by Shelley Klausen
As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” We secondhand shoppers know that being thrifty is smart and savvy, not “cheap.” The word thrifty is actually a derivative of the word thrive. To thrift means to use money and other resources carefully, not wastefully. Thrive means to grow or to flourish with a clear sense of prosperity.
We also know that the activity of “thrifting” is a fun pastime that also helps our Friday Harbor small business community and environment. And, with a half dozen resale shops within walking distance, it’s easy for guests at the Tucker House Inn and Harrison House Suites to map out their own treasure hunt. Even when being thrifty isn’t a necessity, shopping secondhand is a smart choice with many rewards and benefits.
You Get to Save A lot of Money
Imagine all your savings going toward fun stuff. Some polls on the subject have found that 65 percent of secondhand shoppers use their savings on experiences with friends and family. By putting away their savings, some thrifty shoppers have over $2,000 per year to spend on travel or doing things that make them happy.
You Get to Wear High Quality for Less
Treat yourself to the kind of quality and brand names that usually make your wallet nervous, at prices that alleviate guilt. On a recent trip to Second Act in Friday Harbor, I was able to nab a Land’s End ski coat for under $20 and a designer all-leather purse for $25. At Girlfriends, I picked up linen pants, a J Crew sweater, and Merrell hikers for the bargain total price of $48. Shopping secondhand is a get-out-of-jail-free card to splurge on items I may otherwise not be able to afford. Shucks – I figure that my impulsive spree saved me at least $500!
You Get to Help Reduce the Fashion Industry’s Environmental Footprint
Due to the rise of cheap imported fashion, textile waste has risen from 7 to 30 percent in the past five years. The average American throws away 70 lbs of clothing annually. If all of that clothing were reused or recycled, it would save 6 million items from ending up in landfills per year. Resale has proven to be a smart alternative that is good for the planet and small businesses. Many thrift stores and consignment shops also donate a portion of their sales to non-profit organizations. Sustainable fashion? Yes, please.
There’s More Variety and You Get to Have Fun
Eighty five percent of resale shoppers say treasure hunting is their primary motivation for shopping secondhand. I personally love it when my friends ask, “Where’d you get that?” and I get to say, “Firefighter’s Thrift.” After their initial shock wears off, it offers me the opportunity to educate them about the benefits of scouring racks of eclectic treasures and the joy that it brings. Heading out on a rainy Pacific Northwest day with a couple of $20s in my purse is a fun, feel-good activity. Twelve dollars for a solid wood dresser and lamp? Score!
You Get to Declutter and Feel Good About Your Simplified Life
Tidy closet, tidy mind. Close your eyes. Imagine a closet where everything in it is something you wear and love. Make a pledge that for every item you purchase, you will donate one or two items to your favorite thrift store. Or, better yet, consign your nicer items at a local shop to rack up credit towards your next spree — it’s the gift that keeps on giving! You can also imagine the lucky shopper (maybe your neighbor) who will make your donation their newest beloved treasure.
Find Your Favorite Discount Destination in Friday Harbor
210 Nichols Street
Hours: 10am-5pm, Monday-Saturday; 10am-3pm Sunday
Upscale clothing and accessories for women and men, just two blocks from the Tucker House Inn and Harrison House Suites.
Second Act Consignment
15 Second Street North
Hours: 10am-5pm; closed Sunday
On-trend clothing for men and women, plus upscale housewares. Daily tag-sales.
Friday Harbor Fire Department Thrift
667 Mullis Street
Hours: 9am-4pm, Monday-Saturday;
Continuous rotating selection of clothing, household goods, outdoor equipment, and furniture at bargain prices. Great place to donate.
6739 Roche Harbor Road
Hours: 10am-5pm, Wednesday-Saturday
Think of it as orderly dumpster diving. Sort through everything from crab pots to kitchenware in this multi-building Roche Harbor Road one-stop thrift shop. Make them an offer.
Treasure Hounds – Animal Protection Society Resale
365-C Spring Street
Hours: 10am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday; closed Sunday & Monday
Your purchase of their fine furniture and artwork benefits San Juan Island’s animal rescue and shelter.
Groovy Stuff Consignment
400 A Street
Hours: 10am-5pm daily
An eclectic retro hip upcycled selection of décor, musical equipment, art, and more.
The Great Islands Cleanup
Want to get even more involved in making a difference? We are right around the corner from our annual Great Islands Cleanup! Held on April 20, 2019 (Earth Day) from 10am-2pm, islanders and visitors alike are invited to join in the fun and help give San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw islands their annual spring cleaning!
Last year during the Great Islands Clean-Up, over 400 people collected about 6,200 pounds of litter from the roadsides and beaches of the San Juan Islands — and how wonderful everything looked! But sadly, a portion of our refuse continues to end up as litter. Thoughtless tossing of bottles, cans, food wrappers, and cigarette butts all contribute. Accidental “blowing away” of debris from unsecured loads on boats and trucks and deliberate dumping of tires, etc., further add to the need to make stray garbage pick-up an ongoing effort. Litter-picker-uppers can work as individuals, families, or as part of a larger group at the event.
Orcas Island: For roads or beaches, contact Pete Moe at (360) 376-4089 or firstname.lastname@example.org
San Juan Island: For beach clean-up, contact Katie Fleming (360) 378-2319 or email@example.com
We hope you will want to participate this year in making us “litter-free by the sea!” -San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau