Saving the world: one thrifted sweater at a time

Submitted Photo

Submitted Photo

Ellen Freeborn

In an overpopulated world filled with garbage dumps and oil spills, it seems as though people are doing more harm than good to the Earth and its limited supply of resources.

Although this generation has all of the inspiration and motivation to make a change, the truth is we don’t actually know what to do.

Sure, designers can redesign, wealthy shoppers can purchase organic everything, and we can starve ourselves to live simpler.

However, the reality is that we are too deeply dependent on satisfying our immediate needs with cheap products. In order to really see a difference in our consumer behavior, we must actually change the object of our desires.

For now, the most economical way to shop ethically as college students is to shop at thrift stores. What’s already been produced cannot create any more harm in the production cycle, and it allows us to get the most use out of what already exists. Thrifting is also an easy way to find high-quality clothing at an unsurpassable price.

Here are a few items to look for during your next thrifting treasure hunt:

The Winter Sweater: Whether it’s holiday related or chunky and warm, you’re sure to find one of these for less than $5 dollars at any local thrift shop.

One December, senior international relations major Michaela Kline wore only Christmas sweaters.

“I bought 20 Christmas sweaters for $25, nearly completing my goal to have the most holiday spirit of anyone around,” Kline said. “Goodwill made my dreams come true. People were really jealous. I was the coolest. I was the warmest. One of the sweaters lit up.”

The Classic Plaid Shirt: Oversized plaid shirts can make any common collegiate look both casual and cool. Wrap it around your waist for a day of adventure, or cuddle up in its woolen warmth during a night of studying at the library.

Coats: Rocking a thrifted vintage coat can make venturing into the cold a bit more exciting and for a good price.

Senior fashion design major Kelsey Prusa bought one at Village Discount Outlet for $1.50, and wore it every winter since.

Pair it with a handmade chunky scarf and a floppy wool hat, and you really won’t have to worry about what you’re wearing underneath.

Accessories: Be sure to check out the jewelry, silk scarves and vintage bags during your next thrift store visit. It’s easy to find something super valuable buried in the accessory section.

Unique Men’s Dress Shirts: These can either be hilarious conversation starters or hip and trendy statements—just make sure to wear it with total confidence.

Benjamin Bartling sophomore Visual Communication Design major, looks for tropical dress shirts so he can “celebrate the tropical life” every Tuesday.

The key to thrifting is maintaining taste. In my experience, it’s often safer to look for statement pieces. One interesting thrifted piece can have the power to make any basic outfit appear more unique.

Here are some local thrift stores to check out during your next shopping trip:

Einstein’s Attic

115 Cherry St.


Fabulous Finds

9058 State Route 14


Village Discount Outlet

2930 State Rd.

Cuyahoga Falls

193 E. Waterloo


Goodwill Kent/Ravenna Retail Store

2528 State Route 59


Contact Ellen Freeborn at [email protected].