Imagine a World Without Waste

Why I Choose to Shop Second-hand

Photo by Artificial Photography on Unsplash

I want to contribute to making the world better than I found it. I am passionate about a number of ways this can be achieved. I know my faith, parenting, commitment to education, and the writing I produce will certainly make a difference for future generations.

I also want to contribute to making our planet better.

Speaking in terms of averages and general information, it is not uncommon to see women donate clothing with tags or pieces that have been hardly worn. Overall women seem to go through clothing more than men. Styles change, clothes fit differently, and women tend to want to update a wardrobe more regularly. Clothing continues to be designed, created and produced at a rapid speed. Unfortunately, the abundance of clothing produced are never really used to its full potential. Once the items is no longer of interest it is either donated, passed along or thrown away.

If an item is donated to a or sold to a consignment shop, the original owner feels great. He or she has completed the first step. However, the third part of the cycle is critical. If there is nobody to shop for items that have been passed along, they will ultimately end up in the garbage. Buying from a thrift shop allows me to be part of making the world a better place.

Using what we have requires us to be creative. It makes us smarter. We have an opportunity to use pieces of our wardrobe in different ways as well as combine items that we may not have originally thought about when the purchase was made.

I love the opportunity to look through racks of clothing and find a unique piece. I have found that when I buy something second hand, there is a pretty slim chance that someone else will have an identical item. I can take this creative mindset into other areas of life. Rather than focusing on purchasing a new item, it is a lot more fun to see if things in our homes can be rearranged in another location, or for another purpose.

Buying something new does not stretch our creativity.

Thrift store shopping requires a level of pickiness. I do not choose items that look worn-out, stained or ripped. It is about being selective and realizing that you can always find something worthwhile if you are willing to look for it. I am showing my kids how to choose what they want, and realize that they are in control. They are exposed to several ways to purchase items and can determine which way works best for them.

In addition to focusing on my carbon footprint, I can save money. Sometimes there are items at a thrift store with tags still attached. I have also scored unique hockey and soccer and football jerseys for an affordable price.

I have found that I enjoy nice brands of clothing that last for a long time. I like the way several name brands fit and find that they last longer.

I am excited about the effort I am making to make the world a little better than I found it. As Theodore Roosevelt says, “We have to do what we can, with what we have, wherever we are”.

I enjoy the opportunity to contribute to passing my knowledge as a thrift store shopper to my kids so that they can continue the legacy.

I am a wife, mother, educator, writer, reader and marathon runner. I blog at and chase my impossible. Follow me on Twitter at @lmcdonell14

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store