What does it mean for something to be “new.” The most frequent way we hear about it in terms of clothing is something that’s new with tags. What I’ve learned from my years of thrifting is that you can find things still new with tags at secondhand stores like Goodwill. Read on to see why sustainable shopping should include repairs.

That’s how I stumbled upon a full seasonal collection of Rachel Zoe’s ready-to-wear collection and a new-with-tags Prada blouse. Even if these items didn’t have the original tags on them, you easily can tell how new, or worn, pieces of clothing are by taking a close look at them in the store. In today’s Instagram culture where you likely wouldn’t want to be photographed in the same outfit twice, it’s not surprising that the majority of the items I’ve brought home from Goodwill look pretty much brand new. For items that are great quality but might need a little bit of repair, it’s still worth it to take them home and break out my sewing kit. They may have been worn before, but they’re still new to me and my closet!

I’m willing to take some extra steps to shop smarter and more consciously. That might mean buying a pair of Joe’s Jeans from Goodwill with a small hole by the hem that I know I can patch up instead of buying the same pair, same size off the rack at a department store at full price. It also meant taking home this adorable Lovers & Friends square neck top, even though the bottom button was a little bit loose. With my handy little sewing kit, I was able to repair that and tighten up the other buttons in a few minutes.

When I shop at Goodwill, I’m supporting my community at the local scale, knowing the full amount of my purchase is used for jobs and trainings. I also know I’m supporting our larger community; with each secondhand purchase I make being a choice in solidarity with hope for a healthier planet. Think about small changes you can make to live a more sustainable life which is why sustainable shopping should include repairs.

By: Felicia Czochanski

sustainable shopping should include repairs