American families are in the thick of back-to-school season. With page long school supply lists and an expectation from retailers to buy an entirely new wardrobe for the kids.
Did every piece of clothing disappear into a puff of smoke on August 31st? Did last year’s scissors suddenly become non-functional on the last day of school?
I do have fond memories of being taken back-to-school shopping when I was a kid. We’d go to JCPenny to buy knockoffs of whatever shoes were popular that year. Famolares in 1977 and Nikes in 1981. And that was the pair of shoes for the year. One pair to replace the Newberry’s sandals we’d destroyed over the summer.
I choose to do things differently.
Although my kids are 16 and 18 and therefor take their own selves shopping now, it wasn’t that long ago that I was in charge of the task. But since I follow The Compact and only buy used, buying everything all at once just isn’t possible. Clothing needs to be bought when it’s found. A great pair of jeans here, the perfect jacket there.
Yes, we’re all being inundated with back-to-school clothing ads right now, but that shouldn’t matter. I don’t exactly buy a new mattress every Memorial Day and a big screen TV the week before Super Bowl. I’m a critical thinker and hope I’m able to cut through advertising pressure to make my own purchasing decisions.
Breathe, Katy. Breathe . . . .
If you are choosing to buy a new wardrobe for your kids’ back-to-school, I encourage you to think outside the mall and hit up area thrift shops, consignment shops and garage sales. Buying new mostly supports a garment industry that irresponsibly produces poor quality clothing in unsafe factories staffed by shamefully paid workers. Profits go to overpaid upper management and I would rather support a non-profit thrift shop any day of the week.
So please give the secondhand market a chance and bypass the mall.
It’s just so much better.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
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