So far so good in my attempt to buy nothing new for all of 2010, even though I have been tempted on a few occasions. These occasions came when I was out shopping with my husband as he picked up essentials he needed for work or with my son as he replaced clothing he had grown out of. On these shopping excursions, I couldn't help but wander off to one of my favorite stores to check out their offerings and in no time at all, I would find myself trying things on in the dressing room or slipping my feet into a new pair of shoes. At these times, I would usually tell myself that I quite possibly did need a new outfit for my son's upcoming college graduation, or that my current jeans were ill-fitting and it would be OK to break the Compact for that reason.
But I didn't break the Compact that I had made with both myself and the earth, and didn't bow to temptation, even when confronted with a pair of Frye boots on sale- something I have been longing to own for several years. Time and time again over the last three months, I have simply walked away, telling myself I could always go back if I really needed to, but never actually doing it.
The walking away was made easier in part because I discovered a real gem in my area- a thrift store that sells wonderful high quality clothing. I have been shopping at thrift stores and garage sales for clothing since my 22 year old son started school and have found many nice things over the years, but never before have I found a store with such a nice selection. Another benefit is that many times the clothing I find at my local thrift store is of a higher quality than what I could find at the mall. On a recent weekend tagging along as my husband shopped for new suits at a local mall, I decided to look for something to wear to my son's graduation. I was dismayed at the flimsy material on a outfit I saw at a J.Jill store and happily found a much nicer outfit the following week at the thrift store. Based on the quality, the thrift store outfit would cost much more new than I would ever consider spending which ultimately allows me to spend less to look better.
The pictures above show just a few of the things I have picked up in the last few weeks. I visit the thrift store once a week to check out their current stock and pick up those things I may need for this season or next winter, expanding my wardrobe without impacting the planet. I find it fun and challenging to shop this way and love the thrill of the hunt. All of the women that work at the thrift shop purchase their clothing there and it is amazing to see the fantastic outfits they come up with. It inspires me to try new and different things myself.
Even though I find it easier to find great outfits at my thrift store here than some of the other stores I have tried in the past, I do know that something essential or unique can be found at any thrift store you try. From cloth napkins to books to furniture....I have found it all at a thrift store. Give it a try...you never know what is going to turn up!