Special promotional content provided by Society of St. Vincent DePaul and written by Katherine Higgins
When was the last time you shopped for a unique piece of clothing or home décor item? Something special you couldn’t find at a big box store, something that didn’t break your budget and preferably, something local.
When you shop at St. Vinny’s Thrift Stores not only will you find quality clothing and household goods, you’ll help your budget, help your planet and help your neighbor in need.
Save money while evolving your style
Shopping for pre-loved goods and gently used items saves money.
Take Joanne. Living just outside of Madison, she’s a mom to three kids and a bargain hunter. She shops at St. Vinny’s for the convenience of a one-stop-shop where she can buy a new outfit, clothing for her growing kids, home décor and kitchen essentials. It’s a reliable place to shop for goods that won’t break her budget.
Or, how about Jeremy. He’s a young guy going into his sophomore year of college. He’s gotten into thrifting to save money. For Jeremy, shopping for pre-loved clothing, both new and old styles, helps him build his personal wardrobe and stretch his creativity.
Whether you’re shopping for a Halloween costume, looking for craft supplies for your DIY project, or on the hunt for the perfect piece, shop for thrifted goods that will help your budget.
Looking for something extra special? Shop St. Vinny’s Thrift Stores online for highly curated art, vintage clothing, rare pieces and collectibles.
Environmental benefits of shopping thrift
Compared to shopping big box retail stores, shopping thrift and pre-loved goods saves water and reduces material waste.
Did you know it takes almost 715 gallons of water to produce one new cotton tee-shirt? That’s enough water for one person to drink for 900 days! Purchasing pre-loved clothing instead of constantly buying brand new items helps preserve water, one of Mother Earth’s most important natural resources.
On average, Americans throw away 60-80 pounds of used clothing in a lifetime. Experts estimate that, “nearly 9 million tons of furniture are tossed every single year.” Shopping for pre-loved goods instead of always brand new helps break the chain and reduces this waste footprint.
Compared with cheaply-made furniture, many end tables, couches, dressers and dining room tables sold at St. Vinny’s are made to last. Much of the furniture is real wood, real metal and will last longer than one apartment or one move.
Buying items you intend to keep and care for, like quality furniture, is a tenant of slow shopping. Slow shopping is the theory and mindset of slowing down the enduring lounging and itch to always have something new. It’s a practice of pausing before buying something; thinking about an item critically, about its longevity; about its purpose.
The opposite of slow shopping is fast fashion, which emphasizes buy, buy, buy. In a world of ever-changing styles and trends, fast fashion (think big box retail stores and online fashion sites) prey upon the need to constantly reinvent and evolve. When you shop at St. Vinny’s Thrift Stores, you halt fast fashion in its tracks and enact the practice of slow shopping. Good practices to consider if you want to transform your style but not contribute to our over-materialistic world.
Put slow shopping into practice. Locate a St. Vinny’s Thrift Store here.
Shop local, help your community
By shopping at St. Vinny’s Thrift Stores, you can feel good that you’re helping the local economy and helping your neighbor in need.
In a 2022 Dane Buy Local study, researchers found that local retail stores produce more than three times the local recirculation revenue compared with national chain retail stores. If you’re tired of returning clothing after you buy the wrong size online, tired of waiting for your packages to arrive and tired of the same generic goods online, shop at St. Vinny’s Thrift Stores. You’ll find special items you wouldn’t have thought to buy and support a staple Dane County retail.
More than a retail chain, St. Vinny’s is a network of stores (seven here is Dane County) which support the charitable programs run by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison. The proceeds from store sales stay in Dane County to help neighbors through:
- St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry provides households with dairy products, meat, produce, household goods and personal-care items. Between May through October, all of the produce distributed by the pantry is planted, grown and harvested by volunteers at the 1.25 acre Lacy Food Pantry Garden.
- The only freestanding charitable pharmacy of its kind in Wisconsin, the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy, fills prescriptions for uninsured adults, at no cost to patients.
- The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Program helps single custodial adults with minor children stabilize in permanent housing through case management and tailored support.
- Port St. Vincent de Paul is the longest-running men’s housing program in Madison where men have a safe place to live and receive support to plan for their next steps in life.
- At Vinny’s Lockers people struggling with homelessness can store their belongings here so they don’t have to carry them around every day.
- Low-income families can apply for clothing and furniture vouchers to receive basic essentials and household goods from St. Vinny’s Thrift Stores.
Shopping at St. Vinny’s Thrift Stores is a win-win-win. You help your planet by purchasing pre-loved goods, help your budget by buying low-priced items and help your neighbors in need by supporting a local charity.
Next time you’re itching for a new outfit or want to decorate your home, shop St. Vinny’s Thrift Stores first. You may be surprised at what you find. And, you can feel good about your purchase helping your planet, helping your budget and helping your neighbors in need.