Is Thrifting Eco-Chic?

I’ve been thinking (which my near and dear relatives are always telling me to STOP doing, but…I can’t help it.  Really, I can’t.)

First off: thrifting.  The new eco-chic darling of the shopping and crafting set.  All very well, but in order for you to have your fun, you’re mooching off of someone else’s consumerism.  Is there a dichotomy here?  And chances are, they donated that item because THEY went out and bought a new one.  Or a new something.  So…where’s the eco savings?  But, if we’re truly trying to “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” and then when that fails, find something new…??  I’m talking myself in circles here.  So tell me: should I go get new pants for my kids at Target, or the thrift store?  Because kids’ clothes in good repair, especially pants, are thin on the ground at the thrift stores 🙂  And…sewing them would require purchasing fabric.  So what’s the difference between purchasing fabric and purchasing pants?

Second: Apparently, I’m a mooch too.   All of the gifts I receive are nicer/more expensive than anything I would ever purchase for myself (with the exception of my beautiful piano, a shiny black Kawai upright- that’s paid for itself many times over, in lesson tutions)  So really, where’s the virtue in “living simply?”  Furniture: donated by parents when they got a new set, and the rest is from Freecycle.  Kitchen table, a gift, along with half the chairs.  Huge floor rug, left here by previous owners.  Bookcase, freecycle.  Coffee table, freecycle.

See?  Moochy, moochy, moochy.  BUT, knowing how kind my family is, I’d receive birthday and Christmas presents anyway.  What thoughtful, wonderful people to gift us with things we use so often!  Things like my grain mill, sewing machine, serger…they make life so much easier.


9 Responses

  1. Go to the thrift store, and buy the biggest t-shirt you can find. Buy five of them! (Because if it’s big enough, chances are that someone got too small to wear it…so you’re TOTALLY eco-chic there!) Then, make pants. Heh. Problem solved. (Or wait for me to come back, and I’ll make you all the pants you could want. I’ve discovered that making new pants, shorts and dresses is actually faster than doing the laundry. hehehe)

  2. I remember reading a quote that you should buy good quality used things unless you can afford to buy good quality new things, with the idea being that good quality items will last and not be wasteful. I thought it was a Pres Hinckley or Kimball quote but I can’t find it now. I’ll let you know if I do. 🙂

  3. Perhaps we thrifters are mooching off someone else’s retail purchase, but isn’t it better to have one person buying new than two? And the eco part comes in when things are given new life rather than ending up in a landfill. And our landfills have literally tons of clothing in them. For me it’s mostly a matter of fun and feeling creative, and making my money go as far as possible. I’m very happy in the twenty five cent cashmere sweater I have on right now!

  4. I’ll echo Aunt LoLo, buy a huge shirt or a huge dress and you can get lots of toddler sized pants out of them. And yes you’re reusing it does count as being eco-conscious because they could be like me and got rid of it because I haven’t worn it in a while, and why let it take up closet space then. Didn’t buy anything to replace it.

  5. My thoughts are that why pay more than you have to… With my three boys pants are what they go through faster than any other item of clothing. Only the ones that they LOVE I save and patch until they grow out of it. So why pay more money for something that will get thrashed upon and have the same fate as something found by cheaper means? Making a dollar stretch is great. And, I am sure you have quite a fabric stash going on already that you might not have to ‘buy’ fabric to do any repairs. What is funny is that half the family agree with me(the half I grew up with) while the other half, I really don’t think they do but choose not to say anything, lol.

  6. Sears has some awesome sales…prices better than the thrifts. If you can hit their clearance sales, if you have a store near you, you can get 80% off! The quality is much better than Target or Walmart. If you are passing them down they’ll last through more than one season.

    I also like to buy at the non-profit thrifts because it is a form of tithing – you are putting your money toward helping a charity. Plus you can donate and shop at the same time – time saver!

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