National Thrift Shop Day is Aug. 17: So much good and so much fun can come from shopping thrift

Observed on Aug. 17, National Thrift Shop Day is dedicated to celebrating the art of thrifting and the joy of finding affordable, one-of-a-kind items while helping your community in the process.

 Goodwill Central Coast helps extend the life of usable items through a business model that encourages sustainability and ultimately helps uplift others through the power of employment.

Today, it’s a badge of honor that you found great pieces for a fraction of retail prices. Surveys show that an estimated 52 percent of Americans have shopped at a thrift store or purchased second-hand items in the past year, a percentage that has increased considerably since the recent economic downturn.

There are valid reasons why shoppers choose thrifting:

  • Save money: Goodwill sells products typically 50-90 percent off traditional retail prices. For just a few dollars, shoppers can walk into a Goodwill store and come home with a treasure! During inflationary times like these, Goodwill savings can add up quickly. Today more than 63 percent of consumers choose to buy secondhand items because of the cost savings.
  • Be more sustainable: There’s more to thrifting than saving money. Goodwill is really the original recycler, keeping products from the landfill and giving them a new life. Shopping secondhand encourages the re-use of clothing and items that have already been created, decreasing the need for the production of additional items. It’s estimated that more than 650 gallons of water are required to make just one new cotton T-shirt. There’s also all the pesticides that are often used to grow cotton, which can contaminate ground and surface water. And the entire process requires energy. That includes washing, de-sizing, bleaching, rinsing, dyeing, printing, finishing, transporting, packaging, etc. The message is clear: Shopping secondhand lessons a consumers’ carbon and water footprint.
  • One-of-a-kind items: It’s no fun to buy an item that everyone else has. Consumers are seeking distinctive or vintage items that cannot be found at big box retailers. Oftentimes the draw to thrift shopping is the thrill of finding these treasures and the bragging rights that come with it! Goodwill Central Coast stores sell scores of one-of-a-kind items every day, and new products are refreshed throughout the day. Thrifters know that shopping, and shopping often is the very best strategy for finding these exclusive pieces.
  • The thrill of the hunt: Because you never know what you’re going to find at GCC (and because we restock so often), every trip is a new adventure. You can easily find a one-of-a-kind item, discover a collectible, or find the perfect painting to put on your wall. Plus, you might just find something that, fixed-up or as is, can be resold for a profit. And it’s not uncommon to find barely-used items or new items with original tags. And if you have a tailor or access to someone super handy, you can make most garments fit you and repair items that would otherwise cost hundreds of dollars brand new.
  • One-time-use items: Need an ugly Christmas sweater for the holidays? Or a costume to get splattered in fake blood for a movie you’re making with friends? Or clothes to wear while painting that you wouldn’t mind getting splattered? Then GCC is the place for you.
  • Emergency clothing: Forgot to bring a bathing suit for your trip to the beach? Show up at the campsite to discover it’s colder than you expected? Spill ice cream on your button-down? GCC stores are the perfect place to pick up what you need just when you need it — and for a lower price than traditional retail.
  • Cater to your individual style: Many people buy their clothes at the same big-name retail stores with hundreds of the same style. But by shopping at Goodwill, you can create a wardrobe that’s truly your own. You can also buy the sort of clothes that you can convert into brand new items. Want material for a quilt or some jeans to turn into cut-off shorts? GCC has you covered. Who knows, you may have a knack at it and end up being able to sell your creations.
  • Children’s clothing: Kids grow out of their clothing quickly, so why spend so much on something that has a short lifespan? Instead, buy their clothes at GCC and then pay it forward by selling or donating them back later.


Every purchase and donation fuels GCC’s mission to help generate jobs and ensure economic self-sufficiency. The only way we can turn inventory and continue to have products is by consistently receiving donations from the community.

 Whether you choose to donate or go on a treasure hunt on National Thrift Day (or this weekend, or any time that GCC stores are open), celebrate the occasion. Because shopping as a thrifter will not only bring you joy, but also deliver it to your community — one job at a time.

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