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Thrift Store Finds You NEED to Buy

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This post has been updated as of 03/06/2024

I love thrifting! Purchasing from thrift stores (including online thrift stores) is a great way to be more sustainable. It’s more eco-friendly to buy an object that’s used and discarded, versus a new product. By opting for secondhand clothing, we can play a vital role in reducing the environmental footprint of the fashion industry.

The textile industry is notorious for its high levels of pollution and resource consumption, but purchasing used clothing helps mitigate these impacts by extending the lifespan of garments and keeping them out of landfills. Additionally, buying secondhand reduces the demand for new clothing production, which in turn decreases the extraction of raw materials and the energy-intensive manufacturing processes associated with fashion production.

Thrift shopping promotes a circular economy by encouraging the reuse and repurposing of existing resources, ultimately contributing to a more resource-efficient and environmentally-friendly fashion ecosystem. By embracing secondhand shopping, individuals can make a tangible difference in preserving our planet for future generations while also enjoying the thrill of discovering unique and stylish pieces with a reduced environmental cost. Did you know that buying secondhand can save 16.3M tons of CO2 per year.

There are a few items I always look for at thrift stores! I recently found this funky fish lamp at a Goodwill thrift store this weekend for under $10. This will go well in our office. The lamp did not have a lampshade when I purchased it, but I could see the potential. I’m not sure what store/brand it originates from, but it’s well made, sturdy, and in good condition. I picture this lamp going in a scholarly “Indiana Jones“-like office. I will post future pictures of the lamp in the newly decorated office–as soon as it’s finished!

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Thrift Store Finds You Need to Buy

You can find such great things at thrift stores! You may even be able to find some high-quality items. My favorite thrift store finds are items with character or something that needs little DIY updating. Unlike a regular retail store, thrift stores don’t carry a particular product. It really is the luck of the draw of who cleaned out their closet that week! So if you happen to visit your local thrift store, be sure to look out for these 5 items that will save you money and lower your carbon footprint.

Thrift Books

The thrift store is a great place to buy books! You can get a great thrift book collection going. Thrift store books are cheaper than Amazon, usually under $1.00 (€0.93). You can find recent bestsellers, great vintage books, children’s books, audiobooks for a fraction of the price of buying new.

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Thrift Clothing

Fast fashion may be more affordable, but it comes at a cost, both to our fellow human beings and the environment. About 85% of clothing textiles are sent to landfills annually. Online thrift shop ThredUp has a fashion footprint calculator that can determine how your closet contributes to climate change and how you can offset it. ThredUp reminds us that not all clothing has the same environmental impact. For example, jeans have a much higher carbon emission footprint than a shirt. So please consider buying jeans from a thrift store, rather than buying new! A few of my other favorite online thrift stores are Poshmark, Mecari, Swap, and Vinted.

The fashion industry emits more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined.”

–Business Insider

Thrift Furniture

I typically avoid upholstered thrift furniture, but I love thrift wood furniture finds. Wood furniture can be thoroughly cleaned, sanded, and painted. It’s like finding a diamond in the rough! I particularly enjoy upcycling wooden bookshelves or nightstands with a fresh coat of paint and some new knobs.

Thrift Art

I wasn’t really aware that thrift stores had so much art, but I have bought 20+ art pieces from thrift stores. Admittedly, it can be hit or miss. There are some days I peak in the art aisle and come away with nothing, but other days I hit a jackpot! There have been a few finds that required some refreshing of the frames. 1980’s shiny gold or neon frames in not particularly in fashion right now, but a light sanding and some spray paint can fix that. Thrift store art can also be altered by painting new characters in the painting itself. I’m not that artistic, but I know some of you are! Lastly, thrift store art can be so kitschy that it’s come back into fashion. What’s old is new again!

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Thrift Dishes

Pastel dishes may not be your thing, but if you’re on a tight budget and you need some flatware, the thrift store is the perfect place to find plates, bowls, and glassware. Dishes can be washed! You may get lucky and find some used crystal, pottery, or decorative dishes. If you’re looking for an eclectic decorative piece, that has the wrong color, consider spray painting it. Yes, you can spray paint dishware! Just don’t eat or drink off of it after spray painting!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on my favorite thrift store finds! If you have any ideas or suggestions, please share with me in the comments or on Instagram

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