An ode to the cast-offs and rejects

I’m sure you’ve done it before. That pair of jeans once favored for hugging your curves in all the right places now find themselves thoughtlessly folded and piled in the closet alongside the overpriced blouse you wish you hadn’t wasted on that fantastically terrible blind date your sister’s fiancé’s brother set you up on oh so many years ago. These garments will soon meet their fate in the overflowing hefty bag full of similar victims of your past.

There was once a time when you could not have fathomed parting with such frequented rotations from your wardrobe, but their appeal has faded as quickly as the distressed, stone-washed threads that were once highly coveted a mere two seasons ago. As soon as you’ve loaded those hefty bags into your car and dropped them off at the nearest Good Will, you’ll give yourself a pat on the back for donating your hand-me-downs to those less fortunate, as this is who we’ve been conditioned to believe to be the sole consumer of preowned fashion.

Thrift stores have often been unfairly perceived as “the place where all fashion goes to die” due to it’s negative connotation with the desperate and needy or unfashionable penny-pinchers; but that stigma has lifted through decades of growth and awareness. As the world saw radical reform to social injustices, so did the major fashion houses and this change has been reflected in their designs.

Emerging designers have embraced a more humble and eco-friendly approach. Trendsetters and celebrities have even spoken out in support of boycotts to industry giants due to the unethical treatment of workers and the toxic fumes emitted from the factories.

Thrift shopping, which was once considered to be a fashion faux pas by fashion icons, has now gained popularity among both the fashion-forward community and those who are more socially conscious. Consciousness is the new cool and a possibility of waste reduction heavily influences the modern day shopper. Giving back to the community is no new notion for second-hand retailers, but now we even have online consignment shops that will actually buy your “gently used” items. How cool is that?

If you are trend savvy but don’t have pockets steep enough to support such a fickle guilty pleasure, reconsider the secondhand lane. Not only will your dollar go further, you may even strike gold and find a rare vintage designer piece that otherwise would have been unattainable. You can also sleep easier knowing you’ve helped to lessen the environmental impact of the apparel industry and have made good on that commitment to recycle you made way back in elementary school. After all, everything old becomes new again and a true trendsetter knows fashion is no exception.

Photo by Artificial Photography on Unsplash

Blogger, copywriter and aspiring wordsmith.

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