March 19, 2015

Why I Thrift // 2 Days Until the Re-Brand Launch!

As part of my re-branding launch this coming Saturday March 21st, which is just two days away (wee!), I wanted to share a little bit more about myself, my history with thrifting, and what brought me to start this Year of Thrift challenge!

I have always loved thrifting.

I remember when I was just 12 or 13 I convinced my mom to take me to the near-by thrift shop so I could scour the racks and racks of clothing for some special finds. I had no clue what I was getting myself into!

Looking back on it, I wonder what made me so persistent in my desire to go thrifting. The shop was pretty grungy and smelly and not appealing, but I wanted so desperately to go! I think it came from my desire to differentiate myself through my style. I grew up amongst the Hollister/Abercrombie and Fitch/American Eagle crowd. It never suited me. I was really disinterested in wearing the same skirt we all bought in different colours and wearing it with the same tank top and heavily branded sweater combination.

Thrifting was my way of rebutting this uniform of sorts. I wanted to find pieces that no one else in my class would be wearing, I wanted to set myself apart. Sometimes this meant cutting the sleeves off a shirt, adding iron-on letters to spell the word "freak" on a black tank top and wearing it over top a lime green tshirt. But I soon realized thrifting was a little less on the "lets destroy all my clothes and look like a crazy person" side of things.

(An early attempt at differentiating myself through style.) 
(Just Kidding. I just enjoyed playing dress up for a few too many years past childhood... hehe!)

Now, my reasons are a little bit different. I go to an art school and there is no such thing as a uniform. If anything - self expression through fashion is the thing to do! I LOVE walking through my school and checking out everyone's outfits. The creatives of Toronto are pretty funky people. However, I still find myself a little dissatisfied when I walk into stores and see 50 of the same shirt on one rack. In this sense, I really love the thrill of finding that one little gem, the one special little item that might be in the thrift store that day!

Another, more recent reason that I love thrifting is for sustainability reasons. I must get this from my mom (thanks mama!) as I've always been raised to be aware of my actions' effects on the environment. It wasn't until the last year or two that I started really believing it and being passionate about it myself, as opposed to something I had simply been raised to believe was "right". For me, this meant that my near-obsession with clothes and fashion was wrong, in a way, because I regularly bought too much and didn't actually wear enough of it. I was also often buying from companies with morals that don't match mine - ones that steal from artists, ones that mass produce and pay their workers close to nothing, ones that make clothes so cheap we need to replace them after a few wears. I started to hate this habit of mine, and realized there are alternatives and that I could make a change in my habits!

Thrifting is sustainable, budget friendly, FUN, and totally do-able if you go in with an open mind. So is buying from small businesses, and you'll also be making someone's day a little brighter when you buy their handmade goods. And it's good for our world on so many levels. My heart feels lighter as I continue in this year of thrift, and that is a feeling I'll gladly take more of!

To learn more about about my Year of Thrift challenge, read the Year of Thrift Manifesto and a few more of my thoughts on thrifting in this post.

Do you thrift regularly?  
What are your reasons for thrifting or shopping handmade?

Come back on Saturday for the re-brand launch to see the new layout, branding, and a fun giveaway!


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