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FEATURES Nov 4 2012 6:22PM

Recycling Fashion! Thrifting, Consignment Shopping & Yard Sales

Does the site of thrift stores and consignment stores freak you out? They used to freak me out. I always thought, Ewwww, someone else’s clothes! But a couple of years ago, I started doing something I never thought I would do—purchase someone’s used items.

It’s not as bad as it sounds. Let’s look at it as Recycled Fashion. Instead of spending $110 on that trendy peplum dress, how about purchasing a gently used peplum dress for $5.

Why would you shop recycled items?

Originality You can score plenty of items that are one of a kind. Who hates going to a party and seeing at least one girl who has your dress on because you both got it from H&M?

Frugalista A great way to save money. You may want a designer bag, but don’t want to or don’t have the money to spend on it. You can purchase a used one for a fraction of the price.

Creative If you are a creative person and like to sew, it’s perfect. You may not want to cut up and make a sewing project out of your $50 dress, but a $4 one will work! Get out your sewing machine and crafts and make your own design.

Hate Malls? If you just hate malls, try one big store that has everything in order. Racks of pants, racks of shirts, racks of dresses, etc… Malls don’t have organization like that.

Hate/Love Trends If you love trends or hate trends, purchasing used items are great. You literally can find anything you are looking for. Most stores only tend to sell what is on trend at the moment. At a one-stop shop, you never know what you will find.

Let’s take a look at where you can score fabulous recycled fashion finds:

Thrift Stores You have Goodwill, Value Village, and several other local stores. Thrift stores sell donated items and sell them at very low prices. Depending on the store, all or a percentage of the proceeds go to a foundation or program. Some stores you can find items fairly low. Think $4 for an ’80s Christian Dior suit or$5 for a brand new, with tags, Michael Kors top. Look out for half-price days. Generally most thrift stores have one day a week or one day a month where everything is 50% off. So that’s $2 for that dress instead of $4!

Consignment Stores Consignment stores are pricier than thrift stores BUT you typically have much better quality. Some of the higher-end consignment stores will have brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton for a fraction of the price. Think $350 for a Louis bag that was originally $1,400 or a Diane Von Furstenberg for $50 instead of $400. It’s not just high-end though, there are tons of consignment stores that have store brand items like J. Crew, Banana Republic, etc…

Yard Sales  I love a yard sale. You never know what you are going to get. A plus to yard sales is that you generally can bargain. If you find you like more than one item, haggle them down. If I get all 4 of these, Can I get $10 off? The point of yard sales is to get rid of everything by the end of the day so they want you to take it with you. I have gotten everything from a Gucci bag and several sequin tops for maybe 1/6th of the price.

Closet Raiding Raid your mom’s and your grandma’s closet. You will be surprised what you will find. Even if it is 10 or 20 years old, chances are its back in style OR will be in style soon.  If something doesn’t fit, it’s okay. If its great quality, get it tailored to fit you. Remember, people pay big bucks for those type of items so don’t let it go to waste.

What are your thoughts on recycled fashion?


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