It's Earth Day! No better time to talk about what we can do to be better stewards of our gorgeous green and blue planet. It's no secret that humans have been consuming more and more as time goes on. According to a 2015 Forbes article on fashion and climate change, Americans throw away 70 pounds of clothing a year per person. That's so much waste!
Fast fashion garments, which we wear less than 5 times and keep for 35 days, produce over 400% more carbon emissions per item per year than garments worn 50 times and kept for a full year. - Forbes
Beyond the amount of sheer waste buying and throwing away of clothing creates, the actual fabrication of those new clothes can be terrible for the environment when it's left to disintegrate in the garbage. Instead of feeling guilty, there are so many things we as consumers can do to reverse the trend of wasteful buying! Obviously, decreasing our consumption will help, but often we need something for a job interview or a nice date night. Instead of heading to the department store, why not check out some of the great second-hand consignment shops around town. You'll never know what treasures you'll find!
What started as a small clothing exchange in 1974 has blossomed into a 29-store chain of second-hand clothing at great prices. You bring in a bag of clothing you want to sell, they'll look through it and pick out the good stuff. You get cash on the spot or store credit, and those clothes are now diverted from waste back into the market.
When I was in college, anytime we had a trip to Las Vegas, I would always stop in the Buffalo Exchange. It had such a great selection of brand-name clothing in excellent condition at great prices. This is true for the original location here in Tucson. Swing in for some amazing deals on cute, unique fashions. There is something there for someone of every age. Shop early to get the best picks!
Similar to the Buffalo Exchange is Uptown Cheapskate. They are located by the Foothills Mall off of La Cholla. The apparel is geared more towards teens and college students. The fashions are more trendy, in my opinion, and the prices are really affordable. That's not to say I haven't found a killer pair of heels or some perfect-fitting jeans at this one. They have a great selection to look through and the inventory is always changing. You can sell your old clothes here too! So make a little extra cash and save some money!
Deseret Industries, or better known as The D.I., is one of the best thrift stores around. Prices are incredibly affordable, and you can always find something awesome. This is a Utah based thrift store that has expanded to a few other western states. They carry men, women, and children's apparel, plus home goods and more. I once bought an entire golf club set for $20 at a DI, bag and all. They work with people needing job support or training while giving them a place to work. While you can't sell your old clothing here, they do take donations! Check out their website for more of the awesome stuff Deseret Industries is doing for the community.
No one goes through clothing quite as fast as babies and children. They're always growing out of whatever you just bought them, and that can get pricey! Pop over to the Little Bird Nesting Company for both new and used baby items. Let's be real, babies and toddlers don't need to be wearing the latest trends. They look adorable in everything!
Beyond apparel, Little Bird sells all sorts of other baby gear you might need. A brand new car seat might be too expensive for a new family, so why not save cash and pick up a gently used one? Plus, they carry maternity wear too! No need to spend tons of cash on clothing that will fit only for a few months. Skip the expensive stuff, and find some adorable pieces for your little bundle of joy.
Are you still wary of shopping in person? The fabulous consignment store Girlfriends Closet has online shopping! So get your thrift on, support local business, and stay safe. You can find brand name items, such as Lulu Lemon, Ferragamo, Banana Republic, Coach, and more, right on their website. If you prefer in-person shopping, they're open to the public! There are some seriously cute women's tops there right now I've got my eye on. It's literally like shopping in your best friend's closet. They also offer consignment, so pick up those designer bags you don't wear anymore and take them down to get some cash.
This is only a small sample of the many thrift and consignment stores throughout the Greater Tucson area. Goodwill Thrift stores are plentiful, and there are many more small thrift and consignment shops just waiting for you to discover some great treasures for your home and closet.