Throughout history, society members have typically shared the same goal: to support one another in order to improve their respective neighborhoods, and nothing has changed today. That said, doing so can be costly or time consuming, unless you choose to donate to, and shop in, your local thrift stores, that is.
Thrift shopping may seem like a small act, but that’s the beauty of it; everybody can do it, and everyone can benefit from it.
Here are just 5 ways that you could help support your community by shopping in your local thrift store:
1. Protect your community’s environment
By reusing and recycling old clothing, you can help prevent it from ending up in a landfill, where it may harm the soil and contribute to environmental degradation.
2. Reduce trash in the community
The fashion industry as a whole is one of the most wasteful, and every year, millions of tons of textile waste is generated from clothing and fabric that could otherwise be reused (and this is without taking into account the waste that the industry itself creates when making the clothes). Copious amounts of water are also used to keep up the continuous demand for new clothes. Thrift store shopping, however, is a fantastic way to ensure that you’re not contributing to the harmful, fast fashion industry, and that you help your community (along with global ones), to preserve the planet for us all.
3. Ensure that your money goes where it’s needed the most
Thrift stores typically fund a number of projects aimed at helping its community members to support themselves and look forward to a brighter future, through work and training opportunities. Each time you buy an item from a thrift store, your money will go directly to a reputable scheme that you can see for yourself, any time you wish. Donating items to thrift stores has the same effect, and if you’re a true thrifter, you’ll do both – buy from, and donate to!
4. Help a lower income family
Supporting a family on a low income is tough, but with the help of a local thrift store, more families can find affordable clothing, furniture and other household items that they need. Even if you don’t necessarily need to shop in a thrift store, the more you do so, the more you can help to keep them alive, and this will work wonders for keeping the more expensive retail stores from coming in and limiting a low-income family’s shopping options.
5. Keeps people connected
In many ways, and for many millions of people the world over, thrifting is a way of life, and is about so much more than simply finding affordable items to buy. Thrift stores are often at the heart of a community, and are great places for swapping views, seeking help, or simply saying hello to a friendly face.
If you’ve always wanted to do more for your community, but weren’t quite sure how to do it, thrift store shopping (and donating) at your local Goodwill is a wonderfully simple and effective starting point.