Thrift For Therapy | Sustainable Fashion & Mental Health Support
I’ve shared a few thrifted and secondhand finds on my Instagram (@kaespo) before. I even worked recently with a local thrift shop to get the word out with Jen from LifePreloved about how great secondhand shopping can be.
Thrift for Therapy was organized by a few awesome ladies to bring together the purpose behind secondhand shopping and support for a local walk-in therapy clinic. In the matter of a few weeks, they had a generous amount of donated clothes to sell at a pop-up where 100% of the proceeds went directly to Momentum Walk-In Clinic in Edmonton.
Sustainable Fashion & Buying Secondhand
Sustainable fashion can be more than manufacturing clothes with eco-friendly materials and environmentally-friendly facilities. Recycling clothes is as simple as reusing them before they get tossed.
Depending where you live, you might have a few to pick from or you might have none. I’m in a suburb and we have two (a Value Village and LoSeCa) but I’m short drive into the city and they’re scattered everywhere.
The great thing about thrift stores (besides being more than affordable) is that you can find cool, one-of-a-kind things when you go. Maybe that doesn’t matter to you but for me, that makes the trip worth it every once in a while.
You can find more than clothes at thrift stores too - decor, furniture, and things you didn’t even know you wanted. I’m a little picky when I go because as great as the items are, I have no idea where I came from. Clean everything you buy. If I can’t clean it, I don’t buy it.
These are just all-around a good time and a win-win because you’ll know where everything came from. I’ve only over been to swaps organized by friends but I know there are local gals who organize public ones for people to attend.
A clothing swap is exactly what it sounds like. People get together, bring their own items (cleaned and gently-used), and swap clothes.
There can be rules to it so trading is fair-ish (like bring five items, get five items) or everything can be pooled together and it can just be a free-for-all. Either way, it’s a great way to give your clothes new life with someone else before they get sent to waste.
Thrifters & Consignment Boutiques
As someone who doesn’t particularly love spending time in stores, this has become my favorite way to shop. By shopping from people who’ve already done the shopping for me, I save the time it takes dropping by stores myself and sifting through all the clothes I don’t want. Sounds diva-ish, right? Yup.
I can shop secondhand from local people and browse through clothes that are clean, styled, and easily accessible. They’re usually on instagram or at a pop-up around town and I’m always sure to find something to add to the wardrobe.
Locally Made, Sourced, & Manufactured
There are a ton of talented people in my city creating things from scratch with their own two hands. I don’t splurge all the time, but when I do I’d rather it be on local finds (whether it’s in Edmonton or Canada).
Besides adding something sweet to my closet collection, buying from someone local means I get to see where my money goes (like their happy dance in their instagram story). I’m not style queen and I’m more of a minimalist when it comes to my style but I love everything I wear - it has a story, it came from someone I know, and I can feel good about the money I spent.
Mental Health Awareness & Support
We’ve all heard it, right? End the stigma! #MentalHealthMatters! I’m 100% on board, of course. However, it’s important to talk about what happens after awareness. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by supportive people and the resources to take came of my own mental health but we’re not all so lucky.
Thrift for Therapy took an active part in supporting this cause - over $600 of sales was donated directly to Momentum Walk-In Counselling to help cover the costs of their walk-in clinic.
Momentum Walk-In provides a safe space to be heard. For some, this is a step towards further treatment in getting a hold of their mental health and for others, it’s an additional support system to maintain their health. Either way, a safe space is vital in staying on top of your mental health.
You can read more about them on their website or if you’re local, feel free to drop by or reach out to their team.
Local Support Groups & Resources
Momentum Walk-In Counselling is Edmonton based but there are a lot of similar facilities around and all it takes is one search to get started.
If you’re not sure where to start, try dropping by your local medicenter or regular healthcare practitioner’s office and hitting up the wall of pamphlets. Can’t stop by? Give them a call and ask if they’re able to provide a list of places you can seek therapy or support. More often than not, they’ll either know a place to send you or know someone who will know.
online support & resources
When people say ‘don’t be embarrassed or ashamed’ about seeking help for your mental health, it’s easier said than done. If you’re uncomfortable finding local, in-person help, hop on the internet and find it there. There are lots of online services and support groups built on helping us and creating safe spaces online.
If you don’t have the money for subscription based services, try searching for online communities on social networks or forums.
On a regular basis, I see people I follow or connect with online that are blindly reaching out to anyone who might be in need. Sometimes it’s a simple post to remind strangers that they’re worth something or a photo in their instagram story telling people they’re there if you need them.
If you don’t see these types of posts on the regular, you should take a second look at who you follow and what time of network you’re building online. Surround yourself with people you can depend on.
I really hope Thrift for Therapy will be around for a seasonal comeback (and I have a good feeling they will be). In the meantime, check out a few of the ladies who made this happen and a few of my local faves when it comes to thrifting and buying secondhand.
Hutch + Howl (Teira & Tianna) and Basket Belle - besides provided a stunning venue for the pop-up, this place is a St. Albert gem. They have delicious coffee, juices, smoothies, and healthy options for dropping by at lunch and because they’re a shared space with Basket Belle, they also have the cutest gifts (for you and others) to peruse while you wait for your drink!
Life Preloved - I met Jen at a pop-up at the beginning of 2018 and fell in love with her instagram. She finds and shares all her cool secondhand finds (some of which are for sale on her ebay or in-person at pop-ups) but is also an awesome contributor to the style community and supporting local businesses.
Some Wear Mobile Clothing Boutique - And Jac is the one that hosted the pop-up I met Jen at! She runs a consignment boutique (and is currently fixing up an airstream) with styles for everyone. I have a serious addiction for her clothes and her prices.
Simply Green Style - Rhonda is my thrifting queen. She constantly posts on her instagram with styled outfits and unique finds (that somehow always appeal to me) and it’s a race to snag her clothes before someone else. She also hosts open house shopping once in a while with unbeatable deals. Plus, she introduced me to hats. I’m obsessed with hats now and I love it.
Sweet Lioness/Mercedes - I’m calling her that because I met her once and after stalking her instagram, I knew I’d dig her stuff. Oddly enough, when I met her (which wasn’t even at Thrift for Therapy) it was at a pop-up, hosted by Jac (again), where Jen introduced us. That’s the universe, friends. I’ll take it.
Dita Marina Vintage - ‘cute ass shit’. For real. Again, this is Jac bringing people together because she was at the same pop-up I met Mercedes at and she rolled up with Jen. So, again, universe, thanks. She has a stunning eye for vintage anything and if I wasn’t a minimalist (and I know my shelves at home don’t need it), I’d have wrangled up a few of the things she’d brought to the pop-up. Besides providing cute ass shit for the world, she’s also got a cute ass soul.
So, until the next event!