Terrible song, but we started thrift shopping long after it became cool, but before it was immortalized in a poorly written song. If you want to live in intentional community, you have to learn how to shop at thrift stores, unless your community has mad loom-skills. In our all-that-glitters-is-new culture, we pride ourselves on having the newest and best. Clothing is one of the many things that we consume (I swear I stopped eating my underwear at age 4), and the challenge to be fashionable is a temptation for many. One of our house members avoided the fashion-craze by wearing the same pair of jeans and Rock-em-Sock-em Robots hole-y (holy?) shirt for years. And some of us have jobs where our shirts need to cover more that they expose. Thrift store shopping accomplishes several things:

It’s cheap. Put your money somewhere else or work less. You’ll have a better understanding of what it’s like for many people in our society to not have the newest things. You’ll make a small unnoticeable dent in the demand for new clothing, and in turn a small, unnoticeable dent in the demand for sweat-shop labor. You’ll help ensure that gently used clothing becomes slightly more used before it’s relegated to the trash heap. And you’ll continue to battle the internal war by the little way and learning to do more with less.

I’ve gone from buying cheap, poorly designed WalMart clothing to thrifting lots of fancy sounding labels, some that I can’t pronounce because they are French or Italian. I try not to let it go to my head too much.