good reasons, but there are others.

You could just be aware of good deals. Many times you can find brand name merchandise in good condition at a thrift store. Why would you pay full price if you can get it just a little later at the thrift store for a few dollars?

You might enjoy it as a treasure hunt. It’s not just clothes you can find at the thrift store, but items for all around the house.

You could go thrift shopping as a small way to support a charity you approve of. They usually are for good causes, such as the job training Goodwill does.

You could go thrift shopping because you want to be more environmentally friendly. Reusing is certainly better than buying new.

In so many ways, thrift store shopping is the smartest way to start your search for many items, especially clothing. Once you know where the good stores are you won’t need to go all over town trying to figure them out. There can certainly be particular stores that get the best stuff in an area or that get picked over too quickly.

If you know what days they get and put out deliveries, that can be a huge help to your thrift shopping success. The best things will of course go more quickly. If you’re looking for trendy clothes, getting to them fast may make them easier to find. Sometimes you even luck into clothes with the tags still on.

Certainly you have to be picky about which thrift stores you shop at. It’s often clear when management just tries to sell everything and doesn’t worry about what’s in working condition or otherwise usable.If the one nearest you has awful merchandise, look around until you find one that has the good stuff. They’re out there.

You can of course go to the big names in the business, such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army, but most areas will have smaller charities that run thrift stores as well. Don’t rule any of them out, especially if a good one supports a cause you love.

Does Buying Eco Friendly Clothing Really Help the Environment?

Choosing eco friendly clothes is a common piece of advice for families who are trying to go green. Clothing is something we all need, and with kids in the house, new clothes are needed pretty often. Wondering if your shopping habits are really making a difference isn’t a bad thing; it just shows that you’re really thinking about the impact you’re having/

What Is Eco Friendly Clothing?

The first thing you need to figure out is just what is meant by eco friendly when it comes to clothing. Clothes made from organic cotton come easily to mind for most of us. Bamboo is a popular material now. But to really get into eco friendly clothes, you need to go beyond the simple categories.

Handmedown clothes are eco friendly. You’re reusing clothes that someone else was done with.

Clothes bought at thrift stores are eco friendly. Same deal as with handmedowns.

The clothes you have in your closet aren’t going to get any more un-eco friendly, so long as you care for them in environmentally friendly ways.

That’s important to remember. Going green is not all about shopping.

Worrying about whether the materials used to make the clothes matters most when you’re buying new. That’s when you get into organic cotton and other such materials. They matter most when the materials used are new to your purchase.

Does Buying Organic Cotton Clothes Make a Difference?

You can feel as though the difference in how your clothes are produced is a small issue, environmentally speaking. We’re so far removed from where the cotton is grown and processed that it’s easy to miss the harms.

Tremendous amounts of fertilizers and pesticides are used on conventionally grown cotton. This is bad for the land it’s grown on and for the lakes, rivers and oceans the excess water may runoff to. There’s a good post over on The Good Human called What’s So Bad About Non-Organic Cotton? that explains the situation well.

Buying organic cotton also means you’re supporting farmers who aren’t using so many potentially dangerous chemicals.

Clothes made from bamboo, even organic bamboo, are a bit more complex. Most bamboo cloth is chemically processed. Some of these chemicals are hard on the environment and on the workers using them. This processing turns it into a viscose or rayon fiber. It’s not as natural as many want you to think.

Overall, if you want to help the environment through the clothes you wear, really think about where they’re coming from, and don’t go for the huge wardrobe. Reduce how much you buy new, buy used when you can, and pay attention to how the new clothes are made. That’s the best way to limit the impact your clothes shopping has on the environment.

How to Make Your Wardrobe More Eco Friendly

Green is a great color for your wardrobe, whether you like to wear it or not. But I don’t mean the color. I mean having a wardrobe that is the eco friendly kind of green.

It’s really not that hard to make your wardrobe be kinder to the environment. This may not sound ideal to you, especially if you love buying new outfits, but you can make this work.

Thrift Store and Consignment Shops Are Your Friends

One of the easiest ways to have an eco friendly wardrobe is to focus on buying used clothes. It may not sound appealing at first, but you might be amazed at what you can find that has belonged to someone else first. An amazing number of people replace clothing in their wardrobe after very few wearings. You can buy used clothes that look as good as new.

Thrift store shopping can be an adventure. It’s not the easiest way to shop sometimes. Some stores are better organized than others. You may find clothes from many years ago. Some outfits may look as though they’d do better as a Halloween costume than everyday clothing. Bring your sense of adventure and sense of humor when you head out to the thrift stores to shop.

When you’re done with an outfit, it can head back to the thrift store. If it’s still in good condition they’ll probably just sell it on.

If it’s not in good condition, find out if it’s welcome first. Some thrift stores sell torn and stained clothes in bundles as rags. Others just throw them out. It’s better if you are certain you aren’t just moving something from your trash to theirs.

And you could always make rags for yourself.

Find Eco Friendly Retailers

You can find all kinds of shops online and in some areas that offer eco friendly fashion for those times when you do need something new. Fair trade is a good option to look for.

You can find companies that make clothes using organic materials and use natural dyes. You can find vegetarian and vegan fashions. Just look around and see what suits your eco choices.

A tragic number of retailers still use sweatshop labor. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to where your clothes are coming from when you buy them new. Being green isn’t always just about the environment. You should be thinking about the human factor too.

6 Basic Principles of Green Parenting

Being a green parent takes effort. It’s not easy to avoid the temptation to give your kids everything and to teach them to avoid consumeristic behavior. There are a lot of little things you should do.

1. Clean green.

Using homemade or environmentally friendly cleaners is a very important step for green parents. It’s a way to avoid exposing your family to many of the chemicals that are common to so many homes, some of which can cause health problems. Just think about any time that cleaning with harsh chemicals has left your eyes watering, given you a headache or made it just a little harder to breathe. Why expose your family to such things if you don’t have to.

2. Enjoy hand-me-downs and thrift stores.

Hand-me-downs and thrift stores don’t just save you a ton of money. They allow you to reuse clothing, toys and other goods that someone else doesn’t want anymore.

It can be amazing what you can get for so little. Thrift stores won’t have the hottest styles, but you can find some very good quality clothing in them for very low prices.

Delight in the finds, and make sure that anything that is reusable when you’re done with it goes down to another family or to the thrift store.

3. Keep things simple.

Birthday parties. Holidays. The general clutter of the house. If you can encourage simplicity in your life, you’ll generally consume less. You’ll also be less driven to distraction by the chaos of it all much of the time.

Kids really do love simple birthday parties, especially when they’re younger. Don’t fall for the competition to have the best party in the class. Younger kids will happily just play together. Their parents may even be grateful if you keep the goodie bags simple or even just don’t bother.

It gets more challenging as kids get older and start to feel peer pressure more, but keep at it. Talk about why you do what you do and why you don’t do what you don’t do. Sometimes they’ll agree and be happy about it while other times they’ll be disappointed, but that’s life.

4. Teach the kids to recycle.

Recycling is easy in many areas these days, but not everywhere. If you have it easy, make sure your kids start from an early age tossing recyclables into the correct bin.

5. Garden.

It can be a small windowsill garden or a serious one out in the back yard, but having your own garden is great for green parents. You’re teaching about where food comes from as well as an appreciation for nature.

Make sure you include composting. You don’t have to get fancy about it, but why should that food waste go into the trash if it can benefit your garden?

6. Get active.

There are a couple of meanings to this one. Yes, get active physically. How else to show your children that there’s more to life than television, cell phones and computers.

But also be active in your community. Volunteer. Do so as a family as children get old enough. Don’t just talk about the issues that matter to you, show that you mean it.

Donate Old Clothes and Other Reusable Goods – Green Step by Step

So you don’t have a use for those old clothes or other stuff around the house, but they’re in good enough condition that someone else could use them, send them off to your favorite charity.

This is especially true for clothing. Clothes that are still in excellent condition can be resold. But charities may also take clothes that aren’t in such good shape and turn them into cleaning rags. You can do that around the house too, just be sure that they really have reached the end of their life span as clothing.

You may also be able to find people in your area who enjoy doing crafts and need old clothes to make rugs and such.

Another option would be to hold a garage sale and sell the stuff yourself.

Non-clothing goods can be more difficult, especially if you’re talking electronic goods. Look around for a good electronics recycling program.

Don’t forget to consider reused items when shopping for yourself. Thrift stores can have amazing deals on really wonderful clothing. So much more affordable than going to department or specialty stores.