Thrift shopping can be the answer to so many questions. Bored? Need a new wardrobe on a budget? Want to get a Halloween costume? Go thrift shopping. Not only are there many benefits of thrift shopping, but there are many benefits to donating clothes to these thrift shops as well.
By donating clothes, you are helping people who shop on a budget at stores like Goodwill or other consignment shops. Some consignment shops allow you to donate your clothes and then give you money back, or will even give you a percentage of what sells. As college students, donating your clothes and buying used clothes is a unique and great idea.
Goodwill is a non-profit store that allows people in the community to donate clothes. When going on their website, it allows you to see the impact that you can make by donating. It tells the website viewers that 38 million pounds of clothes and other goods are getting reused, recycled, and refashioned rather than staying in a New Jersey or New York landfill. Not only does donating clothes save you money when shopping, but you are also helping the environment.
Tiffany Medley, Ph.D., Lecturer in the Biology Department, gave insight on the topic. Medley who is actively involved in the Sustainability Advisory Council on campus and teaches the course Introduction to Global sustainability stated, “Though there is evidence that much of your used clothing actually doesn’t end up re-used, I still feel that attempting to recycle or donate them is better than throwing them away with the hope that with time organizations like Goodwill will find purpose in all the clothing they receive.” She continued by stating that the problem is in consumerism and that the environment would be helped more if people didn’t buy excessive amounts of clothing and held onto the clothing that they have for longer.
Another great organization (aside from Goodwill) to donate your used clothing, furniture, or appliances to is The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army’s website informs its readers that they serve 130 countries, and that they help 25 million Americans annually. If you want to make donations or participate in community service, looking into The Salvation Army and their missions could be great for you.
Thrift shopping and shopping at consignment stores have many benefits beyond keeping up with the trends, and saving money while doing so. It can support charity, assist other people in your community, and help the environment.
Taylor Smith, a senior marketing student that loves giving back said, “Not only does thrifting allow people that don’t necessarily have the funds, especially us as college students, to find good deals on clothes, but it also helps the environment because it helps reduce waste and pollution.”
A local consignment shop on Brighton Ave in Long Branch called, Back on the Rack, is a great resource because they take in unwanted styles and items of clothing and home décor. Julia Shaffer, a senior English and education student, stated that, “Thrifting is a way for people to express themselves creatively while also working with a tight budget.” As college students that want to keep up with the trends while living on our budgets, stores like Back on the Rack allow us to revamp our wardrobe while being cost-efficient and eco-friendly.
One thing that some people might not know is that depending on where you go to donate clothes, you might even make a profit. Stores like Goodwill sometimes allow you to use your donation as a claim on your federal tax return because it is a charitable donation. One consignment store that allows you to possibly gain a profit is Plato’s Closet. Plato’s Closet buys and sells secondhand items that are typically aimed for the teen or young adult crowd.
Thrift shopping is not only for college students, but it is also a great activity for families. Although the baby industry is a booming one where they make a lot of money, if you don’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on baby clothes that will be quickly outgrown, consider going to a consignment store.
So, while the weather is continuing to change, start to break out your favorite fall pieces and look into buying new ones at consignment shops. Be sure to wash all the clothes and items that you buy from these stores just to be careful. Happy shopping.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University