The Different Ways Thrifting Helps Your Community
No matter where you live or what you do, it’s always a good feeling to have a community’s support behind you. Community is an inherent part of our human nature; we are pack animals, after all. All healthy societies have members who share the same goal: to support each other to improve their respective neighborhoods. There are so many ways to strengthen your community, but many of them require a significant investment of time or money to really make a difference.
On the other hand, activities such as thrift shopping can help your community in both passive and active ways. Thrifting is a fantastic way to do your part for the people around you while getting something for yourself in the process. In this article, we’ll go through some of the different ways thrifting helps your community to show you how much good you can do while simply shopping for things you already needed to buy.
Good for the Environment
Perhaps the factor that affects everyone in a community equally, thrifting is a very useful way to reuse and recycle old clothing that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Clothing is surprisingly durable, and most doesn’t break down quickly or easily in the earth, meaning that it can harm the soil and contribute to environmental degradation.
By donating to a thrift shop instead of throwing out old clothing, you prevent excessive waste from ruining your community’s environment. We all need to do our part for the environment—for both our local and global communities—if we’d like to combat the effects of climate change.
As we mentioned, we want to keep our clothing—especially usable and recyclable clothing—out of the garbage as much as possible. The more waste we create, the more we can harm our local community. Landfills are just one way that townships dispose of clothing, and it doesn’t really do the job the way we want it to.
Did you know that the fashion industry is one of the most wasteful sectors that exist? We generate millions of tons of textile waste every year from perfectly reusable and recyclable clothing and fabric. That doesn’t even include the amount of waste that the industry itself creates when it makes those clothes. On top of all that, the textile industry also uses an immense amount of water to keep up with the demand for new clothes. If you want to help your community and others all over the world, you can start by decreasing the need for new clothing by thrift shopping. It takes many people to facilitate lasting change in this regard, but every step counts.
Money Goes To Where It’s Needed
Of all the different ways thrifting helps your community, perhaps the most practical benefit is that it puts your money where it can be the most useful. The way this works for some thrift stores is that they purchase clothing and other items from donation charities. At 2nd Avenue thrift stores, we buy our items from the American Red Cross, the National Federation of the Blind, The Order of the Purple Heart, and The Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Philadelphia.
Each of these charities receives their donations from communities just like yours and then sells them to thrift stores like 2nd Ave Thrift Superstores. The money we pay to the charities helps them carry out their mission and do their important work. It’s a win-win all around. Local charities receive money for their cause, we receive great items that we can put on display in our stores, and you get the ability to purchase these items for a much lower price than you would have otherwise.
Gives Options for Lower-Income Families
Keeping the thrifting lifestyle alive is one of the best ways you can help lower-income families in your community. Thrift stores are popular places for those with lower income to frequent because they can more easily find affordable clothing, furniture, and other household items they need. Keeping your local thrift stores alive through your own shopping, regardless of your financial situation, can prevent expensive retail stores from coming in and reducing the options available to these families.
Retail fashion chains have a bad habit of pushing thrift stores out of the way as they expand, and as we said above, they can be terrible for the environment and the community. By choosing to shop at thrift stores instead of these chains, you save money, get a wider selection, and keep the option of thrifting around for those who may need it more than you do.
Keeps People Connected
Thrifting isn’t just a way to get nice and cheap clothing or home goods. Thrifting is a way of life! It has a community of its own that is willing and waiting to welcome new members all the time. There’s nothing like walking into a thrift store that feels like yours because you go there often enough to know the community members that work in and frequent it.
Walking into a thrift store is a great way to make personal connections you otherwise wouldn’t have. Enjoy talking to your fellow thrift shoppers. Maybe even exchange a few tips for finding the perfect item. Dedicated thrift shoppers are always glad to help someone new to the practice. Our staff is also more than ready to assist you in any way they can, should you have questions. One of the best parts about thrift shopping is seeing how it can bring people together in unexpected ways.
If there’s one thing we at 2nd Ave Thrift Superstores love, it’s being a part of your community. We like to foster our own community among our employees, and we’re always trying to extend that to our customers as well. If you haven’t check it out yet, come see what we have in stock at our thrift store in Pennsauken, NJ. We’ll be glad to help you out, whether it’s your first time in a thrift shop or you’re a seasoned professional looking for that next great find.