Thrift Stores: Where Rare Gems Are Found

Thrift Stores: Where Rare Gems Are Found

My first thrift store shopping experience

It’s not every day that you come face-to-face with a rare gem. So when you do, you buy it. But that’s much easier said than done when said rare gem has a price tag that would make your bank account yelp in surprise along with you. The solution: thrift stores.

Being one of the few retail shops that enable you to take home any cute top you spot from across the aisle, thrift stores and the savvy shopper trait go hand-in-hand quite splendidly. Apparently though, the savvy shopper trait doesn’t hit you until you’re old enough to start shopping with your own hard-earned money. This I say from first-hand experience.

After a certain point in my life, I began to realize that neither me nor my pocket thinks it’s necessary to have the same 20 dollar top in three different colors just because I “can’t decide on which one I like best,” and when my parents opened up their own thrift store, it was settled: I would venture into the much talked about, highly appreciated, almost downright mystical world of thrift shopping.

I’m pretty sure “the thrift shopper’s high” is a thing. I felt it the second I laid my eyes on the crispest white pair of culottes my world has ever known and felt it even more when I ran into the pastel yellow Burberry sweater not too far away from it. From those two items alone, I felt it coming. The adrenaline rush, my spine tingling with excitement, my eyes bulging with shopper’s greed, and my mind racing, already pairing items together to create gorgeous, Instagram-worthy outfits.

So, up and down the aisles of my parents’ thrift store I roamed, throwing everything into my cart; a periwinkle pencil skirt here to hug my curves just right, an off-the-shoulder ruffled top there to spend the last few days of summer vacation in, and anything that made me stop and say, “Oh no, now THAT is CUTE!"

Oh and the fun did not stop there, my friends. As soon as my practical side managed to bring me back down to Earth, forcing me to think again about picking up another mini cart to hold my new-found treasure, it was time to try them on and boy do I know how to pick ‘em. Every single piece I tried on fit me with such ease and comfort with the sad exception of one camel trouser that will serve a curvier woman much better than me – I say congratulations to her in advance.

There were so many choices. The denim skirt gave me hipster Pinterest outfit vibes, while the cream blazer made me feel like a definite lady boss. I skipped, frolicked, and danced my way to the register, knowing that no matter the price, I would be quite content with my haul and at two dollars per item, I was indeed as I had predicted: very pleased.

Thrift stores, as I have obviously recently learned, are magical places. I definitely have a little more exploring to do, as the gems I’m finding in my parents’ thrift shop are keeping me grounded, they're also making it hard to trust any other place to give me as much satisfaction. Nevertheless, this is my start and I’m loving it. The savvy shopper trait is totally resonating with me and I have several rare, yet affordable, gems to prove it.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Faces And Future Of Sustainability In The Fashion Industry

The science is unanimous: climate change is real, and it's only getting worse.


While the conversation surrounding climate change is often plagued by alarmist statements and perilous precautions, there is a practical and hopeful narrative that can be found in its solutions. As much finger pointing as society likes to do, the causes of climate change would take all ten fingers and more to point out the root issues. One of the culprits that hit closest to home is the fashion industry. As an aspiring design major, I've been directly faced with the reality of the industry's harmful habits. Quick turnaround, high demand, and evolving expectations make the production environment very complex to navigate at the least.

Although the fashion industry caters to just about 7 billion people, it doesn't excuse companies, brands, and labels from producing at the expense of our world. Despite the long-held attitude of indifference towards its side-effects; as of late, climate science has left no choice for the industry but to change course. The science has made it evident that we've run out of time to be apathetic; action must be taken, and it must be taken now.

Enter the side of the climate change conversation that's introduced a variety of initiatives to promote change. Whether it's recycling ocean plastic into tennis shoes like Adidas, using up waste fabrics from larger companies like Zero Waste Daniel, or Kate Hudson's Happy x Nature, which has been developed from sustainable materials, the fashion industry is venturing into a greener future.

Adidas first announced its plans to create a sneaker from recycled ocean plastic in 2015, "Parley for the Oceans." Since the release of their first tennis shoe four years ago, they sold 5 million pairs in 2018, and they're aiming to turn out 11 million pairs in 2019. Ocean plastic is a huge threat to marine life, and it's not enough to just stockpile it in a landfill. Adidas's product development team cleverly provided a solution for at least some of that plastic. What's great about the shoe, too, is that it retails right around the price point of most of their other styles at around $130.

Alongside Adidas's recycling, Zero Waste Daniel, a designer based in Brooklyn, NY, has made it his mission to use excess fabric scraps from the industry in his own designs. Using a number of techniques, Daniel combines these remnants into new fabrics, fashions them into appliqués or mosaics, or creates whole garments. Alarmingly enough, it's reported that about 21 billion pounds of waste textiles are going to the dump from the US alone. By gathering up the leftovers from other companies, his products are helping to prevent the wastes from continuing to end up in landfills.

Although not made from reused fabrics, Kate Hudson's latest fashion venture, Happy x Nature, is produced solely from sustainable materials. The fibers of the fabrics are made from recyclables like plastic bottles, and the packaging is stated to be biodegradable. Not only is the new line eco-friendly, but it's also relatively affordable with prices ranging from $45 to $150. Let me tell you, Hudson really knocked it out of the park with this concept. I've browsed through the pieces and have fallen in love with the majority. The pieces are seriously adorable and so trendy, but the biggest seller is that I can feel good about purchasing them.

While recycling ocean plastic and sourcing waste fabrics are important strides in the right direction, consumers play an enormous role in this issue. For any of these initiatives to work, there must be consumer demand at the other end of the product. Companies and brands need to see potential consumers for greener products in order to place such products on the market. As such, as consumers, we should reevaluate our own shopping habits in regards to the apparel industry. We must take accountability for how much we purchase, how often we purchase, and how we manage the clothes after we've bought them. Our demands as customers must also align with the push for greener production and shopping patterns.


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