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How to overcome first-time thrifting jitters

Guest blog post by Akua Yamoah Opoku

Thrifting has become more popular than ever before. According to Envista from the ThredUp 2020 Resale Report, "Thrift shopping has grown tremendously over the past few years and, with the events of the past few months changing the way many consumers look at purchasing, is likely to become more mainstream."

It’s a way to find unique clothes, shoes, accessories all the way to home decor. Thrifting has also become more enticing as an option due to its affordability. Plus it’s a coping mechanism for families with tighter financial circumstances since COVID-19 hit homes hard with loss of jobs and loved ones. Not only does thrifting have a financial benefit for people but it has a positive environmental impact also.

Thrifting is one of the funnest ways I know how to combat climate change. By buying secondhand you:

  1. Avoid sending textile waste to landfills

  2. You extend a garment’s life cycle

  3. Reduce the demand for fast fashion

Despite the peak of interest in thrifting and people thrifting, there’s still a sea of skeptical people trying to wrap their head around thrifting in the midst of a pandemic. I totally get that, the world was completely flipped over since early 2020. For many, myself included, thrifting was one thing that helped me feel like things were normal. I talk about how to thrift safely in quarantine with practical steps for various comfort levels on my blog.

If you’re still interested in trying thrifting for the first time, these are the tips I have for you.

  1. Follow thrifters on social media for inspiration on how to style pieces you thrift

  2. Read blogs and Instagram posts to find good thrift stores and organizations in your area

  3. Know yourself before you step into a thrift store because it will 100% influence your thrifting experience; ask yourself about your shopping tendencies like “what colors or patterns do I already have in my closet that I am looking to add or get less of?”

I can’t end a blog post about how to overcome first-time thrifting jitters without talking about the evolution of thrifting online at stores like Thredup, Poshmark, and more. If you find that after thrifting in store is not for you, you may be more of an online thrifter, which is totally fine. There are so many great options for thrifting online! I highlight over 40 secondhand and vintage online stores you can shop from in my BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) sustainable business list. It is truly a win-win, supporting sustainable fashion and BIPOC sustainable business owners in one go.

It’s truly been a joy to have been thrifting for more than 5 years in different states all over the United States. Thrifting is as much of a luck thing as it is a skill, if you’re looking to hone in your thrifting skills after falling in love with it check out my Guide to Becoming a Confident Thrifter. Buying secondhand is definitely a matter of practice makes perfect but ultimately don’t forget to have fun!

About Akua Yamoah Opoku

Environmental Life Coach, who helps newbies in low waste and minimalist living create a lifestyle that they love that is also good for the planet without the stress that comes from living against the status quo.

For more tips on going zero waste, read the book and head to zero waste 101!


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