As we celebrate another Earth Day, let’s talk about little things we can do to reduce waste and fight climate change. Over the past few years, sustainability has become a hot-topic buzzword, especially in the fashion industry. Sustainability can mean broad economic and social change, but it also refers to everyday ways we can help the planet and reduce waste—think reusable grocery bags, energy-efficient lightbulbs or using cloth napkins instead of paper.
Sustainability is not a new idea by any means, but younger generations are increasingly aware of the dangers of climate change. We may not be able to single-handedly stop deforestation, overfishing or water supply contamination, but we can control the things we eat, buy and wear.
One of the primary things young people like me are doing is buying secondhand clothing from vintage and thrift stores. The fashion industry, in particular fast fashion, is not sustainable in the long-term. According to a report by the United Nations Alliance for Sustainable Fashion, the global garment industry is the second highest consumer of water, generating 20% of the world’s wastewater. The cotton used to make one simple white t-shirt uses 2,700 liters of water, and adding dye or more complexity only makes that number go up.
Buying clothes, shoes and accessories from thrift stores helps give a second life to items that would have instead sat in landfills for years, polluting our air as they decay.
Whereas wearing secondhand clothing was once looked down upon, it now serves as a symbol that you care about your negative impact on the environment and want a better world not only for now, but for the future.
If you are wondering how you can help live your life more sustainably but don’t know where to start, here is a quick roundup of some of the best Utah thrift stores:
If you are an avid thrifter, you know to go to the Savers in Millcreek. It is rumored to have some of the best finds in the city. As a full-service thrift shop, if you will, they accept and sell everything from small furniture pieces to clothing, electronics and small appliances.
Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays
3171 E. 3300 South
Decades specializes in vintage clothing, hence the name. They pride themselves on their high-quality garments for men and women alike, ranging from the 1920s to present day. Many of the pieces in their collection have never been worn and still have the original tags.
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
627 S. State St.
IconoCLAD has a self-proclaimed “unabashedly quirky” style with a wide variety of items to choose from. If you aren’t searching for one particular item , and simply want to have fun with thrifting, this is the place to go. Or, if you want to support sustainable practices from the comforts of your own home, products are available for pick-up or shipping. When you consign with them, you keep 50% percent of the profit.
Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays
414 E. 300 South
An upscale resale boutique, Namedroppers is a luxury bargain hunters dream. With two locations, including an outlet store, they are able to serve a wide community in Salt Lake City. Owner, Tiffany Colaizzi, and her staff are knowledgeable on all the high-end brands they carry in the store and will help you find the perfect fit item.
Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday
3355 S. Highland Dr.
2350 E. Parleys Way (2100 South)
Haight & Ashbury Home
Haight & Ashbury is a Salt Lake City consignment store specializing in antique furniture, home decor, paintings, jewelry and accessories. If you’re looking to sustainably spice up your interior design game, Haight & Ashbury is a great place to explore.
Open 12 p.m. to 6 p.m Tuesday through Saturday
2233 S. 700 East
Vantage is a store filled with hand-picked men and women’s clothing. Interspersed with the rare 80s and 90s items, you will find handmade pieces, all of which are sure to liven up your wardrobe. Stay up to date with their newest items through their Instagram.
Open every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
774 E. 800 South
The Other Side Thrift Boutique
This thrift store is unlike any others on this list. The Other Side Thrift Boutique sells quality furniture and brand name items, but what stands out is their work in tandem with The Other Side Academy, which provides counseling and vocational training to formerly incarcerated people. When thrifting here, you are not only helping the Earth but also your fellow Utahns.
Open 10 a.m.to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday
4290 S. State St.
Buying secondhand is an easy way to save money, support local businesses and protect the planet. So let’s get thrift shopping!