Blog #10- Thrift Shop Fashion
Thrift Shop Fashion
Bazaar, flea market, discount store, emporium, variety store, five and dime- all terms that Merriam Webster lists as synonyms for “thrift shop.” As in “I’m gonna pop some tags/ Only got twenty dollars in my pocket/ I’m hunting/ This is awesome” (I might have edited that a smidge for a PG rating)- “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, a song that when released in 2012, suddenly made the regular practice and fun pastime of flea market spelunking “in” again. And Gen Z, the ones starting to set the trends to follow for the rest of the world, which might be the most socially conscious generation ever- they’re poised to be at least- loves a good thrift shopping expedition.
I can remember when shopping somewhere like Goodwill or Salvation Army marked you as “poor” and therefore “uncool” when we were in elementary and middle school. And I can also remember when doing the very same thing was suddenly the very definition of “cool” when we got into high school, thanks largely in part to the grunge movement in music and fashion. In other words, it ebbs and flows. But the tide is in and it’s going to stay in this time because we’re all realizing just how many benefits we can reap from secondhand shopping, not to mention that it shows incredible taste on the buyer’s part. Hence why Remedy Road, a boutique that was already focusing on socially conscious and female-owned brands, decided to expand and open up Remedy Closet, a thrift shop room off the back of the main store.
In fact, there are countless good reasons to go thrifting regularly:
- For financial savings- this is of course the obvious one. Whether you’re a high school student with just a part-time job and therefore a minuscule clothing budget, you’re saving up for something big like your first home or a pricey vacay, you’re just down on your luck, or you’re a regular person who can’t blow a large wad of cash on clothes alone, we all need to shop smart at least now and then if not regularly. And thrift shopping helps you avoid buying expensive items which can be a real problem if you’re hard on things, ruining or losing them and therefore money.
- For sustainability- but thrifting doesn’t just mean saving your pocketbook, because it’s also great for the planet, reducing waste by upcycling and trending us away from big box stores and fast fashion in favor of taking the time to choose pieces you really love, holding onto them, and when you’re finally ready to let them go for whatever reason, passing them on to someone they’ll be new again for. And contrary to popular belief, you can find designer items in thrift stores and occasionally, even new pieces with the original tags still on. Once you donate and buy, you’re creating a cycle, and when you start influencing those around you to do the same, it becomes a movement.
- For practicality or just plain fun- maybe there aren’t many clothing stores near you- thrift it then. Maybe your idea of fun is searching, exploring, and eventually returning home triumphantly with treasure in hand- then thrift it.
- To be one-of-a-kind- thrift shops are by definition full of nothing but one-offs, so you get to avoid walking into school or work the next day wearing your new shirt only to discover that one girl has on the exact same thing while another has the same but in a different color. Our clothes are a way to express our creativity, and that’s so much easier to do with a store full of unique pieces. Plus, how you wear the upcycled find, what you pair it with creates it anew- it’s reborn in a way. And that’s especially important when we’re younger and still exploring our own fashion sense and identity. Thrifting is a much more economical means of doing so.
- For better inventory- because each piece is a one-off, there’s tons of turnover in a thrift store, meaning their inventory changes radically on a weekly basis. Because so many different people donate, you can find just about any and every style, all in one convenient location. And because so many different ages contribute to thrift store stock, you can find actual vintage items, not to mention styles that are no longer being produced.
- And because it makes us happy- though it can be a bit overwhelming at first, once you learn all the tricks of the trade, you’ll be the Indiana Jones of fashion. Thrifting is rewarding, it can lift your mood, and it’s not unlike a treasure hunt, only without the elaborate and deadly booby traps, moustache-twirling villains, and dangerous curses. And when you wear your “new” piece and feel beautiful in it, it’ll lift your spirits.
So what are the important tricks? Common sense really- check very carefully for stains, rips, and tears (unless you’re going for the on-purpose lived-in look). Sometimes, the workers who accept donated items might miss a defect like that. Though if you’re a pro at DIY, you may be able to execute easy repairs and enjoy that process too.
Zip and unzip items featuring those to be sure they work properly, and that applies to other hardware such as snaps and whatnot.
As most pieces are not new and therefore won’t shrink at all or stretch out much either, make certain that your finds fit well. That’s also helpful in that most thrift stores have a no returns, all sales are final policy. But not shrinking or stretching can also be a hidden boon because once you’re certain it’ll fit, the item will remain the same over time as long as you take care of them.
So how did we end up here? Remedy Road wanted a way to be socially conscious with NOT new fashion, to move into an adjacent market, to find another way to care for the environment and the local community. After all, as fast as Bentonville and NWA in general is growing, there’s no such thing as too many venues for fashionable upcycled clothes. So the focus there is on sustainability. You can bring in your gently used clothes, shoes, and accessories in women’s but also men’s and children’s; receive a 30% off coupon for the main store; feel good about yourself; and maybe find a hidden treasure for yourself in the process.
So if any or all of this sounds good to you, come check us out at Remedy Closet. Run by socially conscious people, it’s a people-conscious boutique and thrift shop on a mission not only to sell beautiful products but also create positive change. You can donate to us. We’ll donate 30% off to you. We’ll donate credit to local women to shop for interview and work clothes (#womensupportingwomen), and we can all look for a new old find for ourselves!
In addition, in Remedy Road right now, we’re carrying four different super soft and cozy hoodies/sweatshirts, and a portion of the proceeds go to the Kendrick Fincher Foundation. Those are pictured below along with a selection of my favorite outfits from the thrift store-