Did you know that fast fashion—cheap and fashionable clothing—is one of the world’s largest pollutants? According to a recent Earth.com article, “fashion production comprises 10% of total global carbon emissions, as much as the European Union. It dries up water sources and pollutes rivers and streams, while 85% of all textiles go to dumps each year.”
So what can you do to help? Next time you feel the urge to buy clothing (or are looking to cleanse your closet), try browsing through and/or donating to these local consignment shops.
Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania
Ninety cents out of every dollar spent in a Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania store goes into their employment programs for people in the community. Thus when you shop at this nonprofit organization, you contribute on a small scale (the Pittsburgh community) and large scale (reducing fast fashion pollutants). Plus, on top of Goodwill’s already low prices, they offer a variety of discounts, including day-of-the-week discounts for seniors and other populations, as well an exclusive GoodPerks email loyalty club, where members receive special 50% flash sale coupons. (You can learn more at www.goodwillswpa.org/discounts.) Can’t make it to a store? Goodwill has a massive online thrift store where you can treasure hunt from your own couch: www.shopgoodwill.com/pittsburgh.
Dovecote Aspinwall is the local consignment shop for you if you define your style as eclectic with a vintage vibe! The cozy boutique offers vintage clothing and decor, antiques, and gifts for people of all age groups. Additionally, Dovecote Aspinwall has designer consignment shoes, clothing, and accessories.
East End Community Thrift Store
What makes East End Community Thrift, a project of The Thomas Merton Center, stand out from other consignment stores in the area? Their volunteer staff. Volunteer Janet Myles said it best, “We are there for our customers for more than just what they can buy. We have heated (and comical) political and social discussions. We offer a shoulder to cry on, prayers, and words of encouragement if a customer is grieving or troubled.”
Animal Lifeline Thrift Store
Animal Lifeline Thrift Store is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, where 100% of the profits go directly towards helping homeless and at-risk pets in the Pittsburgh community and beyond. This is accomplished through adoptions, rescue transports, pet food bank, and medical assistance. From gently used clothing, shoes, decorative household items, and one-of-a-kind items that you just can’t live without, Animal Lifeline Thrift Store has an inventory that is constantly changing. “If you can imagine it, we probably have sold it from our store,” says Animal Lifeline. “If you need it and don’t see it… ask. It is probably in our warehouse.” Looking for a bit of thrift fun? Animal Lifeline also hosts a weekly virtual and in-person bingo night. Bingo packages can be purchased at the thrift store.
ThriftyThrifterson Online Thrift Shop
Dara Metzger came up with the idea for ThriftyThrifterson at the beginning of quarantine. “I think it’s important to have the things you do reflect the causes you are passionate about, and while my day job is in shelter medicine, I’m also passionate about the environment and the reduction of new good consumption, and I’m an artist,” says Metzger. “I wanted to find something to fill my non-work time with something that worked towards my other passions.” One of the things that Metzger says makes ThriftyThrifterson unique is that it is not religion-based. Plus, along with anything a regular thrift store would sell, ThriftyThrifterson also offers handmade and upcycled items and original artwork. The hope is to eventually be profitable enough to fund-raise for Pittsburgh-based non-profits, mainly animal welfare, human rights, and environmental organizations.
House of Thrift
House of Thrift was established to make top-quality, affordable used goods available to local community residents at a fraction of the cost of buying new. They believe in sustainability through reselling goods instead of letting them go to landfills. Whatever House of Thrift does not sell, they pass on to someone else that can use it. Located in Millvale and Ross, the stores can be seen packed with just about any item you could possibly need, with a constant flow of new items being filtered into the store at any given day. They offer a wide variety of items, from high-end dish sets to vintage items of all kinds to affordable clothing pieces. Special sales are constantly occurring, with select items up to 75% at all times! Additionally, they believe in holistic wellness, so House of Thrift carries CBD products to help streamline the use of CBD as an alternative to pharmaceuticals.
Managed and staffed by volunteers who are part of the Women’s Auxiliary, all proceeds from Clothes Line are donated to Magee Women’s Research Institute to fund research in women’s issues. Thanks to Clothes Line’s generous donors, they have been able to fund research and help serve the community since 1934. The store offers a wide variety of merchandise from designer to everyday items.
Second Harvest Community Thrift Store
The employees of Second Harvest calls the thrift shop a first-class, second-hand store. Their bright, clean, and organized store puts out quality merchandise daily. They seek to meet its surrounding community’s material and relational needs by providing quality goods at affordable prices. Their operating model centers on engaging a diverse family of volunteers and employees to glean gently used clothing, housewares, and furniture from within the Fox Chapel Area School District.This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.