As the issue of fast-fashion rises, it’s more important than ever to shop ethically whenever you can. In recent years, there seems to be growing popularity for thrift shopping. Made particularly popular by apps like Pinterest, Depop, and TikTok, teens are finding a new passion with thrifting.
There so many benefits and good things that come from making the conscious decision of supporting your local thrift store rather than a large company that may support fast fashion and unethical behavior. By definition, fast-fashion is ‘inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.’ While this definition doesn’t sound very bad, the process and effects of fast fashion are detrimental. Fast fashion brands such as Shein or Zaful are known for their terrible working conditions and the unfair wages and treatment of their employees.
Another reason to shop small is for the environment. The fashion and clothing industry is the second most polluting industry following the coal and ore mining industry. The constant new trends mean the constant production of fabrics and materials from nature along with brands dumping chemicals and other pollutants into bodies of water. Thrifting allows there to be less waste of products and resources.
The last positive thing about thrifting that I wanted to talk about is that (most likely) you aren’t going to see anyone wearing the same thing as you. This is super fun and it really allows you to have your own personal style.
Now, here are seven of the most highly rated thrift stores in NYC!
Goodwill- While this is a relatively well-known thrift store, this particular location is notorious for having really out-there and unique pieces. It is located at 258 Livingston St in Brooklyn. This is also a great place to donate old clothes!
Stella Dallas Living- This super insta-worthy thrift store is located in Brooklyn on 281 N Sixth St. They have an abundance of cute graphic tees and sweatshirts!
No Relation- Personally, I love this thrift store because there are two different locations on different sides of the city. The Manhattan location is on 202 First Ave and the Brooklyn store is at 654 Sackett St. Packed from floor to ceiling with amazing pieces, there’s definitely something for everybody!
Urban Jungle- Part of a fellow thrift shop, L Train Vintage, Urban Jungle is a modern type vintage store with cool, funky pieces. Along with being known for their pieces of crazy patterns, the store is also a great place to stock up on this season’s latest trends. This winter, blazers and sweater vests seem to be taking over our Pinterest feed (which this store happens to have an abundance of!) To get there all you have to do is take the L Train or go to 120 Knickerbocker Ave. Brooklyn!
East Village Thrift and Donation Center- Nestled on 186 2nd Ave. in the East Village, the reviews on this store are mixed but a majority of customers say their experience was great and that they found good pieces. Going through reviews, I noticed a common theme, a lot of people were saying that if you took the time to really search in piles and racks, there were great pieces.
L Train Vintage- As a part of Urban Jungle, this thrift shop has three different locations around the city. The first location is in Brooklyn at 106 Thames St. The second location is on 629 Grand St. (in Brooklyn as well!). Last but not least, their third location in Brooklyn on 1377 Dekalb Avenue. While notorious for being slightly overpriced, the items that you can find make up for it!
Buffalo Exchange- Finishing up this list, we have a store called Buffalo Exchange with four locations throughout the city. Their locations are, 332 East 11th, 714 Broadway, 114 West 26th, 109 Boerum Place, and 504 Driggs Ave. In their stores, they have a lot of coats and outerwear along with fun shoes and bags. They also offer cash for your old clothes, similar to a consignment store!
Whether you thrift for affordability, sustainability or simply like the clothes you can find, thrifting is definitely a great alternative to supporting fast fashion brands! Over the past few years, thrifting has been such a fun thing to do for me and it makes me feel good knowing I’m supporting a small, ethically operated business (especially in these trying times)!