Thrifting, Consignment, or Fast Fashion: Which is Better?

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Emily McManus, Staff Reporter.

Thrifting has increased in popularity lately which is a huge step in buying ethically, and consignment stores offer better deals at a fraction of the price. People are comparing thrifting to fast fashion due to the prices but what’s the difference in all of these shopping options?

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When you thrift, all of the items there are donated. Places like Goodwill, and countless others are places that donate to charities with the money that they earn from the clothes that are sold there. The popularization of thrifting will greatly help our environment as well. Instead of ordering from fast fashion companies you can buy something for the same price and a much better quality. Thrifting keeps clothing out of landfills and is  environmentally better.

Consignment shops, while being similar are slightly different. When you shop at consignment stores like Uptown Cheapskate, the clothes there were not donated. This is what makes it a consignment shop.  This store, like Goodwill has many different locations all over the place and is a much better option then constantly buying fast fashion. The main difference is that instead of giving them your clothing for free, you sell them your clothes. If they like what you have brought in and they are in good condition, they will give you a percentage of how much they are going to sell those clothes for. This makes consignment stores a little bit pricier. You are still getting a deal, but not as much of one for say the same piece you would find at Goodwill. Consignment stores like Uptown Cheapskate also might sell their own brands. These brands may be fast fashion but because most of the clothes that are sold there are resold, it is still a better way to shop.

Photo Credit:Uptown Cheapskate, Resale Clothing Business Ranks #117 Franchise 500

Fast fashion is a completely different issue in itself. The quality of these pieces are far from good. These clothes are cheap, and that is the appeal. But the real question is would you rather pay 5 dollars ( plus shipping) for a poorly made shirt, or buy a shirt from a thrift store that is the same price and comes with an incredible difference in material. Not only does fast fashion contribute to wastefulness, it thrives off of microtrends. With trends changing more constantly due to the increased availability of viewing, they are dying just as fast as they appear. So what does that mean for fast fashion? It means that the micro trends that they are catering to are ending up in landfills. Some of the clothing that these companies produce are ending up in thrift stores as well, but at that point if you buy them you are not supporting the company that made it, but the thrift store that currently has it.

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These places all provide different shopping experiences and a variety of options. Whenever you shop, think about where your money is going and who you are supporting.