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Follow these 7 tips to become an expert thrift shopper

Thrift shopping is a stylish and effective way to reduce the impact that fashion has on the planet. It’s also trendy at the moment, which means there’s a whole array of different thrift shops and websites offering second-hand clothing for you to explore. Before you go hunting for second-hand fashion gems, check out this list of great tips that will help you thrift shop without getting overwhelmed by all the options.

Dress comfortably: Shopping for second-hand clothing will likely have you going in and out of changing rooms. That’s why it’s a good idea to wear clothes and shoes that are easy to take off or to wear clothes such as leggings that you can try things on over.

Know what you’re looking for: Thrift shops are usually overflowing with garments, so it’s wise to have a mental list of what you’re looking for. That said, it’s never a bad idea to keep an eye out for unexpected gems.

Know your personal style: In the Pre-Loved Podcast series, host Emily Stochl says it’s a good idea to save pictures of the styles you like to a private collection on Instagram or Pinterest. When in doubt about a garment, you can reference this to figure out whether or not you’ll end up liking it. Of course, you can also just allow yourself the freedom to pick and choose as you go without thinking about your previous taste for fashion. Second-hand clothes tend to be cheap, so it’s a good opportunity to invest in clothes you might not buy otherwise.

Look for quality: Before you pull out your wallet, scan items for stains, holes, missing buttons, and other defects that the clothing might have. It’s also not a bad idea to smell the items to make sure they’re fresh and clean.

Choose natural fibers whenever possible: Clothing made from natural fibers such as hemp or wool does not release microplastic particles when washed. They also tend to age better than synthetic and blended materials and are easier to repair.

Seek out children’s clothes: Kids go through clothing quickly as they grow, so do your wallet a favor and buy their clothing at a second-hand clothing store. And if your child has clothing that they have outgrown, continue the cycle by donating to a thrift shop.

Go online: With the pandemic still going on, it’s not a bad idea to do second-hand shopping online. There are plenty of online options for doing this, with more coming online each day. In fact, Internet-based secondhand shopping is expected to grow 69 percent between 2019 and 2021. Websites like Goodfair, thredUP, and Poshmark are all good shops when thrift shopping online.

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