Let me preface this post by admitting that some of you are going to totally roll your eyes at my "big step," but, trust me, it is a big step for me.
I've known the importance of reusing for a long time, but for me, reusing has always been reusing the yogurt tub for crayon storage or reusing holiday cards to make craft projects, etc. While other bloggers were praising the used items in the thrift store, I just couldn't see myself ever becoming a thrift store shopper. I would tell myself that I like new things. That unlike my sister who can come out of a thrift store looking totally cool and hip, I would come out looking like a bag lady. That I didn't have time to be frequenting thrift stores every other day looking for a great deal. That the new I was buying was pretty eco-friendly so it was okay. I did occasionally buy some used items on Ebay, but that was pretty few and far between.
Then my friend Dimity passed on to Kate the cutest pair of jeans that her mom had gotten at a thrift store but didn't fit Dimity's daughter. Oh so cute! Add the desire to be more green and the small feeling of guilt from buying only new clothes for the kids. Combine all that with a few extra minutes on the way to the grocery store, and I found myself in a local thrift store "just to check it out." I knew nothing would be to my standards, and I would feel justified in my current shopping habits.
Well, I have been converted. I found 4 really cute dresses that rival Hanna, Mini-Boden, and Garnet Hill for Kate - all priced under $4.99! I did have to sort through a bunch of rejects to find those dresses, but no worse than regular shopping. I didn't get to look at the boys' clothes as the store was closing, but I did pick up two books, a leotard for Kate and 2 items for our dress up box on my way to the cashier. Then we went back as a family the next night and picked out Halloween costumes (wait until you see how cute!).
I still believe that pushing thrift shopping to someone newly trying to go green and accustomed to buying everything new isn't always going to work immediately. I view it is a process that varies for everyone. I certainly was very wary despite making other changes to our lifestyle. I doubt that I will ever do the majority of my clothing shopping at thrift stores as I just don't have the style sense (although a few wraps caught my eye), but I am planning on hitting the thrift store for the kids and for books fairly regularly. I'll still supplement with new items, but every little bit helps, right?