Thrifting is a growing trend across the country, with thrifting blogs, “thrifters’ challenges” to find bargains, and thrifters’ online communities popping up every day. But what exactly is thrifting and how did it get started? The answer might surprise you as it dates back to the turn of the 19th century.
As historian Jennifer Le Zotte, author of From Goodwill to Grunge: A History of Secondhand Styles and Alternative Economies, explains, worn out dresses were once retrofitted into pinafores, and when the pinafores were themselves worn out, they became stuffing for chairs. But with the industrial revolution came the mass-production of clothing, making it more affordable and accessible for everyone to buy new clothes.
Just as thrifting once fell out of fashion, it’s had a recent renaissance. What’s made thrifting so mainstream now more than ever is a combination of the trend to fashion unique one-of-a-kind pieces, and the desire for sustainability and living a budget-conscious life.
Sustainability is important to millennial shoppers, a large demographic of the thrifting market. Sustainability and living a sustainable lifestyle has extended beyond fashion for many consumers. For some, it means shopping exclusively from brands that employ ethical manufacturing practices, source local fabrics, or give back to worthy causes. All of these factors combined have created an interesting, socially conscious, and vibrant thrifting movement.
Fashion Revolution, for example, was created to draw attention to sustainable practices in the fashion industry worldwide after a factory explosion in Bangladesh a few years ago which killed over 1,100 garment industry workers and injured 2,500. The Fashion Revolution Movement now holds the fashion industry and apparel brands accountable for upholding sustainable practices and ending the era of “throwaway” fashion. The global thrifting community serves as some of its primary ambassadors and advocates.
Did you know that clothing is the #2 item in our landfills?
Being part of the sustainable fashion movement also includes further practicing fashion sustainability. By donating your clothes to Goodwill, shopping at our thrift stores you’re repurposing clothing items to extend the life of fabrics, making them unique and your own for less, while helping fund programs that train, employ and provide job placement for people with disabilities and other barriers to work.
Clothing items can be repurposed or repaired by adding zippers and buttons or used as cleaning rags. These practices may seem like things our grandmothers may have done for ages, but they’re a thriving part of the fashion sustainability trend.
At Goodwill South Florida we have 34 conveniently located, clean, well lit, beautifully merchandised and organized stores to create a pleasant shopping experience. For those who like to dig, rummage and do your own sorting at prices by the pound, we offer two Goodwill outlets known as, “The Bins.”
With items priced by the pound below our traditional stores, they’ve become quite popular within the local thrifting community.
We invite you to visit any of our Goodwill South Florida stores in Miami-Dade and Broward. See store listings here and if you feel adventurous, we invite you to try “the bins.” Our outlet stores are a great place to start your own thrifting and sustainability journey. See you there! Give it. Get it. Goodwill