Celebrate National Thrift Day with Goodwill

National Thrift Shop Day, recognized on August 17, is dedicated to celebrating the art of thrifting and the joy of finding affordable, one-of-a-kind items. Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio help extend the life of usable items through its business model, encourages sustainability and ultimately helps to build stronger communities.


When I was a thrift shopper in my teens, I was really the only one of my friends that was open to buying secondhand clothes or products. I remember my mother telling me about my retro Levi jeans I had scored at Goodwill…‘don’t tell anyone where you bought it.’ My how times have changed! Today, it’s a badge of honor that you found great pieces for a fraction of retail prices. And, yes, even my mom has come around on this and will proudly share with me her great $5 find from Goodwill.

Studies just a few years ago estimated than 25% of Americans had shopped at a thrift store or purchased second-hand items in the past year. That number has grown exponentially. In 2021, 53% of consumers have purchased secondhand apparel in the last 12 months.


There are some reasons that shoppers like me choose thrifting.

Save money. Goodwill sells products typically 50-90% off traditional retail prices. For just a few dollars, I can walk into a Goodwill store and walk out with a treasure! During inflationary times like these, Goodwill savings can add up quickly. 63% of consumers choose to buy used items because they feel they get better deals.

Be more sustainable. Younger generations are especially focused on issues of sustainability. Goodwill and other thrift shops are really the original recyclers, keeping products from the landfill and giving them a new life. It’s estimated that more than 650 gallons of water are requited to make just one new cotton t-shirt. Shopping secondhand lessons a consumers’ carbon and water footprint. My sustainability mantra: one in, one out. For every item I purchase and bring into my house (thrifted or not), I then donate an item back to Goodwill, keeping the cycle going!

Find one-of-a-kind items. Consumers today want to stand out and look unique. They are seeking distinctive or vintage items that cannot be found at big box retailers. Oftentimes the draw to thrift shopping is the thrill of finding these treasures and the bragging rights that comes with it! Goodwill stores sell thousands of one-of-a-kind items every day, and new products are refreshed every hour. Thrifters know that shopping, and shopping often is the very best strategy for finding these exclusive pieces.


Let me tell you about Marlene. Marlene is one of more than 14,000 people who were helped by Goodwill services last year. Marlene had been in a domestic violence situation and needed help rebuilding her life and finding a job. She turned to Goodwill for help. Today, Marlene is working, living independently and happier than she has ever been.

Kinda hard to believe that buying the perfect Christmas ornament or trendy boots at Goodwill made that possible….but it did!

Every purchase made at Goodwill supports a network of 28 different mission programs that help the local community. And, although many thrift shoppers don’t consider ‘helping others’ as a main driver of why they shop stores like Goodwill, they can feel good about their purchases, knowing that people like Marlene are helped because of those who chose to shop thrift.

Celebrate thrift shopping this National Thrift Day, August 17, and celebrate the joy of thrifting year-round with Goodwill! So much good and so much fun can come from shopping thrift.