Guest blog post written by social media volunteer, Melissa.
Thanks to Macklemore’s hit song Thrift Shop, thrift stores have become more popular than ever for people looking for “authentic” vintage apparel. While this might be the case for hipsters and millennials the thrift store is also a destination of necessity for many of America’s working-class.
This was not, however, always the case. Prior to the early 20th century, second hand/consignment goods were often considered sullied and unwholesome. It wasn’t until 1902 when Reverend Edgar J. Helms founded what is now known as Goodwill Industries, did thrift stores see a rise in popularity and necessity among the American people.
Thrift stores and consignment shops have continued to gain favor in this retail centric world. According to the National Association of Resale Professionals, the number of thrift stores, consignment shops, and other retailers selling second-hand merchandise has increased 7% in each of the past two years. And approximately 16-18% of Americans will shop at a thrift store in a given year.
So why have thrift shops continued to boom? Turns out Gen Y realized spending $50 on a TopShop t-shirt wasn’t too smart if you’re burdened with huge student loans and an awful job market. While the youth generation may have turned to thrift shops out of necessity, they’ve helped reshape the American view on thrift shops to what is now considered sensible and even cool. And as Macklemore would say, “I wear your granddad’s clothes, damn right I look incredible.”
So why should you shop at Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop?
1. You’ll find a bargain
You probably already guessed this, with “thrift” being in our name. What you might not know is that each month select colored tagged items go on sale. For the month of August you’ll find green tagged items 75% off and red tagged items 50% off. Each month we also do a drawing for a $35 gift certificate. Stop by to be entered to win. This month we’re also celebrating National Thrift Store Day. All items in the store will be 50-75% off on August 17. Now that’s a bargain!
2. We’re all volunteer run
Everyone who contributes their time to Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop is a dedicated volunteer who wants to give back to their community. And we’re always looking for new volunteers to join us! Interested? Discover the possibilities of volunteering here: http://www.ecathriftshop.org/volunteers.html
3. We always have new items
We’re constantly getting in new items. What’s here today could be gone tomorrow and tomorrow will have a whole bunch of new items. Our ever changing inventory means you’ll find plenty of one-of-a-kind items to complete that special outfit, retro dinner set, or living room gallery wall.
4. We give back to the local community
Since January 2017 we’ve donated $131,000 to local non-profits. From arts to housing, children and youth services to education, and domestic violence prevention to recreation, we support a wide variety of non-profits. Check out all of our grant recipients here: http://www.ecathriftshop.org/recipients.html
Whether you’re looking for a bargain, a vintage jacket, or an item to repurpose for your living room, stop by Eastside Community Aid Thrift Store. While we have bargains all year long, we’re having a huge celebration on August 17 for National Thrift Shop Day. We can’t wait to see what treasures you’ll discover!
Guest blog written by social media volunteer Melissa.
Did Memorial Day Weekend have anyone else feeling like it’s finally summer in the Pacific Northwest? With temperatures in the 80s and massive amounts of sunshine I quickly realized I was not prepared. Not only were my shorts and swimsuit cover-up somehow missing, but my sandals from last year were almost worn out and all my dresses seemed to be made of the heaviest sweat inducing materials. If this was a precursor for summer, I wasn’t going to last.
Knowing I needed to not only prep for the upcoming weekend, but also summer itself, I quickly assessed my wardrobe and got to shopping. Here are some of the summer essentials I recommend for spending time in the sun.
Floppy or wide brimmed hat – these are perfect for keeping your head from getting sunburnt while also protecting your neck and shoulders. Plus, these hats are trendy right now! Go black for chic look or decorate yours with sequin lettering or tassels.
A good pair of shorts – Shorts are pretty much a summer staple. No one wants to be stuck wearing pants and getting swamp legs – that’s just unbearable. I always try to find a pair of classic shorts that are quality and that will stand the test of time and fads. While embroidery, weathering, and short shorts are popular trends, they won’t last. A classic pair of shorts is like a good pair of jeans, basic is always better and will last you longer.
Sunglasses -- even a cheap pair of sunglasses is better than not having any at all. Polarized sunglasses are best when spending a lot of time in the sun, but even if you have a bunch of random sunglasses from promos or events, wear them. Yours eyes will thank you.
Comfortable sandals – I don’t know how many times I’ve bought cheap sandals or flip flips only to have my feet hate me or for them to fall apart within weeks of buying them. Because of this, I always go for comfort and quality. I live in my sandals throughout the summer, so finding a good pair that can handle a lot of walking, sun, sand, and water is a Seattle essential.
Swimsuit – The Pacific Northwest summer is only a short window where it doesn’t threaten to rain constantly, so it’s important to get the most out of your swimsuit. Because I hate having to buy a new swimsuit every year, I tend to buy mix and match pieces. That way I can add a new top or bottom if I feel like it, but can also mix up the different pieces I already own. This makes it look like I’ve bought a new bathing suit and also that I’m not wearing the same one all the time.
Swimsuit cover-up – When I was younger I always thought swimsuit cover-ups were dumb. Who needed an extra piece of clothing when you could just wear your bathing suit everywhere? Now that I do more than just hang by the pool and sun all day, I find a cover up or dress is a great essential to throw on over your swimsuit so you can run errands or go to events without having to completely change your outfit.
Lightweight dresses – Breathable fabric and light weight dresses are another summer necessity. No one wants to feel sweaty all day even when they’re in a dress. Lightweight materials also transition nicely between spring to summer and summer to fall. You can add a sweater or tights if you get cold, or go without if it’s too warm.
Pool floaty – Giant swans or pizza pool floaties are all the rage right now. Whether you have a pool, plan on floating the river, or hanging out at the lake these are a fun way to relax and make all your friends jealous with your Instagram photos.
And finally, SUNBLOCK. This is my number one summer essential! I always wear at least SPF 30, if not higher. While some people think it’s better to get a bad sunburn to start off the summer, I’d rather stay protected and grow a gradual and safe summer tan. Sunburns are painful and even cooled fridge aloe doesn’t take the pain away. Be safe, wear some SPF, and reapply regularly. However, if you do get burnt, make sure to have some aloe gel handy to soothe your skin.
Memorial Day weekend gave us a taste of summer to come. Is your wardrobe summer ready?
Susan is a frequent volunteer at Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop, where she sorts, prices, and stocks merchandise to her heart's content. Before retirement, she owned and operated a consignment shop for women's plus size clothing in Seattle. Through trial and error and talking with customers, she learned a thing or two. An avid "thrift shopper," Susan loves to buy clothing, especially when she gets good quality and value for her money.
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Eastside Community Aid
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Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop is a 501c3 tax exempt nonprofit organization.
All donations made to us are tax deductible. Tax ID #91-1155373