By: Becca Stauffer

90s style is back which makes thrift stores the perfect place to keep up with the trends or even buy some unique pieces. Why would you want to buy a $98.00 pair of Levi Jeans from Urban Outfitters when you could get the same pair for $4 from Salvation Army and style them the way you want? Nike Air Force 1s are the biggest shoe trend at the moment, but are pretty pricey at $90.00, but they have been found at GoodWill for $8! Your whole outfit could go from $188 to $12 just by thrift shopping!

We all obviously know that thrifting can save a big chunk of money, but it is more beneficial than just making our bank account hurt less. Thrift shopping can actually have some health benefits and relive stress! It’s the best feeling when you find a good piece at a department store, but there is even a more sense of achievement when you find THE vintage piece at a thrift store for half the price. When you have these moments, endorphins are released and improve your overall mood and make you a little happier. Plus, there’s nothing better than when people compliment of piece of clothing and you reply with “oh yeah I got it at a thrift store for $3!” As well, being with people is also something that lowers stress levels. A study published by the American Psychological Association, found that kids who experienced a negative situation but were with their friends produced much lower cortisol levels than kids who experienced the negative moment without friends. That being said, when your stressed with school, maybe suggest going thrift shopping because there’s something for everyone at a thrift shop! Thrift shopping can also be a physical and mental exercise! Get your steps in by walking from store to store or walking across the store when searching for a piece. You can even strengthen your body by holding the bags of all the clothes you bought (the more you buy, the stronger you get) or by pushing a heavy cart. If you have a budget you have to keep, crunching numbers in your head or including sales can keep you mentally fit! So really, if you ask me thrift shopping is basically healthy.

If the healthy benefits haven’t persuaded you enough to start thrift shopping, maybe hearing about the insane environmental benefits it has will. If 300 million Americans reused a single t-shirt, we would save 210 billion gallon of water and 1 million pounds of carbon dioxide!! If people start thrift shopping, so much water would be saved, and less carbon dioxide would be emitted. As well, donating to thrift stores can also eliminate a lot of waste. The average American will toss out 81 pounds of clothing each year, so play your part and try to decrease this number by donating to thrift stores!

Thrift shopping isn’t just beneficial for yourself and the environment, but it is also beneficial to communities. Many thrift stores support people in the community or a local charity. For example, GoodWill has a mission to Elevate People by Eliminating Barriers to Employment and strives to give people jobs, help them build their resume, and teach them critical skills for the workspace. As well, in 2018, GoodWill donated one million dollars of merchandise to people in need. By shopping at GoodWill, you are supporting these programs! Bethesda Thrift Shop is another thrift shop that supports programs to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There are many of these located throughout Wisconsin. Some other thrift shops that benefit the community and programs are St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store and Salvation Army.

Thrift Shopping is so beneficial in every aspect and can make an impact on your wallet, health, and community. Here are some thrift shops in the Milwaukee area!

· Retique Store (right in the Third Ward!)

· Value Village

· St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store

· GoodWill Store

Other Resources

· Where you can read more about the benefits of thrifting

· Where you can read about lives that have been impacted by Goodwill

· More Milwaukee Thrift stores

· Thrift Store Haul

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