“Thanks! I got it in a thrift store!” // Part I

thrifty

“Fast fashion.” You’ve heard the term; you get the gist. But did you know these facts about it?

  • Behind oil, fashion is the 2nd most polluting industry.
  • In 2013, the average American threw out 70 pounds of clothing.
  • Workers in factories which produce fast fashion are severely underpaid, making as little at $10 a month.
  • Trends are coming and going even faster than they did 5 years ago, a phenomenon which is made possible by the fast fashion industry, but also encourages the accelerated consumption of clothing.
  • It’s contributing to the demise of truly original style. (This is a personal opinion but I’m sure many others agree).

Fast fashion is the phenomenon occurring throughout the world of cheaply made clothing selling for cheap, then getting tossed into the trash after only a few wears. It’s propagated by stores like H&M, Zara, Forever 21, and others of the like. It’s effects on the earth are horrendous, and it’s only just now gaining notoriety as a world issue.

I’ll be the first to admit, I own pieces from each of the stores I’ve just named. As a student, those price points are near irresistible as well as the styles offered. But throughout the past year or so, the darker truths behind these stores have failed to escape my observation, and I can’t un-imagine what I now feel towards the industry.

thrift

With the widespread newfound negativity towards fast fashion, thrift shopping is becoming increasingly popular. It’s the cheaper alternative to small scale, locally sourced or sustainable brands, and it usually gives way to some very interesting pieces. Of all the encounters I’ve had in which I’ve complimented a piece of clothing, about 60% of responses I receive are, “Thanks! I got it in a thrift store,” or “It’s vintage!”

So the draw to thrifting in these trying times is obvious. But let me tell you, if thrifting was a sport, I would be picked last in gym class every time. While I’ve of course found some gems (it’s hard not to when you’ve lived in San Francisco), I would hardly call myself a thrift shopping connoisseur and am the last to give advice to others on the subject.

So instead, I’m taking you all along on the journey as I better acquaint myself with this world of ill-fitting jackets and 80’s shoulder pads, hopefully uncovering some stars along the way.

I’ll leave you with this bit of inspiration:

*Photos not mine.

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