Enviro Girl was reminded last Friday why she adores shopping at consignment shops. First, it’s the most environmentally friendly way to shop. When you buy used items, you reduce your environmental impact in a major way. Used clothes don’t require new materials, energy or resources to manufacture. They also don’t require new packaging or additional shipping. (Consider for a moment the impact of cotton grown in America, shipped to China for processing, then exported to Vietnam where workers will cut and sew the cloth, then the clothing gets shipped back across the ocean to America to a warehouse where it will then get transported to various stores to be sold to customers.) Buying new clothes uses a lot of resources and energy. If you can reuse clothes by buying them used, it’s much better for the planet.
Second, Enviro Girl enjoys shopping at consignment stores because of the quality. Thrift stores have pretty low standards: no holes, tears or stains. Consignment stores have higher standards–they only take clothing currently in fashion and generally take higher-end brands and quality. The owners of consignment stores hand select the best offerings from their customers and set it out on the store floor in an appealing manner. Thrift shops tend to be slapped together, customers have to really dig around to find good things smushed in among the rest. Enviro Girl is an incredibly lazy shopper, so when the store assumes the burden of the work for her, she’s always grateful.
Shopping consignment costs a little more than shopping at a thrift store, but Enviro Girl still thinks it’s a phenomenal deal. She’s bought sweaters, blouses and skirts for $15-$20 that retail at places like Banana Republic and Ann Taylor for $50-$80. Sure, she’d pay less for those things at a thrift store, but that’s provided she could even find them at a thrift store!
Consignment shops are owned by people passionate about fashion. Enviro Girl needs all the help she can get on that front, and really appreciates the relationship she has with her local consignment store owner. She’s set in a dressing room, clothes in her size are passed through to her, and advice on how to wear clothes is freely handed out. The store owner knows what’s hot and what’s not, takes into consideration the customers’ lifestyle and age, and recommends clothing that the customers will get the most mileage out of.
Alternately, if you are a fashionista, consignment stores offer you an opportunity to unload things you’ve grown tired of and make some money back. Enviro Girl knows many women who take their clothes to consignment stores and earn hundreds of dollars that they can use for new clothes. Consignment stores are a brilliant combination of swapping and recycling.
Finally, Enviro Girl likes consignment stores because of the variety. It’s like an entire mall of stores under one single roof. On her last visit to her favorite consignment store, she bought a sweater by L.L. Bean, a skirt from Banana Republic, a blouse from The Limited, a necklace from Chicos and a sweater by Ann Taylor–for under $100. Instead of having to pay full price at a whole bunch of different stores, overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices (another part of shopping that Enviro Girl hates), she was able to go to one locally owned and operated shop and get all of these things.
If you haven’t shopped consignment yet, give it a try. If you do shop consignment, tell us about it!
Enviro Girl loves the selection and service at Chic to Chic.