Unless you've been living under a rock, you must've caught wind of the negative repercussions shopping fast fashion brands (Yes, Zara, H&M and Urban Outfitters fall under this category) continue to have on the environment.
Although it's debatable whether the disastrous effects are the consumers or the corporations' fault (Hint: it's the latter), there is always more we as individuals can do to reduce our carbon footprint.
Thrifting is a fun, stylish, way to follow fashion trends without consuming fast fashion (and breaking the bank!).
Here, I'm leaving you with four fool-proof ways to thrift like a Cool Girl (Or Guy, or Person).
1. Visualize the garment of your dreams!
A successful trip to the thrift store begins at home. Before heading to the store, make sure you know what you're looking for. I like to make Pinterest boards inspired by certain styles (for example, Fall fashion, Airport chic, or Trendy).
Usually, this process helps me gauge what type of garment I'm looking for (and need!).
Having a mood board will also help you familiarize yourself with your personal style. What colors catch your eye? What types of fabric are you usually drawn towards?
Visualize yourself in a Goodwill, holding that oversized leather jacket of your dreams…
2. Get in the Mood..
The day of, make sure to wear comfortable clothes in which you can get in and out of easily. It's also a good idea to wear neutral colors (such as black, beige, and white) so you can match them with potential garments.
Once you arrive at the thrift shop of your liking, put your headphones on, and hit play on your favorite playlist, you're gonna be spending a while looking through racks of clothes!
I like to think of thrifting as a deeply personal experience, it's you time!
Let yourself be inspired by your favorite tunes and get carried away picturing yourself in colors, garments, and fabrics that have a unique history of their own.
3. Be open to anything (and everything).
Don't be afraid to scavenge the garment of your desires in the men's section. Or the children's section. Or the nightwear section. I personally like to start safe, I search the sweater and blouse aisles with determination.
It is here where I find timeless staple pieces.
But you never know what unique treasures the aisles you usually wouldn't look in behold for you. Who knows, maybe that ancient One Direction graphic tee that 13-year-old you would have died for is waiting for you in the T-shirt aisle…
With that said, I recommend putting anything, and I mean anything, that catches your eye in your cart.
You can decide whether you want it or not in the next step!
4. Try it on (Yes, ALL of it)
This may be a bit difficult as of right now because of COVID-19, but if you can safely try on everything in your cart, do it! Garments will always look different on your body than it does on a clothes hanger (whether you're shopping Zara or Savers).
Plus, you are more likely to notice small stains, tears, or minor details when you try stuff on.
This last step will significantly help you choose what you are and aren't taking home.
5. Donate what you don't wear
This can be done before or after you go thrifting. Make sure that you are constantly giving back to the community you are taking from. I like to do this twice or thrice each season.
Pay attention to what you haven't worn in a while and tell yourself: if I don't wear this in the next three weeks, I'm donating it.
See how you feel. The important thing is that you are not hoarding garments just for the sake of having them.
If anything, thrifting should be a process of intuition, and eventually, you should only buy pieces that bring you joy and confidence.
Who knows, maybe that sweater you haven't worn in two years will do the same for someone else once you donate it to your local Savers.