Monday, August 20, 2007

Second-Hand Clothes for Work and School

If you need a two-week rotation of clothes for work or school, you may find yourself looking at several hundred dollars (20 pieces of clothing x $a modest 30 each = $600). In Second-Hand Clothes Get Brand-New Reputation, we learn that people actually buy second-hand clothes for work and school. Shocking, I know.

The National Association of Resale & Thrift Shops (NARTS) estimates sales in the secondhand industry have risen about 5% each year for the last decade. America's Research Group says up to 15% of people shop at resale or consignment shops at least once a year; 21% visit a department store at least that often.
The article focuses on consignment and vintage stores, which are different than thrift stores, my shop of choice (I fear this may be a class distinction).

Buying second-hand clothes has a number of benefits. Second-hand clothes are generally much less expensive than new clothes, which is probably the reason that brings people into the stores in the first place. There is generally more variety. Second-hand clothes are an important element of recycling of clothes. Often the money you pay for second-hand clothes is part of keeping a non-profit or small business running (as opposed to say keeping Mervyn's or Target running) and doesn't contribute to the national trade deficit.