Last month I asked you to share your thrifting expertise with me by taking my quick Thrifty Diva Survey and was indubitably impressed by the massive response and honest answers I received.
Here’s the refreshing frugal stats, thrifting tips and info + a few personal observations from yours truly:
Wow! With years of experience, most of you are already thrifting experts!
Your secondhand prowess is not confined to thrift & charity shops, awesome!
I love, love love that (nearly) all of you thrift for ethics and sustainability!
Loads of you chose to elaborate on your reasons for thrifting – here are a few of my fave responses:
It allows me to use my imagination and creativity.
People think they need a lot of money to get good style. I find that I can recreate many of the trends I see in magazines with the clothing I find at thrift stores. I am a size 18 and you would think it would be difficult for me to find things in my size let alone something cute. But No! I find the best stuff all the time and if the item is not perfect I can always DIY it into something I like better.
I am a single parent of 3 and for the longest time we had no money, so thrifting was a necessity. Now things are better but my kids and I go thrifting together just because we can!
I love vintage style, especially the 1940’s and 1950’s. I find the clothes look better on my curvy figure. I also love that I’m not contributing to human cost (and extensive environmental pollution) of the clothing industry.
I’ve always liked my own designs better than anything I could buy & had an exact image of what I wanted in my mind, but it rarely or never existed in the stores, so I learned to sew. I’m also almost six feet tall, so women’s clothes off the rack rarely fit. Recently I retired and lost about 60 pounds, so none of my former clothes fit. Since I wasn’t working, I didn’t want or need to invest in all new clothes, and I really liked some of the fabrics and styles in my closet. Books on altering clothes are few and far between these days, but I found some, then I found all the great blogs on refashioning, like yours. I’m just beginning to thrift and upcycle, because there are years worth of raw materials still hanging in my own closet.
Though it takes a little time sometimes, I find that I can meet almost all of my clothing needs and many of my household good needs by thrifting. I feel great for not wasting materials, for saving money, and for being able to use my creativity.
Thrifty fact: only about 10% of the clothing donated to thrift & charity shops actually makes it out onto the retail floor for sale. The rest is sold by the ton to textile re-sellers.
I am super chuffed that so many of you are unapologetic thrifting divas!
For those that suffer a twinge of embarrassment for not conforming to the current throwaway societal norms: always remember that by thrifting, upcycling & reusing secondhand you are also NOT contributing to the continued unethical production of goods and overflowing landfills.
(Should you wish to educate those who make you feel embarrassed visit my Ethical Fashion Info page and stock up on a few facts & figures to help those anti-thrifters see the error of their ways.)
Your answers to why you do or do not feel embarrassed about thrifting were incredibly honest and downright fabulous:
It’s never bothered me to let someone else pay the expensive price for something that I can get at a bargain. New to me is still new.
I hate the look some people give you when you say you bought something from a charity shop.
Why don’t other people feel embarrassed about buying throwaway “fast-fashions”? I mean, they should – so many industries are dependent on slave labor and exploitation.
A little, once in a while, but I don’t let it stop me. It’s just that attitude that you sometimes encounter that suggests — ick, you shop THERE? I mean, when it comes down to it, I don’t really care, but it sometimes still affects me.
I don’t feel embarrassed about recycling glass or plastic, so I’m not embarrassed about recycling clothes or other 2nd hand treasures.
Society’s idea of how we should look & what we should buy, even in my own family feels so threatening. I feel looked down on sometimes.
I’m proud to give a second life and save clothes from being wasted.
Sometimes I think I am taking clothing away from the poor.
Thrifty fact: Sadly thrift & charity shops are now having to compete with the continually reducing prices of unethically produced fast fashion. Mass-produced new has now become cheaper than donated used – an incredibly disturbing truth that consumers must begin to see is not only the result of unscrupulous big business but also their own insatiable greed for new at the cheapest possible price regardless of the human cost.
Hooray! You’re all sporting thrifted outfits and loads of you have unique thrifty bits throughout your homes too!
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever seen while thrifting?
(Unsurprisingly most of the answers to this question included a vast and varied selection of adult toys, sexy-time-accessories and creepy dolls.)
I used to work for a national charity and sadly people use these organizations as a personal dumpster and you wouldn’t believe some of the things I’ve seen and stuck my hand into…needless to say they don’t go out on the floor!
At a Goodwill outlet store near me things are sold by the pound and on Thursdays it’s half price so the items are really inexpensive. As the bins were brought out ladies were screaming and grabbing things out of the carts. I’ve never seen anything like this behavior before not even at Christmas sales – it was crazy!
A vintage bag made from a crocodile:
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever thrifted?
A table cloth with naked ladies embroidered on it, that is now my fancy table cloth.
Bras. I used to have a taboo against buying undergarments like that, but when I found a new Victoria’s Secret bra in my size for $3.99 I got less squeamish.
A coconut shell painted to look like Bert from Sesame Street.
I am attracted to weird ass things and have brought many things home with me. The strangest I have are vinyl records of heart beats for budding cardiologists. So bizarre I had to have them!
A taxidermy iguana.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Thrifty Diva survey!