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Publish Date: January 27, 2022

Is Thrifting a #Trend or a New Lifestyle?

Setting Records

Is thrifting a current trend or is it here to stay? Without a doubt, thrifting is continuously increasing in popularity every year. Especially the past two years, Goodwill has seen a record number of donations from over 830,000 donors. Perhaps it’s due to people spending more time at home, and wanting their home to reflect themselves more, so cleaning up clutter becomes a part of their life. Or maybe because they are moving into a home better suited for their needs, and need to get rid of some of their things. The reasons behind everyone’s thrift motivation vary, but the goal stays the same, find unique and cheap items.

Goodwill is a non-profit, for IMPACT organization. More than 89 cents from every dollar generated from sales of our generous donations, goes towards supporting our programs and mission. Goodwill Industries of Alberta operates as an independent, community-based nonprofit organization, providing job placement, job training, and career support services for those with a disability.

Thrift stores across the province have also experienced the demand for more sustainable options and the ability to create your own fresh look, just take a look at what the CBC found in Calgary!

READ MORE: In with the Old: Calgary second-hand stores say demand high for thrifted wares

Rows of second-hand clothes. Goodwill staff say the organization has seen an increase in donations during the pandemic. (Axel Tardieu/CBC)

Francesca D'Angelo, professor and program coordinator for the fashion management program at Humber College in Toronto, was quoted, "Thrift shopping alone enables you to be able to purchase a lot, and to stay on trend."

Thrift Culture

Thrifting has gained enormous popularity over the past few years. It has become trendy to buy second-hand, and finding unique items is part of the thrill. Now when you browse your social feeds you’re likely to see many thrift influencers sharing their gently used finds, sharing their insights into how to spot high-value items for cheap, and creating looks that express their own personal style. On top of the fashion demographic, there are tons of incredibly talented people making a living from purchasing beat-down furniture and upcycling it into works of art. If you want to follow along, check out some of these great thrift ambassadors that have helped reshape and refresh the stigma on shopping for used items.

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Why You Should Thrift

Everyone has their own reason for thrifting. For some, it has become a job and they re-sell the items they find on places like Ebay, Poshmark, and Facebook marketplace.

For others they are looking to save some money and buying second-hand is the easiest way to do that. Oftentimes when you thrift you are only paying 1/3 or even ¼ of what would be brand new. Oftentimes you can even find brand new pieces (with tags still attached) at a quarter of the cost. Each week Goodwill has a different coloured tag as 50% off, giving you even more savings! Every Wednesday is Seniors day as well where you can save 15% off.

On top of all of that, you are buying one-of-a-kind items. There are rarely (if ever) duplicates of the same item in the store. If you’re looking for unique fashion items, thrifting is the place to be!

Thrifting is also more sustainable than buying fast fashion, and that can be a big factor in why people choose to buy second-hand.

Judy Aldous of CBC’ Alberta at Noon started a great conversation with her listeners, discussing their best finds, along with thrifting tips from local thrifters including one of our fav’s, Grace Rodgers! If you’re new to the thrift game, take a listen to the segment and get ready to take notes.

LISTEN NOW: Your best thrift shop finds – Alberta at Noon with Judy Aldous

Here are a few tweets from thrift fans:

Budget Meets Sustainability

There are lots of reasons why people choose to thrift and budget isn’t the only one. Buying second-hand is the most sustainable option.

Goodwill has close to a 90% diversion rate from the landfill and the organization as a whole diverts millions of kilograms every year thanks to the Sustainability Action Plan.

Lynette Emery, a local thrifter says she thrifts for “the reuse, reuse recycle portion of it. There’s all these clothes in here, why not come shop at a thrift store and reuse items.” Thrifting just one pair of jeans saves 7,500 litres of water.

Clothing isn’t the only thing you can thrift, household goods, décor items, children’s toys, etc. are all popular sections in our thrift stores. All Goodwill locations also have a boutique area where you can find designer items and trendy décor. If you’re at the AMAZING Edmonton Impact Centre you can even purchase upcycled furniture from our Repair for Good program, just one of our many programs that are focused on sustainability and employ Albertans with disabilities.

And if you’re wondering, “what do I do with my old items!?” you can donate them to Goodwill! You can even use our Impact Calculator to see just how much your donations will save unnecessary waste from entering the landfills.

Try it out now!

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