With surplus clothing at the fingertips of eager customers, now more than ever the number of ways one can find trendy and affordable clothing is endless and sometimes terrifying. It may be convenient to shop from online retailers that keep up with the latest trends, but at what cost does fashion win over sustainability?
With many college students looking to satisfy their immediate needs, one-piece outfits can be more convenient in the short term. Grace Dodder, a freshman majoring in marketing, is a price-conscious shopper.
“I try to buy clothes that I know I’ll wear more than once,” says Dodder. “Even if I wear them for a specific event, I want to make sure I wear them again. Otherwise, it’s a waste of money.
Consumers like Dodder, who are age-conscious in their values, are still susceptible to the mass inventory and low prices offered by fast-fashion retailers like Sheen. Dodder wearily admits that he bought it from Sheen at a low price.
“I bought from Sheen because it was cheaper, but after two to three months, I noticed that the clothes I bought were unwearable,” Dodder said. “I could tell from the beginning that they were of poor quality.”
Although online fast fashion retailers have an attractive range of items, thrift stores like The Loft Resale offer a wide variety of clothing categories. Covering everything from warm knit sweaters for the fall and winter seasons to name-brand athletic wear that makes you want to throw on a pair of tennis shoes and get active, thrift stores have something for almost everyone.
Loft salesperson Devon Nielsen brings light to an alternative way of shopping for clothes. Nielsen advises consumers to buy second-hand not only for ethical reasons, but also to improve personal style.
“Going to Goodwill or the Salvation Army are great places for upcycling purposes or to make really cool and sustainable fashion statements with unique pieces,” says Nielsen.
With such a wide variety of options, personalizing one’s closet rewards consumers with fashion and sustainability.
Instead of buying that bargain that only rewards a few clothes, check out a local thrift store and find cheap but cute clothes that need a new home.
“I like that part of the costume gets a second chance,” Nielsen said. “One loved it before; one loves it again, and it feels better to throw it away.”
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