My Salvation Army: My ecofriendly clothing paradise

written by Anjula August 2, 2007

Thrift_Store_Finds

Going to the thrift store is green in and of itself!

Way back in 1989, I had no idea that when I was shopping at my local Sunshine Thrift I was actually saving the planet. What I really cared about was $2.00 jeans, but ultimately what I was doing was participating in a grand recycling scheme. People shop at thrift stores for all kinds of reasons – treasure hunters, budget conscious consumers and even professional shoppers alike can be spotted at any local Goodwill on a daily basis. My guess is that most of the people who frequent thrift stores aren’t thinking about eco-friendly products or organic cotton dresses…but that’s OK – because the very act of going to the thrift store is green in and of itself!

Thrift stores are a fantastic example of community spirit, much like a community garden or center. People get together on a number of levels to make the thrift store work. For example, those who donate their clothing, furniture and even cars (!) are recycling things that they may not need, but could benefit (and even be treasured by) a stranger. Rather than adding to the landfill with those 70’s platform heels or the really cool, pink & black checkered leg warmers (with matching headband), items can be rediscovered by someone who’s looking for that very thing you want to get rid of. Donating is absolutely an act of recycling and indeed one way to make the earth a little happier.

In addition to the donation, think about how the thrift store employs those in need and gives volunteers a chance to work in their communities. Go to any Goodwill or Salvation Army and you will be dazzled by the array of fine goods, but also by the spirit of those who inhabit the place – you can’t get that at any mall. The satisfaction of finding a one-of-a-kind item at the thrift store is unparalleled and indeed the act of buying an item at the thrift store benefits you, the shop/charity and the planet – because what you’re buying is recycled and you are saving it from the giant, stinking garbage dump in your community. Kudos to you and to the fabulous $4 dress you just found at the St. Vinnie’s!

Clearly, people are tuning into the fact that green is the way to go and many retailers are jumping on the eco-friendly bandwagon peddling their goods…I think its great that corporations are thinking environmentally but I just have to point out that our local thrifts were well ahead of the game! So, go and shop – do something good for the planet and score that designer Yves Saint Laurent skirt for a fraction of what it’s really worth!

Websites that will guide you through the world of the thrift store include:
http://locator.goodwill.org
www.satruck.com
http://www.thethriftshopper.com
www.housingworks.org
www.americasthrift.com

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