Thrifting: Saving More Than Just Money

By Kari Haaversen,

Between paying tuition, rent, and other expenses, there seems to be little money left for items such as clothing. With this new trend, shopping just got cheaper.

Where Did This Trend Gain Popularity?

Many YouTube personalities such as Haley Pham, Eva Gutowski, and Marla Catherine have begun creating videos centered around visiting thrift stores. These videos vary from spending a set budget at a thrift store versus a retail store, clothing hauls, and thrift flips (finding clothing that seems undesirable and making it fashionable). With such a large audience, these YouTubers have influenced their viewers to give thrifting a try. Thrift shopping is an extraordinary way to save money, impact the environment, and help a charity.

Marla Catherine takes her viewers along on a thrifting trip, including
a clothing haul of what she purchased.

Easy Savings

According to Credit Donkey, college-aged men spend roughly $323 on clothing annually while college-aged women spend almost 76 percent more, about $571 annually. Thrift stores usually offer anywhere between 50 to 80 percent off its clothing, which to a money-conscious college student, should be music to your ears. To put this in perspective, if this same audience solely shopped second-hand, men would then only be spending between $65 to $161 annually and women would only spend between $114 to $285 annually. Along with the clothing already being discounted, most thrift stores offer additional discounts for various reasons. The Savers thrift store located in Fargo offers half off the entire store at least once a month, 20 percent off purchases when you donate your old clothing, and rewards to those who sign up for memberships. With discount upon discount, the savings seem endless.

Hidden Treasures

Brand new Birkenstocks found at second-hand store for $40 (Original price $100).

While most people have an image of outdated blouses and khaki trousers engraved in their head when they hear the words “thrift store,” you may be surprised to find popular name brands hidden on the racks. Yes, there may be some duds when searching, but Nike, American Eagle, Columbia, and sometimes even designer brands have been found on those shelves. Many people who donate might just not have the room for these clothes anymore, but that doesn’t mean someone else won’t love it. Some pieces even still have the tags from the original seller still attached, with the discounted store tag taped overtop. While this does involve a little bit of searching, but nothing feels better than finding something amazing. Noelle Berg, MSUM senior, shares why she loves thrifting. “I love the cheap prices, of course, but I love that you have to put a little work into finding something great,” she says. ”It’s more rewarding and you get a unique style!”

Live Green

Why not save the environment while you’re shopping? Buying second-hand clothing is an easy and stylish way to help the Earth. According to Green and Prosperous, second-hand shopping lowers your carbon footprint by limiting the energy used to create a new article of clothing, it conserves water used to grow cotton and throughout the whole creation process, and decreases landfill waste. Only about 10 percent of unwanted clothing is donated, with 90 percent being thrown away. By buying second-hand, you limit the amount of textiles being added to landfills, while also cutting down on packaging materials such as plastic, paper and metal. This is just a small way to help impact the wellness of the planet. Kiersten Rohde, MSUM junior, is a strong believer in second-hand stores. “I have begun thrifting probably two times a month and I donate about every other month lately,” she said. “Not only am I recycling old clothing, I love that it’s an easy way to live a greener life.”

Savers has made its mission clear, sharing the impact second-hand shopping has on the environment. Attached are the other ways Savers impacts the Earth.

Helping Local Nonprofits

By thrifting, you not only help the planet, but you can help fund local nonprofits. Many thrift stores, including the local Savers and The Arc located in Fargo, are partnered with nonprofits near and far. By donating unwanted clothing, you are creating opportunities for others to purchase them and when clothing is purchased, portions of that money are donated to charity. A few of the charities Savers works with include The Epilepsy Foundation, Candlelighters, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and several more. The Arc provides support, housing, advocacy, education and leadership to people with disabilities and their families. So with any donation or purchase, you can know you are helping another in need. Listed below are all official websites for nonprofits named above, check them out:

Give It a Try!

With all this knowledge of how thrifting is affordable, exciting, and impactful, why wouldn’t someone want to give it a go? So hop on this environmentally impactful and fashionable trend to see what’s waiting on those shelves for you.

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