The key things every armature thrift shopper should know

Isabella Parish, Editor-in-Chief

People that want to dress fashionably should not have to spend thousands of dollars just to have personal style or dress nicely. Lucky for those who want to add to their wardrobe without breaking the bank, second-hand shopping has dominated the retail industry with its unique styles for reasonable prices. 

Thrifting is simple shopping at garage sales, flea markets, consignment stores and of course, thrift stores. The items you find will most likely be gently used but heavily discounted. 

This way of shopping has taken a resurgence in recent years for many reasons. Shopping at second-hand stores almost always guarantees you will be buying original pieces. Whether you are interested in dishware or clothing, it would probably be close to impossible to find those items in a typical department store. 

The environment also benefits from thrift shopping. Shopping from these types of stores is sometimes an overlooked way of practicing sustainability. These stores help keep clothing out of the landfills as well as reduce negative effects created by clothing production. 

Just in the Bloomington-Normal area there are plenty of different locations to try your hand at thrift shopping. Near campus, down South Main Street is the Carle BroMenn Resale Boutique. They offer a wide variety of items from clothing to kitchenware. They also have incredible every-day deals as well as frequent sales. 

Goodwill located on Landmark Drive in Normal is another great place to shop sustainably. This large store front probably has the biggest variety in clothing items. Goodwill is a well-known chain chain so this may be the communities most known to drop their donations off at. 

North Main St. is home to another popular thrift store, 2FruGALS Thrift. This shop has everything from clothing and jewelry to tools and books. This is a small women-owned business which makes it almost impossible to not support. 

There is a more luxurious vintage store on Beaufort Street in Normal. Butter Twice & Again specializes in mostly women’s fashion. Their storefront is in a traditional boutique style. Upon entering for the first time, I was almost shocked it was second-hand. Butter Twice & Again does have higher prices but the quality of their products matches them. 

On Veterans Parkway there is another chain thrift store called Clothes Mentor. This store focuses on stocking pre-owned brand name merchandise for women. Clothes Mentor even has a website for online second-hand shopping. 

Creating a website for thrift shopping is becoming more common today. ThreadUP is one of the most popular online thrift stores. They sell a variety of items at a wide range of prices. Their website looks no different from any other traditional retail website because of their thousands of products. The website even has a premium section for brands like Free People and Kate Spade. 

Traditional thrift shopping is fun and sustainable but can be overwhelming. While you can find a lot of gems sometimes they really are hidden. Some tips to ensure a stress-free trip are having a general idea of what you are looking for before buying. Creating a Pinterest board to find some vintage, inspo normally does the trick.

Another tip would be to take your time. Instead of rushing through racks and rummaging through shelves try to look at every item. Do not spend too much time staring at one dish but just scan every product. 

Shopping second-hand is the best way to ensure your wardrobe and home will have one of a kind pieces at the best price. Happy thrifting.