Ever since the world of e-commerce took off, rarely anyone has been able to resist the many benefits of staying in the comfort of your home and letting those favorite baubles and wearables come straight to your doorstep. Alternatively, the old-fashioned concept of thrift stores is once again stealing the spotlight, both among seasoned fashionistas and among people who put comfort and thrift over haute style any day. In both scenarios, shopping can be fun, wallet-friendly, but also sustainable compared to the standard fast-fashion trends and shopping behaviors.
Still not sure which of these deserves more of your attention? It often depends on your lifestyle, payment preferences, and your priorities. Here are a few factors to consider so that you can make smarter buying decisions and still cherish your look!
Although some local online stores will offer you to pay upon delivery, more people are switching to the usage of online payment methods that are more secure and that offer numerous discount options for lower-priced purchases. Perhaps the most trusted and simplest way to buy online is by using a credit card that comes with amazing rewards and various protections for your identity online.
When you already have a card and a bank you trust, the rest boils down to a few eco-friendly benefits that often get overlooked. For example, with an online credit card purchase, you don’t need a paper receipt, paper checks, or bills. As long as you have the discipline to keep an eye on your spending habits and truly purchase what you need without supporting consumerism as such, you can actually benefit from using cards with your online purchases.
If you like holiday sales and special deals, then thrift stores will be a godsend for your wallet and your personal budget. Unlike typical stores that sell branded items fresh off the runways and still popular among models everywhere, thrift stores sell garments that might have been in their prime a few years, if not decades ago. Plus, you can find local thrift stores where you can go on foot (so no car emissions or public transportations necessary), where you can score some incredible branded goodies for your wardrobe.
Then again, online shopping can often be equally good for your budget. If you do a bit of research (and we’ll get to that soon enough), you can discover stores online that sell branded, new, or second-hand pieces that come at the fraction of the original price. It’s key to make sure those stores use eco-friendly ways to make their garments, so that every online purchase you make is in line with your values.
Thrift stores have something that few other purchase options have – authenticity and timelessness. When you are looking for that something unique for a special occasion, or something that really sends the right “vibe” and fits your style perfectly, thrift stores are much more likely to give you just that. Comparatively, modern-day brands design garments that are trendy now, and they’ll most likely be abandoned in a matter of a few months, up to a year.
Thrift stores are indeed goldmines for those crown jewels of your collection. They are the perfect way to maintain a minimalist look by investing in a few select pieces without going overboard with your spending, or stuffing your closet with unnecessary items.
If the main priority of every buying decision you make is maintaining a low carbon footprint and reducing your negative impact on the environment, you’ll be more than happy to learn that both online and thrift stores are ideal for that particular goal. First of all, buying online means staying home, which in turn means no driving to the store and no emissions from your purchase. However, look for stores that sell locally-made clothes that are in line with your sustainability values, so that you can support the local economy and avoid imported goods that already have a hefty carbon footprint.
Buying in thrift stores is equally good for Mother Nature, since you use your purchase power to support repurposing, reusing, and refurbishing of old garments instead of running after each new collection that pops up in stores every several months. You can achieve an excellent balance by using both of these methods to support your look!
One major advantage that online stores have is that you can do your homework pretty thoroughly before you make up your mind to buy something. Nowadays, with access to eco-bloggers, online reviews, and certifications that ensure a brand indeed does follow certain sustainability rules and practices, you can make smarter decisions in a matter of a few clicks.
When you’re not sure about a brand, you can ask around, check on review sites that specialize in educating buyers on which brands we can trust in terms of their sustainability efforts, and only then move forward with your purchase. As for thrift stores, look for those that trace their clothes back to the brand and the manufacturing year as well as the origin of the fabric whenever possible to achieve the same effect.
We can all make better decisions when it’s time to refresh our look-book with new clothing pieces. These two are perhaps the simplest, most budget-friendly ways to stay true to what you believe in, protect yourself during every purchase, and of course, source impeccably stylish clothes that will fit your personality.