Monday, April 18, 2011

It's a Great Day for Thrifting!

It’s a great day for thrifting! Here’s why:
  1. It’s adventurous! Thrift-shopping is kind of like treasure hunting. I never know exactly what I’ll find, and along the way I may discover some unexpected lovely or quirky items that draw out my own unique style.
  2. It’s resourceful! I’m always amazed by the bargains I can find when thrifting. Just this morning at a church rummage sale I bought an entire bag of clothes for my dad for only $2. Among the items was an Izod cable knit sweater, new with the tag!
  3. It’s creative! I love fashion and sewing, but I’m by no means a professional. Buying clothes at a cheap price gives me the freedom to have fun experimenting and remaking outfits without a lot of financial risk. 
  4. It’s helpful! Thrifting directly benefits the community. This weekend, for example, one of the large churches in our town hosted a rummage sale as a fund-raiser for their summer youth missions program. When I went this morning, the cashier told me they had already raised over $25,000 from yesterday’s sales alone! Isn’t that cool?!
These are just a few reasons why I’ve come to love thrifting. More and more I’ve come to see that thrifting is a valuable aspect of good stewardship. It benefits not only my wallet, but the community and the planet, as well.

At first I started thrifting just because I saw it as a way to benefit my wallet. Buying clothes at the thrift store stretches my limited money. I have a lot of fun buying and wearing cute outfits, but at a fraction of retail price. I’ve been able to afford the lifestyle choices that I have made (serving/working at a Christian ministry, pursuing my graduate education, etc.) largely because I’ve learned to find ways to maximize my style with minimum financial expense.

I’ve also come to realize how thrifting benefits the community. The more I've shopped second-hand, the more aware I've become of the abundance that is so much a part of our American culture. It’s so easy just to acquire stuff, that most of us have a lot more than we need or use. Thrift stores or rummage sales provide incentive for us to sort, purge, and de-clutter our own personal belongings. When we have a good cause for which to donate, there’s often more motivation to pass on stuff that is otherwise just collecting dust in our closets, basements, attics, and garages. Why keep stuff we don’t use, when there’s someone else who will? It’s especially satisfying when we know that the proceeds from our donations/purchases are used to support local programs that better our community.

Recently, I’ve also come to consider the positive impact that thrifting has on the planet. The popular terms we see all the time, such as “Green” and “Eco-friendly” call us to incorporate in our daily lives ways to take care of the planet entrusted to us. We are stewards, not only of the money God gives to us as individuals, but also of His creation at large; we are accountable to Him to use it and care for it with gratefulness, diligence, and moderation. Thrifting is such an effective way to “reduce, reuse, recycle.”

Ahh, so many reasons that it’s a great day for thrifting!

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