Hello friends! Today is part two of my series on the why and how of avoiding the purchase of new clothing. I'm going to illustrate several strategies I've employed to avoid new clothes while still looking sharp. Here we go!
1. Shop at thrift stores and consignment shops!
Thrift shops are honestly the best place you could ever dream of to buy clothing. Seriously, have you seen my thrift haul videos? Treasure troves. There's a lot to sift through, but the things I find at thrift stores are (a unique, (b priced well, c) wonderfully sustainable and non-exploitative, and d) generally very good quality clothing! I wear a lot of clothes that are older than me, and the reason they made it that long is usually because they are very well made pieces, much better than what you usually buy at malls. Consignment and secondhand stores can be a bit pricier but have fewer things to sift through and are better organized. One I can recommend is Plato's Closet. They're all over the U.S. and I get all my jeans from there!
2. Shop at flea markets and church events!
There are flea markets in my town that happen at least once a month, I believe. However, my best kept secret is a church flea market that happens in my town every year. During the last hour of the flea market, everything goes on sale for a dollar per bag of stuff. Last year I took home four paper grocery bags full of clothing for four bucks! Seek out events like these. They are great resources!
3. Shop online or on apps!
If you're looking for specific items, one of the best places to look is eBay. Lots of nice secondhand stuff can be found on that website. There are also a couple apps which allow you to sell your old clothes and buy or trade for other users old clothes, including an app called Vinted. Additionally, there are a couple websites like Twice that allow you to sell used clothes and buy those of others! Also, shop on Etsy! There are so many great vintage finds and handmade pieces, plus that money you spend supports a small business, aka real people who aren't exploiting anyone! Some of my favorite shops are OH-ZIE, Nube Menta, DoppelStandard, and of course my own, Good Vibrations Vintage! All are excellent alternatives that allow you to find nice quality clothes without creating an economic demand for new ones.
4. Host and attend clothing swaps!
I wrote an article a while ago about hosting a swap meet. In my town they are fairly common events. Always be on the lookout and try to attend them if you need some clothes. Most are free if you bring something to trade! They are also super fun to host and great excuses to bring together family and friends.
5. Shop your friends' and relatives' closets!
Trade with your friends and family! Or just take stuff for free! Half of my wardrobe used to belong to my mom. Not kidding. Many of my clothes have also been given to me by friends who didn't need them anymore, including all of my bras! My friend and her housemates keep a big giveaway pile of stuff they don't want in their living room so that people are free to look through it any time. We do the same thing at my parent's house. Many people have clothes skulking in their closets that they don't need or don't want. Just ask!
6. Look for free bins at stores and public places!
Just like many places have free or exchanged based library bookshelves, there are also free bins with all sorts of things. There's a food co-op here on campus that has one, and today I found a beautiful red velvety skirt in there! Look around, they're closer than you think, and free!
7. Participate in clothing giveaways and contests!
Sometimes I host giveaways here on this blog, and I am definitely not the only one. While participating in giveaways is not the most reliable source of clothes, it is free, and fun. Google "clothing giveaways" and see what you get.
8. DIY your clothes
Try mending your clothes instead of throwing them out when they rip. I have so many clothes I have mended or patched. It saves money, adds character, and builds your crafting skills. Next on my list is learning how to darn my socks! You can also DIY to add flair to your clothing. I know a lot of people who sew patches onto denim jackets or jeans to make a statement. I often take clothes in or reshape them entirely to get the look I want. The plethora of DIY tutorials on the internet is endless, just for t-shirts alone. I learned how to both take in and let out the waistband of pants on YouTube. The resources are out there. Try it, it's fun!
So, that's how I've avoided buying new clothes for more than a year! The amount of resources available to you is staggering once you investigate, and I completely left out borrowing and renting based solutions (which are also worth looking into)! Bottom line: now that you know why and how, there is no reason why you can't support sustainability and social justice by joining forces with me and refusing to buy new clothes! So jump on in, the water's fine! See you at the thrift shop ;)