Thrift Your Way Through East Lansing A sustainable way of shopping

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The holidays are a time to come together and appreciate friends and family, and one way we show that appreciation is through gift giving. Typically, we spend a lot of time shopping for gifts or stocking up on things during post-holiday sales. While indulging for yourself or for a friend during the holiday season is something that most of us love and know as tradition, we at ing want to expand your consumption options with a shopping trend that has been growing in popularity: thrifting.

Despite popular belief, the word “thrifting” doesn’t just mean buying your grandmother’s old sweaters — although we’re not saying that you won’t see anything that resembles one if you go to a thrift shop! If you take your time and search hard enough, finding hidden gems in an overwhelming thrift store can be easy, and you’ll feel accomplished at the same time.

Thrift stores vary greatly, so know what you’re getting into before stepping into one. The stores that rely solely on donations like the Salvation Army, Goodwill and Volunteers of America (VOA) are the cheapest thrift stores with the most variety of items; there’s usually at least one of them in every city. The inventory can be overwhelming in stock, but you can often find the best items for the best prices in these stores.

When it comes to thrifting at “SalVal,” Goodwill and VOA, pay attention to the deals that these stores may be having (lots of them have a weekly “color” where items with a certain colored tag are discounted), don’t be on a time crunch when you go and go into it with an open mind — this will help you find the best pieces possible.

If you’re less into hunting for hidden gems and more into having a curated selection of items, smaller consignment or secondhand shops are available. Local options include Kellie’s Consignments in Okemos and Metro Retro in Lansing, among many others.

Thrifting is a sustainable shopping method, but it is also an unconventional way to give back to the planet. It’s no secret that buying from big companies with extremely low clothing prices isn’t the most eco-friendly or ethical consumer decision. Since purchasing from pricier brands that are ethically transparent in clothing production isn’t feasible for everyone, thrifting and reusing materials are beneficial alternatives.

The holidays are a time for giving back, and thrifting is one way you can give back: not only seasonally, but throughout the entire year. Although it’s hard to avoid purchasing from brands that may not be the most ethical, you can be a more conscious consumer by staying aware of where your clothes come from, the factors that go into making them and more sustainable shopping choices.