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One of the most frequent questions I get asked is, is it safe/ok/gross/not gross/ to buy things from a thrift store?  I’m going to leave you with a few thoughts that will hopefully ease any anxieties or misunderstandings.

1. Think about when you’ve donated to a thrift store.  Did you pull your dirty clothes out of your hamper and decide to donate them?  Probably not!  Most likely you decided it was time to clean out your closet and sorted out what you wanted to donate.  I would say the majority of people do it this way.

2.  A lot of the clothing that ends up at Goodwill and other stores is clean in the first place, but the employees do an amazing job of then sorting out anything that’s truly dirty.

3. If you’re grossed out by wearing clothes that someone else has worn, just remember that a ton of people before you tried on the same dress you’re trying on in a mall!  Maybe someone even owned it and returned it!  Oh, and you can always wash it.

4.  If you feel that it’s beneath you to wear used clothing, don’t think of it in terms of money.  Remember that you’re helping the environment out by recycling clothing!  About 13 million tons of ‘textiles’ (so clothing, curtains, etc.) were thrown away in 2010, but essentially 100% of that can be recycled in one way or another.  Or do think about it in terms of money.  In 2004, ‘used merchandise stores’ employed almost 130,000 people…which is totally awesome.

If these aren’t enough to get you to start thrifting…I guess you’re leaving more for the rest of us!