Jessi Arrington: Wearing nothing new

An idea worth spreading: Not buying new clothes was presented as a TED Talk by designer Jessi Arrington. Here’s why Jessi shops at thrift stores and flea markets:

  • To reduce her impact on our environment and her wallet.
  • To meet all kinds of great people.
  • To support a good cause.
  • To dress in a unique way.

Jessi says “shopping at thrift stores is like a personal treasure hunt.”

So true! You never know what you’ll find.

Another great reason to buy used clothes… You don’t have to worry or wonder about how something will ‘wash up,’ because it’s already been through the ringer (or at least a washer). Check out Jessi’s TED talk:

Why do you like treasure hunts?


  1. Thrift stores, yard sales, and centers that feature FREE clothes are the only way to go. I do it for the same reasons listed above plus the fact that the price is right. Many times you can find high quality items in great condition for a fraction of their original cost.

  2. Great link. Jessica is obviously not a hoarder, which is great. Thankfully, she can express her passion for a continually renewed wardrobe without contributing to mass production of fibers, natural and synthetic, and mostly cheap labor. It us truly a win-win. I guess the only thing that bothers me is the fact that it appears that clothes shopping is a hobby for Jessica, and although she is consuming in a thoughtful manner with lots of positive ramifications, she is still consuming.

  3. I actually prefer to shop thrift stores, for most of the reasons stated. With teenage daughters it’s just easier to keep their growing bodies in clothing and suit their fickle tastes by updating their wardrobes often. It’s easier to give them $20 for a “thrift spree” than at the mall where it may buy a t-shirt if anything.

  4. She’s amazing and right! I too look at thrifting as a personal treasure hunt. It’s so much fun and you don’t have to spend a lot for quality or feel guilty if you only wear it once. Just give it back.

  5. Not enough clothes for fat folks! This is the primary reason why I make sure to get rid of something if I buy something new—so that some big girl can find something to fit her in a thrift shop!

    Also, for all my plus sized divas out there–give your unwanted clothes to homeless shelters. Lots of big women in homeless shelters having a hard time finding clothes that fit.

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