Conscious Living is a series which takes a closer look at living a life full of thoughtful choices and conscious decision making in order to live a life full of meaning, self-love, and respect for ourselves and the world around us

If any of you were in college in the US in the mid 2000s and counted yourself amongst the artsy crowd, I am sure you can relate to what life was like for me back then:

10 Reasons why Thrifting Rocks -

It was the third wave of the indie movement, and I was reading Magnet Magazine, going to gigs in oversized sweaters, leggings, and slouchy 80s boots (I swear every single artsy college girl owned a pair), listening to Tegan and Sara and Metric on repeat while working late in the art studio at night, working on my college Newspaper, and piling into my car on the weekends with my friends so we could hit up the Goodwill in the neighboring town near our college where we would furiously sift through the racks grabbing anything that was pastel colored, had bat-wing sleeves, was made of polyester, and/or came straight out of the 80s. I was also got really into thrifting kitschy homeware in college, and decked my entire room out in thrifted patterns from the 60s.

During winter break, we did much of the same, just in the city, where you could find me complaining about the prices at Beacon’s Closet in comparison to Goodwill with my friends over some of the best goddamned vegan cuisine Brooklyn had to offer in on Bedford Ave right before dashing off to see Gogol Bordello play live at the Bowery ballroom.

10 Reasons why Thrifting Rocks -

But surprisingly, my love affair with Goodwill, Salvation Army, and even Beacon’s closet – despite being the word’s biggest elitist hipster (is that redundant?) store – started ages ago before I had ever even heard of bands like Q and not U or played at my very first open mic.

To be completely honest, I am not exactly sure how I originally got into buying second hand clothing, but it started back in middle school when I was in the 7th grade. Somehow I got it into my head that wearing old T-shirts was my thing.

Back then, I would buy used T-shirts from ebay and crudely DIY them into skirts and dresses and would beg my mom to take me to the Goodwill and Salvation Army on the weekends, where I would fill a shopping basket full of new-used items and buy it all for under 20 bucks. I found awesome tote bags, little league baseball T-shirts, and a Boy Scout shirt that I wore religiously for ages. (Still wondering where that is, because I would definitely like to give it a good wear again.)

10 Reasons why Thrifting Rocks -

And so now, as I reside in the second-hand capital of Europe, only rivalled by London, I find myself falling in love with thrifting all over again – except this time with oversized nordic sweaters and faux fur jackets. Thrifting has always been something I have loved doing for many reasons, 10 if which I would like to share with you guys today here on LFB:

10 Reasons why Thrifting Rocks

1: It’s good for the environment
This is one of the number one reasons for me why I love to thrift. I love the idea of re-using something already worn and turning someone else’s old trash into my new treasure. Not only is re-using the green thing to do, but by buying used, you can also actively choose not to support giant corporations with shady environmental policies and crappy working conditions.

10 Reasons why Thrifting Rocks -

2: You give back to the local community
When you buy second hand, not only are you doing something green, you are also helping your own local community. By shopping at locally-owned thrift stores, you are stimulating the local economy instead of putting your money into the hands of some giant faceless corporation. (Note: Yes, even I am very guilty of shopping at places like Primark and UO, but by supplementing my shopping with thrifted finds, I can at least cut down on the amount of newly manufactured items I purchase and give back to the community at the same time.)

10 Reasons why Thrifting Rocks -

3: You give something a second life
There is no better feeling than finding a new purpose for something old. I love the idea of giving an item back it’s dignity, by making it useful and loved once again.

4: Your clothing has a story to tell
I always find it really interesting to think of who might have worn the items before me. Now I know for some people, this thought is kind of gross, as somebody else has undoubtedly sweated in that very item before you, but hey! That’s what laundry detergent is for! Besides, I think it’s really cool to imagine some homely grandpa chillin’ in a rocking chair with a pipe while wearing the nordic sweater I now own.

10 Reasons why Thrifting Rocks -

5: It’s one-of-a-kind
To be honest, I am not really the kind of person that gets too fussed if I notice someone is wearing the same thing as me. Still, it can be a bit annoying and when I buy a dress at a popular store like UO, I often stop and pause to think if I want to purchase something 20 other girls in the city will inevitably also own. Luckily when you buy second hand, you can avoid this kind of snafu entirely!

6: Quality
Most of what we buy these days is fast fashion and this fast fashion is mass-produced in giant factories using cheap textiles. However, a lot of thrifted finds are older and have stood the test of time. Yes, a lot of stuff you may find can be utter rubbish as well, but there is nothing better than finding those total gems amongst the heap of crap.

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7: It’s affordable
If you are on a budget or are looking to save money, you can often find very similar items to what chain stores are selling for a fraction of the price. Unfortunately, if you are living in an area where thrifting is quite popular, you might be looking at price tags in the double digits rather than the single digits. Still, I am definitely more inclined to pay 30 for something used than twice as much for it’s contemporary high street doppelganger, as it is unique, being given a second life, and is often better made.

10 Reasons why Thrifting Rocks -

8: You can support a charitable cause and give back
A lot of thrift stores are run by non-profit organizations or charities. I have also bought second hand items at Churches before. I love the idea of this money going towards these causes. I have also purchased second-hand items at garage sales and it makes me feel good knowing that my money is going directly to another person who can use it for their own personal benefit.

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9: You can recycle your own used items
Thrift stores are not only great to shop at, they are also a great way to offload some of your old items and give them second homes. Bonus if you are also able to make a bit of commission off of the items as well! I sold some of my more expensive designer pieces to a consignment shop, and it was so nice to know my items were getting a new home and I was getting a bit of pocket money in exchange.

10 Reasons why Thrifting Rocks -

10: It’s a great way to find hidden treasures
Oftentimes, what you find in one high street shop is virtually identical to what you will find in another. These stores base their inventory on what is trending at the moment. Thrift stores do not. Not only will you find unique pieces, but you will also find a lot of insane and just plain weirdly awesome stuff you can re-purpose. This is especially true for the home good section, where I have found some of the most awesome mugs and cups on earth over the years.

Lastly, thrifting is just fun, plain and simple. And with so many positive reasons to do it, if you haven’t already, you definitely should get crackin’!

Love to thift? Have even more reasons why buying second hand is awesome? Let me know in the comments below!

Photography: Sandro Mosco
Editing: Rae Tashman

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Stay conscious, Rae


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Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.


  • missgetaway

    Absolutely love this! When I grew up I always wanted to go thrift shopping but the shops we had in our tiny town were crap! When I moved out and into the city 3 years ago I felt like I went to heaven with all the (finally good) shops to thrift!

    Love, Kerstin

  • Michèle

    looks so so cool. LOVE your hair

  • Yes, thfiting is so much fun! Just the thought of finding something that suits you is already thrilling :D

  • Hi Rae,
    I’m curious as to your thrift shop recommendations in Berlin – just moved here a few months ago and I’m eager to explore :)

  • I haven’t thrifted in SO long – probably since college ;) This post is inspiring!


  • I absolutely love thrift/consignment shops. I don’t support the Salvation Army because of their stand on LGBT rights, though. When I was in college there was an absolutely amazing little swap shop called Leche’s that was right around the corner from my apartment, and I spent more than enough time in there for several lifetimes! Nowadays I love scouring for furniture pieces/appliances/other home decor items as well. It’s great if you’re into reviving/repainting old furniture like I am! 😊 Thanks for sharing!

  • I absolutely love thrift shopping! My mum used to take me to second hand stores pretty often when I was younger and now I find myself in them, too! This post is quite inspiring, it makes me feel even better about doing it. And I totally agree with you. Whereabouts in Berlin is that shop, if you don’t mind me asking? Any recs? :-)

    Hannie Arden from

  • Elizabeth Hisle

    Thrift shopping is my way of life! Like you, I will occasionally pick up an item at UO, H&M, or Free People, but these days most of my “new” clothes are from Goodwill. It has spoiled me rotten too, because I am nitpicky about quality and prices. I rarely will pay more than $10 for a dress now. What’s the best little treasure you have found thrifting? I found a Canon AE-1 this weekend!

  • I think I’m a supporter of thrifting in theory but in the pas occasions where I’ve tried going to the shops (here, at least) it’s definitely not worth what you’re paying… I suppose that’s the only downside. I think in the States or Germany you’d probably get much more options and have many more places to choose from! My favourite things to thrift buy though, are homeware! I’ve got some great vases for the house which are amazing quality too ;)

    Cherie x
    say hi at sinonym

  • Danielle

    I love this idea! I am not going to lie, I have never done this but now I just might give it a try! have an amazing day!


  • All these reasons are 100% true – but I’ve tried thrifting so many times and I just can’t get into it. Usually when I shop, I have a very specific item in mind that I just don’t have the patience to be able to find it on the racks!

  • this is such an interesting post as i dont normally go to charity stores for my clothes but ever since moving home I have been giving some of my things away and its such a great thing to do as you dont feel like you’re wasiting xx

  • I’ve made several attempts to thrifting, but unfortunately my experience wasn’t the best. I was surprised, because I live in the big capital city (Warsaw) and there should be many great thrift stores here. Well, either there aren’t or I’m not really good at finding them ;) I either came across stores that sold typical high street kind of clothes (but in poor condition) or the ones with better quality and more unique pieces but, unfortunately, insanely expensive.

    However, I’d love to shop at thrift stores for all of the reasons you mentioned. I especially love mixing some secon-handed items with new ones. Right now, I have most of my “vintage” pieces from my mum and grandmas, but I’m planning to move abroad soon and maybe I’ll have better thrifting possibilities there :)

  • Rae, You totally rock! Agreed with your all reasons and I love to attempt myself to go thrift stores every time I’m in town. However it’s not easy to find a hidden gems. It requires patience and time. I made a couple trips to do this, but I never got clothes that I was looking for, and I went back shopping online which it’s easier. Any tips you use to find the items that suit you? Love to hear more about that too. xo Anita

    IG/Twitter/FB: siammpatra

  • These are such great tips! I often buy second hand jewellery and I always take old clothes to the charity shop rather than throwing them away

  • I agree; I once read an article about Goodwill that they’re forced to end up dumping a huge part of items they received. Unfortunately I can’t remember the exactly percentage and I don’t want to make one up but I do remember the number to be quite alarming. It’s no good to just donate, and a good way to close the loop is by thrifting! Great post.

    xo, alice / T Y P E N U

  • Absolutely adore this post! Such great points and beautiful photos to accompany it x

    Hannah | Oh January

    • rae

      Thank you so much, Hannah, and thanks for the re-share as well!!!

  • All of your points were true and I think it’s super important to give back something to the local community. Also, it’s a lot cheaper and it’s not a bad quality! Totally love this post :)

    • rae

      Thanks so much, Paula! So glad you liked this post!

  • Totally agree with you, really so nice post and I love thrifting. :)

    • rae

      It’s the best! So glad you enjoyed this post!

  • I love thrifting! There are so many treasures you will find! Love this post a lot… great tips!!! =)

    – Cielo

    Mermaid in Heels

  • such an informative post! too bad we don’t have huge selections here in jakarta


    style frontier

    • rae

      They may be more popular in western countries, but I am pretty sure there are vintage and second hand shops in Tokyo and Seoul.

  • Fantastic photos, you’ve inspired me to go check out the thrift stores!

    xoxo Emily

    • rae

      Hope you enjoy!

  • Love this post, and I love to buy second hand too! Shopping in a way that is environmentally sustainable and doesn’t give money to huge unethical corporations is a big part of the motivation for me. You can also find some really interesting pieces – much weirder than anything you would find on the high street. I love that about vintage shopping!

    Jessthetics xx

    • rae

      So glad you enjoyed this post, Jess! I think those are really the best motivations for shopping second hand and yes, it is incredible what crazy hidden gems you are always bound to find!

  • Alona Bronstein

    I absolutely love thrifting! I could spend hours in a store going through all the interesting pieces and trying everything on :) xx Alona

    • rae

      Oh I know, it is seriously so much fun. The household items section is usually my favorite actually, as I have found such awesome things there – usually stuff that looks similar to what you would buy for 5x the price at urban outfitters.

  • I actually wish I thrifted more often but living in nyc where there’s so many people, i feel like it’s hard to find nice pieces. they’re either snatched super early on or the prices aren’t even that cheap sometimes. maybe ill give it another shot and thrift hehe i love the feeling of finding something for under $5 that i wouldn’t normally find in those fast-fashion stores

  • Alix Niyonkinzo

    This article is so on point! Lately I’ve picked up some really nice things in thriftshops! It’a the best feeling really <3

    Alix N @

  • I love thrift shops. My wardrobe has really changed since I started working in a lab as well as putting on weight. I can’t seem to justify spending a lot of money on clothing that will hurt my wallet that may get ruined in lab or that I may outgrow. Thrift shops are really handy for getting clothing that’s often good quality and/or designer for a lot less money. I also have to say some of my best, most classic pieces came from thrift stores!

  • One of a kind, giving it a second life, and giving back – I love your reasons! I always cleanse out my wardrobe and drop stuff off to salvos, I need to start thrift shopping more for sure though! One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure, as they always say :)


  • I recently read #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso and ever since I’ve been dying to go thrift shopping! Great post!
    Sibby x |

  • Ahh, you’re speaking right to my heart with this post! I got into vintage through thrifting originally, back when I was at uni. It took me a little bit to get into it because when you first start out it’s easy to talk yourself out of buying things because you’re not that confident with it yet, but once you get the hang of it I have always found it so fun to experiment with my style by buying really affordable clothing from a charitable cause, especially because you find super unique items, and that’s definitely what led me into buying vintage. Apart from the aesthetic/style which I obviously enjoy, there’s nothing like the feeling of spotting something and being able to eye it up and know that it’s going to fit you perfectly and wearing a dress you absolutely love that some other woman must have loved back when she had it handmade for her ~60 years ago.

    If I were to look at my wardrobe overall I’d say about 60% of it is probably secondhand/thrifted/vintage, and in terms of experimenting with your style it’s so much more cost effective than buying new clothes all the time that maybe you realise aren’t for you after a year or two and only a couple of wears. If that happens with a thrifted item it doesn’t really matter that much since it cost you $5 to begin with and that money went to a good cause. Plus I find it so much fun to hunt down thrift shops or go to flea markets when I’m overseas too, it always feels more special to me and than if I were to buy something brand new and awesome vintage/secondhand clothes are like my souvineers. :)

    jessica –

  • I have been thrifting since I was basically out of the womb and loved it always. I feel like a lot of people think they can only find that vintage/indie look at the thrift store, but I have found most of my 9 to 5 work clothes there tbh. Office clothes are something that I don’t want to spend a lot of money on (it just isn’t my thing) and I find better quality and more interesting pieces at the thrift store anyway.

  • Hello! This blog is so good! It looks amazing! You’re a very good photographer, how long have you had your blog? I’ll definitely read it again – followed! Would you mind following me back on ? Thank you so much!!! Xxxxx

  • I love thrifting and always do it when I can get to my local town! Eventhough I’m a proud 90’s child, I kinda sometimes wish to have been born a decade earlier because going to university during the 2000’s would’ve been so much fun compared to now….

    Pop over to my blog!


  • Nancy Wilde

    Thrifting has been, recently, the only way I shop. It’s quite addictive too. Oh, so many unique finds! And unbelievable bargains! Besides, it’s always a surprise, there’s no room for trends and the chances of someone else wearing exactly the same dress as you diminish considerably.

  • Fariha

    I really want to get into thrifting. I’m from Chicago and I know there are a lot of thrift shops here. This list has seriously motivated me to check them out! Love your blog by the way. The photos and overall design is beautiful.