Secondhand is never second rate when you reap the benefits of thrift shopping

Those who experienced America’s Great Depression celebrated the idea of “secondhand” when it came to products owned or used in the past by someone else.

This practical and sustainable idea was the main idea behind the philosophy of Goodwill’s founder Rev. Edgar J. Helms, who in the early 1900s began collecting used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of the city. He then trained and hired those who were poor to mend and repair the used goods. The goods were then resold or were given to the people who repaired them.

 World War II changed the entire economic model in the U.S. Wartime production helped heal our economy and from the late 1940s on, young adults saw a remarkable rise in their spending power. Jobs were plentiful, wages were higher, and because of the lack of consumer goods during the war, Americans were eager to spend.

Consumerism took over, leaving pragmatism and frugality in its wake. Americans embraced “more, newer and better,” and manufacturing ramped up in every sector.

Today, the country is actually experiencing a resurgence of secondhand culture. Consumers are increasingly conscious of the social and environmental impact of their purchases. And that attitude is coming from younger consumers. Studies show that as many as 75 percent of Gen Z buyers now state that sustainability is more important to them than brand name. And many say they shop secondhand for both sustainability and to help make an environmental impact.

When it comes to shopping for things like clothes, toys, furniture and more, the go-to tends to be buying them new. The convenience of running out to a big-box store and picking up these items can be tempting. But at what cost? Not only does buying new typically cost you more money, but the environment is also paying a high price to produce those new items. If you’re new to buying secondhand, following are common the benefits of shopping at Goodwill Central Coast:

  • Reduce waste: Shopping at GCC is a simple and easy way to go green! Manufacturing, producing, packaging, and distributing new clothing takes a lot of energy and water. Disposing of unwanted clothing also takes a toll on the environment. In the U.S., individuals throw out 60-80 pounds of textile waste each year. It can take months and even years for these materials to fully break down in landfills. By choosing to buy secondhand clothing instead of brand new, you reduce waste and help the planet. In this way, thrift shopping is the ultimate way to live out the ” reduce, reuse, recycle” motto!
  • Curate a one-of-a-kind wardrobe: Whether you want to stay on top of the latest trends or express your individuality with unique and vintage clothing, thrift shopping at GCC allows you to create a wardrobe that’s completely one-of-a-kind. It’s a lot like a treasure hunt: You never know what you might find!
  • Score high-quality goods at bargain prices: There’s nothing quite like the thrill of finding a great bargain, and at thrift stores, amazing deals are around every corner! Save on clothing, home décor, furniture, shoes, accessories, books, games, and so much more for the entire family. It’s a great feeling to know you’re getting more for less by choosing to shop at a thrift store over a traditional retailer.
  • Find your next DIY project: From furniture to decor to fabric, there’s no shortage of thrift store finds that are ready to be upcycled into something new. The next time you go thrifting at a GCC store, keep your next DIY project in mind. Many pieces simply need a little TLC to come to life. It’s amazing to see how thrift store finds are transformed with a good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint.
  • Support the community: Unlike big retail chains, Goodwill stores exist to serve others, not generate a profit for stockholders. Choosing to shop at a thrift store that’s driven by a mission to help others is a wonderful way to make a difference in your community. Every single donation and purchase helps further GCC’s mission of removing barriers to employment and empowering others.

Goodwill Central Coast is more than a network of thrift shops. We are a thriving nonprofit that gives back to the community through our Mission Services. Every purchase you make at GCC helps to support employment services, financial coaching, digital literacy and more.

Best of all, when you choose to buy gently-used items at Goodwill instead of brand-new, mass-produced ones, you extend the life cycle of reusable goods and help to protect our planet for years to come.

Share This Post:


Blog Archive