Thriftvangelism

That’s the tongue-in-cheek term I use to describe my passion for sharing my love of thrifting with anyone who is foolish enough to ask where I got my clothes or who (happily) stumbles upon my blog.

It’s a particularly apt term because I am a preacher, but it’s also tongue-in-cheek because I’m the kind of preacher who grew up in a liberal church environment where everyone was allergic to the E-word (ahem, evangelism).  In my progressive tradition we’re more likely to spread the good news by actions of love and justice than by pamphlet/tract/awkward conversation about whether you’re “saved.”

That’s kind of how I am in real life about thrifting, honestly – I said “passion” above but the truth is that I rarely talk about thrifting unless prompted. (Writing about it on the internet, on the other hand…)  My thriftvangelizing MO is more “look fabulous enough that people want to know where you find your clothes” than “corner them and wax rhapsodic about the joys of thrifting whether they’re interested or not.”  You feel me?

But last week in response to the second half of a thrifting & gentrification conversation, reader Ginna commented about the wide-ranging benefits she’s experienced with thrifting, and I was reminded of an old-fashioned testimonial – the moment when someone gets up and shares all the good in their life resulting from the subject of said testimony.  I found myself nodding along with every skill she’s learned and change in perspective she’s had thanks to thrifting, and, like a good thriftvangelist, I wanted to share.

With her permission:

Personally, being introduced to thrifting completely changed my outlook on consumption over the course of a couple of years. Seeing racks and racks of unused items woke me up to how much of what I buy just ends up not getting used. Because of thrifting, I am a better consumer: I buy less, I can spot and steer clear of bad quality items that will tear / break quickly, and I only buy things I will *really* use — something I learned to discern while thrifting. I am also a more frequent donater — why have something nice sitting around my kitchen when someone else could be enjoying it? I’ve gotten better at a lot of adult skills, like delaying gratification to find exactly what I want instead of purchasing something on impulse. I’ve discovered the joy of rehabilitating an item that most people would throw away.

Her thinking was that the more people thrift, the more people will start

waking up to these same realities. People might come into contact with the waste at a thrift store and think, “How much do I contribute to this?” People might think twice about buying brand-new gifts for others that aren’t going to be enjoyed. A lot less people might be seduced by the charms of ‘the latest thing’ and save their money for items that are built to last.

 

So today, in the spirit of 1) not being shy about something that’s had such a big impact on my life and 2) wanting to share that goodness with others, I’m hopting a little thriftvangelism testimonial time.  Scroll down to share how thrifting has shaped your behaviors and attitudes and how it has changed your life for the better!

 

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