Thrift = unique

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Some folks shop at thrift stores all the year through — so why not the holidays, too?

National Thrift Shop Day was held in the summer, but the sixth annual Thrift Shopping Survey by Savers offered insight that is as fresh as ever. Start with the stat that 83 million tons of unnecessary apparel waste is thrown away each year.

“We want to educate consumers about the importance of purchasing goods with a circular mindset,” said Duane Woods, chairman and CEO of Savers, a family of thrift stores offering secondhand clothing, accessories and household goods. This mindset helps extend the life of every garment and household item produced.

That’s a positive start, but it’s far from the only reason people thrift shop. According to the survey, “thrift” translates to “bargain.” The words most associated with shipping secondhand were “savings” (41 percent) and “economic” (30 percent). But “thrift” also translates to “unique treasures.” Of those surveyed, 47 percent report that they love finding hidden treasures; one in five named a vintage or antique furniture item as an all-time favorite discovery.

NRF’s research supports these findings: The latest NRF Consumer View survey found that 89 percent of consumers say they shop at bargain retailers like discount grocery, thrift, dollar and off-price stores.

It’s true that ecommerce offers endless opportunity for secondhand shopping; the Savers survey also showed that 60 percent of consumers still prefer the “touch and feel” aspect of thrifting in person.

Speaking of “in person,” Savers hosted a special Thrifting Spaces event in Seattle over the summer. It partnered with three Seattle-based “tastemakers” to style distinct spaces in an upcycled shipping container. The possibilities for a unique showing — then and now — are endless.

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