Hello world!

Why I Shop Thrift

 The words “second-hand” have been a part of my vocabulary for as long as I can remember. I grew up with hand-me-downs and things my mom bought at the local Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Thrift Shop. When I began earning my own money, it was just natural that I would shop there as well. I still have the very first item I bought with my own money over 25 years ago: an over-sized, man’s sweater.

 It was 1979, a couple years after the release of the movie Annie Hall, I was 14 and all my friends were wearing men’s clothes: suit jackets, shirts and ties. I picked up this sweater for a dollar and when I wore it to school the next day I was the envy of them all.

 I also made several discoveries. Not only could I be the height of current fashion without spending a fortune, I could also be unique. When my friends asked where I got the sweater, ready to go out and get theirs, it was with smug satisfaction that I said ‘sorry, I got this at MCC, it was the only one there!’

 I still love a good deal, but thrift shop shopping means more to me than that. When I shop at a Thrift Shop, I support the ministry of the non-profit organization that runs it. It’s unique way to support that charity – way more fun than writing a cheque.

 When I shop at a Thrift Shop, I support the value of volunteerism – since the majority of those who work there are volunteers. It behooves me to give those dedicated men and women something to do. I also know that many of those volunteers have stories of how they or their families have benefited directly from that organization; MCC is a perfect example of that. That they now give their time to support MCC with their unique contribution moves me to shop there. I have since become a volunteer at the MCC Abby East Thrift Shop – something I’ll blog about in the future.

 When I shop at a thrift shop, I support the value of recycling. Thrift shops give items a second life rather than sending them to a landfill. I donate unwanted items to thrift shops because I know that others may well want them very much. One man’s garbage truly is another man’s treasure – you just never know what someone else will find valuable.

 When I shop at a thrift shop, I am making a statement against a consumer driven, instant-gratification focused society. Thrift shopping is not like regular shopping. Thrift shopping means you go to see what you’ll find, rather than find what you’re looking for. It requires a willingness to wait, not something we as a society are encouraged to do very often.

 Thrift shopping is a firmly entrenched practice my life and the values that go with it have been passed on to my son who also works at and loves shopping thrift. We love everything about thrift shopping and it is my hope that this blog will be an opportunity to share what we value about a thrift lifestyle.

 Why do you shop thrift?

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15 Responses to Hello world!

  1. Waltrude Gortzen says:

    This is a red letter day, indeed! 🙂

  2. John Dawson says:

    Good start! It’s easy to tell you’re a writer, and that your reasons for thrift shopping have been worked out over a life time of doing it. Hopefully you can inspire a whole new wave of Thrift Shoppers for Peace.
    Note: If you list your blog this way https://thriftshopperforpeace.wordpress.com it will create a hyperlink people can click on when you are sending them an email invite to your site. Much easier for those less technically literate.

    • angelika says:

      excellent suggestion my dear. proof that my readers are intelligent and will have lots to teach me!

  3. Sherry Redekop says:

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Denise says:

    I am thrilled that you have entered the world of blogging….my friend you were made for writing!!!!!

  5. Doris says:

    So glad that you’re finding new and fun ways to share your gift of words, Angelika! And I love that you used the word “behooves” – I don’t think it gets used enough!! I’m looking forward to reading many more of your entries.

  6. sonja everson says:

    What a great blog idea. I hope you’ll be sharing with us some pictures and stories of all your great finds!

  7. La Vern says:

    Angelika, you are a woman after my own heart! I am very interested to continue reading your well-written blog. You’ve hit all the reasons I shop thrift, except I hadn’t thought of it as supporting volunteerism before, but it certainly does.

    Further challenges for me (besides the waiting and being deliberate about what’s purchased despite the strong desire to accumulate, already mentioned) are, living in a smaller town where the stores have less selection, finding clothes for men and boys, and trying not to buy things made in countries with questionable labour practices.

    I look forward to reading more!

    • angelika says:

      your wrestle with valid issues – the latter point is something i intend to explore in future blogs, so keep coming back!

  8. #Waldimar Neufeld says:

    I have joined the volunteer crew at Abby east, and you are right, once in the center of this activity, I want to buy most of the things that come thru receiving…its addictive and at my age who needs more stuff.
    It is sickening in a way to see how advanced we have become as a throw away culture.

  9. Laura says:

    I’m happy to have come across your blog, and share the same sentiments and those of the comments above. As someone who makes things, I also thrift as a source of materials without having to buy new.

  10. Penny says:

    Well done Angelika!! I too have been shopping at thrift stores for many years. As a single mom, the deals you could find were fantastic. And now with my daughter being a single mom with four children, we are constantly looking for deals. My sister and I have also been thrift shoppers forever and for us it is always an adventure. What better way to bond then searching for treasures.

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