One Year Thrifted

ON THIS DAY (National Thrift Store Day) one year ago, I challenged myself to only shop secondhand for an entire year. Because most of my wardrobe was already secondhand, it seemed easy enough to make the shift. But what once was an easy challenge turned into a difficult reality check in ways I never expected…

Big wins:

Let’s start with some of the most incredible finds. Two days before a black tie event, I thrifted an incredible ivory J. Crew gown at Goodwill for $8.00 with the tags still on it. It fit perfectly. I have to wear it again for my wedding someday!

Rothy’s from St. Vincent DePaul. I ALMOST made an exception to my rules and bought a pair of Rothy’s. I had the pair in my car and was prepared for checkout and buyers remorse. 

The biggest win is I can count on one hand how many times I broke my rules for the entire year. Nobody is perfect right?

What I learned:

I realized I shop A LOT. And it started to become a major coping mechanism for me. This journey has challenged me to face myself and my mental health in ways I didn’t expect. This includes how and why I’m “influenced” to buy certain things when I see someone else on instagram wearing it. It challenged me to question where that is rooted and what insecurities are underneath. 

Moving forward:

I’m moving forward with one thing in mind, intention. I’ve learned so much about where my money goes and where it should be going. I want to continue shopping with intention. This means focusing on supporting small and local businesses. It means supporting brands that give a damn about their artisans lives, families, and paychecks. It means cancelling brands that don’t care to pay the people that make their garments. It means supporting black owned businesses. It means learning to sew and create my own garments. Above all, it means taking pride in what I wear. 

My challenge to you:

Take an inventory of your wardrobe. What percentage was thrifted/secondhand, what was fast fashion, what supported small businesses, and what was ethically or sustainably sourced? What could you do in your everyday life to shift your dollars for good?