Written by James Moy, Development Lead
Trash or Cash?
How many clothing items have you given away or thrown out after wearing them just once or twice? If you’re like most Americans, this is a common occurrence. As consciousness of our wastefulness grows around the country, a movement has started aimed at creating a positive cycle of second-hand clothing shopping. National Second-Hand Clothing Shopping Day is on August 25th, and it is a call to action for every citizen to participate in an all-day event dedicated to reducing waste and helping our environment.
There are many benefits to second-hand shopping including saving money, cutting back on waste, and giving you access to discontinued or limited time items in your wardrobe. second-hand clothing stores around the country are putting out incredible deals and price drops to celebrate this national holiday! Most clothing pieces are dropped to half their original price and the quality of these pieces usually extends beyond that of fast fashion apparel items. Additionally, for clothing owners that wish to make some extra cash off of selling clothes they no longer want or need, they may be able to cash in at select buyers such as Crossroads.
History of Second-Hand Wardrobe Day
While no formal records can confirm who started the movement, the first Goodwill store opened in 1902 by a Reverend named Edgar J. Helms. This was a response to the industrial revolution which had triggered high levels of consumerism throughout society. In an effort to fundraise for their various programs, Christian ministries would often host clothing drives and resell them. This caught on to become a business opportunity and today, second-hand clothing stores make up a large percentage of the clothing industry.
When many thrift stores were forced to move online during the 2020 pandemic, a seismic shift occurred in the access and awareness around second-hand shopping. People suddenly had full access to thrift stores even if they were geographically distant. The “Thrifting” trend became a lifestyle and leisure activity for millions of people around the country.
Why We Thrift
So what’s the real impact of second-hand shopping? By buying and reusing clothing items, we are living a more sustainable lifestyle and conserving Earth’s resources. Every day tons of perfectly usable clothing items are discarded and thrown into landfills and incinerators. By extending the longevity of a piece of clothing, we can reduce waste, save money, and help preserve the environment.
How To Celebrate
Many of the celebrations and traditions around Second Hand Wardrobe Day are focused on promoting sustainable shopping and making sustainable lifestyle choices when purchasing and recycling clothing. The holiday is also a chance for people to clear out their closets of unused clothing items to donate or give to thrift stores.
On social media, thrifted items are frequently posted and promotional content can be found featured on various stories. Outfits of the day, special deals, and key stores to visit are some examples of content that is frequently posted during the day. Awareness around the harmful effects of fast fashion and sustainable use of our resources are common themes perpetrated throughout most social media posts and stories. This is your chance to take part in a national movement! Take part in the traditions and share your highlights of the day to people that may be unaware of these national traditions.