smartthread blog

Back to school the THRIFTY way!


Right now, everyone’s mind is set on summer fun – from family vacations and barbecues in the backyard, to boating and laying out by the pool, I hope you have had the opportunity to take a step back from work and enjoy all the season has to offer! While it’s a time of well-deserved bliss for many, it’s also a time to start preparing for the upcoming school year and all that is necessary to set your child or grandchild up for success.

One common “back to school” tradition is a shopping trip to purchase new clothes for the kids. But, what many don’t realize is you can find some great items at your local thrift store! Not only can you purchase outfits at a discount, you can also help make a tremendous impact on the environment – and the world’s landfills – by buying clothes secondhand. An added bonus? By thrifting, you’re oftentimes supporting a nonprofit organization – many of which, like Goodwill and Salvation Army, help to provide jobs and job training for all job seekers, from youth and seniors to veterans and people with differing abilities!

No need for new school clothes, but still want to make a difference? You can help reduce the world’s textile waste by donating your old clothes and other textiles TO a thrift store for others to enjoy. Not sure if people would purchase your used clothing? That’s okay - even if your donated items cannot be resold and re-worn, your local thrift store will ensure they are recycled properly!

Are you a regular “thrifter” who has found some great items over the years? We’d love to see what treasures you’ve dug up! Please send photos and/or stories to our colleague, Patrick Seidl, at For more information on textile recycling and the work of SMART members, I invite you to visit our website and connect with us on Facebook or Twitter