A quick guide to thrift & consignment shops in Tampa and other ways to make your closet a bit more eco-friendly (and fresh).
Thrifting is an easy way to make more sustainable choices in our closet – both purchasing and donating. It means less (non-biodegradable) clothing items are going in landfills and each piece gets a second, often third and more, chance at life. Plus, it’s brand new to you; win-win. I you want to read more about how detrimental fast fashion (i.e. Forever 21, Fashion Nova) is to the environment, a quick google search for various articles can help until I post my own blog about the topic – I did a lot of research on sustainable fashion in grad school and try to stay up to date, so it’s something I want to piece together with grace and time.
Recently, I’ve gathered enough clothing to make a few donation trips to the thrift store (I should have more than a few but I am admittedly a clothing hoarder and proud). With the week of July 4th off, I had no excuse but to take a day to round it all up and disperse it across thrift stores in Tampa Bay. Spreadin’ the love, right?
See below for my thrift stops (and the 4 stops I made on my #donationday), favorites and tips on how to be a little more eco-friendly with your clothing.
The Spring of Tampa Bay – A domestic violence shelter that provides families with resources to leave abusive situations (discreetly) & build a new life
So, The Spring is obviously a deserving organization for more than just clothing items – counseling, sheltering, and helping victims of domestic violence is a heartbreaking yet extremely vital role in our lifting out community – but donating clothing is a simple way to help families. Many women, men and children who leave abusive relationships have to leave non-necessities behind, which often means taking only the clothing on their back. I urge you to find a local shelter that provides this same service, as many victims leave finances behind so a trip to the regular thrift store is often an expense that can’t be covered. Their donation center is public and so are their boutique locations, but the actual shelter is private for obvious reasons.
You’ve heard of them. They are a large charitable organization that offers a lot of resources and services to bring impoverished, underserved and struggling individuals to a better quality of life.
Valhalla Resale – brick & mortar collective closet & consignment shop for females based in Tampa, FL
Valhalla recently came into the Tampa sustainability market and quickly rose to the top of many women’s thrift list, along with various local awards and business nominations. They offer a $39 monthly membership that allows a member to rent 3 items at a time throughout the month – with laundering and styling services included! A great place to drop clothing off knowing that they will sell & style pieces for many outfits, closets and women to come. If you don’t have a membership, you can opt to choose store credit (trade) in exchange for your items. If they don’t take all of your donations, they donate the rest to The Spring. Win-win for everyone!
Revolve Clothing Exchange – vintage themed consignment thrift shop with locations in Ybor and St Pete
I live so close to Revolve (Ybor) that I practically stalk their Instagram (@revolveyborcity) to see if any new pieces are posted that I can scoop up before they’re on the floor for too long. They offer cash M-F but do store credit everyday, which is my usual choice so I don’t feel as bad coming home with a new-to-me item (or a few). They donate items they don’t sell as well, so again, win-win.
Other tried and true options within Tampa (and beyond):
Metropolitan Ministries, Tampa – arguably one of the most recognized non-profit organizations within Tampa. MM works to help those who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness by providing food, shelter and resources that aid in getting individuals back on their feet.
Dress for Success, Tampa and worldwide – Dress for Success is an organization that economically empowers women through professional clothing, professional & hiring process resources, support groups and more. They take professional clothing (and shoes) as well as purses – anything that can help a woman feel confident walking into her first interview. If you live in Tampa or another community that Dress for Success serves, I highly recommend you tour their facility and speak to their director – chances are you will hear stories that both break and warm your heart while also seeing the catalysts that women can be when empowered to make a difference (employees, volunteers and guests).
Plato’s Closet, everywhere – I never really got that into Plato’s, but, it’s always an option to donate & shop. One of these day’s I’ll give them a try but for now I’m a creature of habit (aka Revolve and Valhalla).
Goodwill, everywhere – you’ve heard of them. Basic thrift store with a focus on affordable pricing.
Mosh Posh – high end consignment shop in Tampa. It’s an option, but I have never visited or donated (am I fancy enough? probably not). Let me know if you have!
Clothing Thrift & Resale apps (only apps I’ve personally used and recommend, let me know of more): Poshmark, ThredUP and Vinted.
Others in Tampa – Hope Thrift Stores (Hope Children’s Home), Sunshine Thrift Store, Autism Awareness Shop – Thrift Store and Vocational Training , Community Thrift by USF.
There are so many more thrift stores in Tampa, I’ve only highlighted ones within my experience or that I’ve heard of. I’ll continue to add more as I hear about them, so feel free to check back in (or just shoot me a text if you want to go on a #thriftdate).
Quick tips to make your closet a little more eco-friendly
- Thrift more, duh. Both donating and shopping. It’s not gross – it’s sustainable, helps boost you creativity and also aids in helping you look less like everyone else (hellooooo, vintage shirts and pants). Plus, Postmark and ThredUp (and Vinted…and Curtsy) apps help you see more than just what’s local, so a seemingly endless supply of options which is increasingly dangerous but…it’s thrifting, right?
- Wash your clothing less often. It’s not dirty the first time you wear it unless you’ve spent an hour at the gym or went mudding. Sat at work all day? Save some of the tiny little particles & dyes from going into the water by washing your clothing less. Yes, little fibers, dyes and plastics from our clothing gets washed away with our water and, you guessed it, goes into our water system. Blech.
- Shop less fast fashion and more sustainable brands (Madewell, Reformation, Bird to name a few….)
- Host a clothing swap at work for events. I am 100% guilty of “well I wore this dress once so I can’t wear it for at least another 3 years and never the same event” mindset. So in an attempt to not buy yet another holiday party dress or wedding dress, talk with your coworkers an friends about hosting a swap for the event.
Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far. Hopefully I provided some sort of inspiration or recommendation that will allow you to live a little more sustainably. Here’s to thrift stores, collective closets, endless apps and less clothing waste – Cheers!