There are a load of reasons to thrift. I am a thrift-junkie, and it has a lot to do with money and being frugal! But I wanted to share some really great reasons to thrift outside of getting money for less!
1. Cheap Labor
This subject is a tricky one. Many people believe that cheap jobs for people in third-world countries are better than no jobs. But I would have to disagree. Child labor and cheap labor are a form of forced labor. People need work in countries where money is hard to come by, and large industries and companies that take advantage of these people to pocket more money.
Cheap labor is abusive. Yes, workers in third-world countries may not have the full knowledge of how they are being taken advantage of, but big business and those who hire out of countries like Sri Lanka and India are fully aware of the conditions and the money that they get to pocket because they don't have to worry about minimum wages or fair hours.
I can't say that I don't have clothing in my closet that are products of forced labor, but I have tried to be more conscious of what I buy that is new. When thrifting, we rule out the issue of cheap labor because the money is passed on to those recycling the clothes locally, rather than big business that abuse people from third-world countries.
2. Create local jobs
One beautiful thing about thrift shops and consignment stores is the creation of local jobs! Being able to know exactly where your "new" clothes are from is refreshing. Its like shopping locally for food. It keeps neighbors and friends reliant upon one another and builds up the local economy.
I have also really enjoyed getting to know the owners and workers in local shops. Instagram and social media has become a great way to connect with people through shops nearby!
3. It's better for the environment
I can't sit here and say I am particularly great at staying green. I am not the best recycler and I forget to turn off lights, here and there. But I am happy to help in the small ways that I can.
Clothes pack landfills all around the US and the world. 13 million tons of clothing are thrown away every year in the US, alone! How insane is that? And your last-season acrylic sweater from Forever21 will be sticking around for years and years, no break-down with all of those man-made materials!
They seem like small reasons, but if we all did a little more thrifting and a little less cheap shopping, we would be saving humans, local businesses, and our world!