If I’m fully reflective about my personal style it’s had an interesting evolution. I’m an obvious lover of vintage and thrift finds - I take pride in seeking out independent designers and having an observational eye.
Here’s how that started: I was the first child of fairly young parents - they provided what we needed but were certainly not interested in shopping for designer clothing or keeping up with the proverbial Joneses. I, however, went to a high school with girls whose families had country club style, Kate Spade bags and Gap denim. First world problems, I know.
Seems funny to think now, that anyone would actually care about that stuff. But the 14 year old version of me, ohhhh man, I cared. So I learned then that if I couldn’t afford the mall jeans and the purse of the moment what I could do was create a style of my own.
I started shopping thrift before I could even drive. I’d get dropped off at Goodwill and dig for hours - I truly never turned back. From my personal experience, I discovered the more creativity I put into an outfit the more creativity radiated from me. A good learning for a wide-eyed teenage girl and something that’s never left me.
Now of course, there are so many more reasons I shop thrift. I thrift for creativity still of course, but I also thrift for good. There's an environmental impact and often a social good component too.
So fast forward - this month I was invited to spend time with Goodwill SELA and asked to create 3 looks for a variety of occasions through local Goodwill finds. I was delighted to receive this assignment and here’s the outcome!
Btw - each Goodwill store keeps in it’s shops the donations in which it receives. So that means if you’re a traveler like me, stopping off at the Goodwill in a western town, for example - will result in vastly different finds than one in Southern California or here in New Orleans. Total thrift shopping hack if you ask me.
Look 1: Cocktail Date Night
Look 2: Festival Season Style
On this particular afternoon I bounced along the sunny, art-filled streets en route to a day at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. This dress is another 50’s designer find, the bag is a 70’s leather duffle, and the boots are current and would be $300 in boutiques! I added the hat and some beautiful little jewels and I’m ready to dance the day away.
Look 3: Weekend on Frenchmen
This was the first look I found on my Goodwill shopping day, and truly it’s so cute! A totally ironic t-shirt -- a cat riding a unicorn over a rainbow, (yes please!) paired with an 80’s era Esprit corduroy skirt and this "best day ever" tote bag!
There’s so many ways to refresh your wardrobe while keeping sustainability and people’s lives in mind. See more details below about how how shopping second hand makes a positive change. 🌎👗🌿
Stats on Goodwill of Southeastern Louisiana:
- 283 people placed in jobs
- 2,049 people served by Goodwill’s various services
- 20 veterans provided housing and case management services
- Employment Services for formerly incarcerated individuals, teens aging out of foster care, and anyone with a social, mental, or physical disadvantage
- 33% of the Goodwill workforce has a disability
- 75% of workforce training participants received an industry certification
On my shopping day I learned about a young woman named Akiva; she’s a Goodwill facilitator for teenagers aging out of the foster care system - she herself was supported by the same program. After 11 years moving between 3 states and being separated from her siblings she placed a call to Goodwill who arranged care for her, training and employment in the job she has now as a Peer Coordinator in New Orleans.
- 28 million pounds of clothing and textiles diverted from landfills
- 1.29 million retail transactions
- 344,600 donated goods
5 years after the Bangladesh factory collapse, it’s more important than ever to consider where your clothing is coming from. I love fashion, but don’t want my clothes to come at the cost of people or our planet.
Thanks for following along on this project you guys! And let me know, which style is your favorite? Thrill of the thrift for life!
**This post was written in partnership with Goodwill of Southeastern Louisiana.