Thrifting takes patience and time. Believe me, there are days that the last thing I want to do is peruse through aisles overflowing with clothing to find that one piece that sparks my eye. Although, for that same reason, that is why I love to thrift.
Unlike fast fashion, where everything is handed to you fast and without thought, thrifting is mindful. I have come to believe that the reason I gravitate to this hobby (and job) so much is because of this careful decision of clothes that I choose to take home with me. Clearly, there is a reason I like that top or those pants. Maybe it’s because its name brand and I got it for half the market price or maybe its because it’s truly my style, without every fast fashion brand telling me I should like it.
That’s the thing with fast fashion, it’s this vicious cycle of materialism. Don’t get me wrong I struggled with it too, a lot actually, and that is where my story in fashion begins. I remember being in high school with a good paying job and still living at home with my parents (no rent to pay? why did I ever want to grow up again?) with money to spend and an alarming addiction to fashion. And as addictions tend to go- it was linked to my happiness. I would always think, “Okay all I need are those shoes, once I buy myself those shoes, I will be happy and I don’t need anything else.” Well, you see, I bought those shoes, but then I needed the belt to match and then the bag…and then…well, I realized that this was never going to end and those shoes weren’t the answer to my happiness.
This is what is happening in the world of fast fashion. We follow trends, we watch what walks down the runways, and the companies produce inexpensive samples of these looks to consumers in real time. Therefore, I always questioned my purchases at the mall, do I really like this top? Or is this what I’m “supposed” to be wearing? It’s kind of like watching a commercial about food and then suddenly getting hungry, consumerism- it’s a b*****.
So Why Thrift?
The benefits of thrifting are boundless. Have you ever been inside a Goodwill and realized the amount of clothing that surrounds you? So why do we need to make more? Why all this stuff? Why is new better? The way I see it, a good worn in pair of pants that have a story to tell is more rewarding, but maybe that’s just me. Although, because you choose to thrift or shop sustainably (like shopping at Stitched Up) you save clothes from their dire fate of landfills. American’s send an average of 10.5 million tons of clothing to landfills EACH year. Look around, our planet is the beautiful mother that grounds us, without her-we are nothing. Let’s be good to her.
And as I stated above- if you are a person that wants to be original and authentic, I don’t think commercial stores are going to help manifest this idea for you, but thrifting will.
This is My Job and My Hobby
Although, I know some people aren’t the type to thrift. I get you! I understand, It takes patience and motivation and ultimately, a vision. That’s why I am here and that’s why I am so passionate about my work. I do the hard part for you, I fix the broken zippers, I mend the tears, replace the buttons, and ultimately rework an entire garment. For me, it’s a challenge that I cannot wait to conquer. There have been nights I toss in turn in my sleep because I can’t wait for the sun to rise so I can create again. Therefore, I would like to show you some pieces of clothing I have turned from unwanted rags to the most beloved garments in my wardrobe. I would also like to point out that this took time, effort, and a vision. When I wear these, they mean a lot more to me than a top I mindlessly bought and they were a lot cheaper too. Happy mind, happy wallet.
Both of garments in the blog posts below I bought from Stitched Up at their Menomonie Location. Stitched Up is completely sustainably sourced with a large number of clothes to choose from.
To read the complete story, scroll below.