Clothing: The Ultimate Recycling Trend

Clothing: The Ultimate Recycling Trend 

Tough economic times have created a rebirth of thrift store shopping across America with 20% of the shoppers coming from the younger generation.  According to the Association of Resale Professionals, each year since 2008, more and more of us are venturing into resale, thrift, and consignment stores on a consistent basis to shop.  While the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores still command a large percentage of patronage, smaller stores are making an inroad into the resale business.

Of the following tips I’m Giving Back to make the most of your resale shopping, a few belong at the top of the list.  Number one is that what you find at any of these stores will depend on where the store is located.  A more affluent donating base will yield higher quality merchandise.  Secondly, find out when their new merchandise comes in and frequent the stores on those days.

Now to some general tips, the end of the year is a good time to shop these stores as they will be trying to get rid of their current inventory.  Also, if the store is close to a college or university where students will be going home for the summer, they will be bringing in lots of extra clothes.  This makes a good shopping day for you.

Next, check if the store has a bargain or clearance area.  One of the stores I mention in this article had a 75% off section!  Most of these stores don’t carry make-up or undergarments, but if they do, I wouldn’t recommend buying these items.

Last, when you go shopping, know in advance what you are looking for.  This focus will help you from becoming overwhelmed.  It isn’t a day to rush in, grab something and leave.  You have to have plenty of time to look through everything and to try things on if you like. If you’re relaxed, having fun, enjoying the experience of recycling at its ultimate best, you never know what treasure you will find! Now, here are some examples of items I found recently at some resale shops in San Diego County.

In this shoe display at the Assistance League of Inland North County name brands were featured.  Top row left to right: Ralph Lauren silver sandals, Ann Klein green low heels, Naturalizer from Macy’s.  Bottom row left to right: Coach & Four, Lineau Paolo, and Stuart Whitman boots.  All six pairs cost $33.00!

Thrift Store Shoes (580x421)

A misconception many have is that most resale stores carry only women’s clothing.  While I found that most stores have more women’s clothing than men’s, there is still a decent assortment of men’s clothing.  The men’s beige jacket (Charlie Chiang), Shirt (Arrow), and 100% silk red tie from England together cost $11.50.

Thrift Store Suite (435x580)

When I visited Deborah’s Next To New, a consignment store in Escondido, I found furniture, accessories, and clothing all in excellent condition and at very reasonable prices.  If you’re looking for designer dresses, how about this $350.00 Tory Burch dress for $49.00?

Thrift Store Blue Dress (411x580)

I watch Project Runway and am a big Zac Posen fan!  Though  his clothing and accessory line is quite expensive,  here’s a brand new Zac Posen purse for $99.00, with the original price tag still on: $550.00!

Thrift Store Designer Handbag (580x435)

If you’re into jeans, particularly like these, True Religion, you know they are not cheap.  Yet, I found these for $49.00.

Thrift Store Designer Jeans (392x580)

Coach is another brand with higher priced shoes, with ankle boots like these in the $200-$300.00 price range.  These were $59.00.

Thrift Store Designer Shoes Coach (580x443)

It’s always smart to check the store for their “discounted” or “On Sale” sections.  In this section I found this Forever 21 grey lace dress for $1.50, the Alya geometric dress (new on the runway this season) for $4.75, and the green sleeveless dress from Calvin Klein for $3.00.

Thrift Store Designer Dress (376x580)

Thrift Store Printed Dress (435x580)

Thrift Store White Dress (435x580)

About the author

T Berokoff

T Berokoff teaches college communication courses and helps her husband take care of their rural property in San Diego County. They raise and race homing pigeons as members of the Palomar Racing Pigeon Club. T also writes for the Racing Pigeon Digest and her articles about pigeons can be also be found online on numerous pigeon posts. You can reach T at