Is eco-friendly fashion feeling out of reach? Never underestimate the power of a good thrift shop. Patrice McKenzie, founder of Thrift Out Loud, started an online community dedicated to encouraging people to be eco-chic with fabulous thrift shop finds. She shares why she began thrifting in the first place and her passion for gently-loved fashion.
Were you always into thrifting? No, I wasn't always into thrifting. I actually got into thrift shopping in college. I graduated from Morgan State University, a historically Black University, in Baltimore, MD. I had to dress business professional and business casual for some of my business classes. I also had to dress up for internship interviews. Thrifting helped me dress professionally on a college budget. After that, I was hooked and have been thrifting ever since.
Why do you love thrifting so much? You can find nice quality clothes for a fraction of the original price. It is also good for the environment.
When you realized how good it was for the planet to purchase gently-used clothing, did that further solidify your reasons for thrifting? Yes, definitely. When I learned more about how important sustainable fashion was it made me more excited to thrift shop.
When and how did Thrift Out Loud start? I started Thrift Out Loud in 2016. I wanted to share my love of thrift shopping and thrift finds. I thought creating a social media platform and blog would help me share this new passion with friends and family.
What was the response like from people who started to follow your blog? They really liked what I was doing with the blog and social media platforms. They wanted to know where I found my thrift finds. They also asked me to help them find thrift clothes.
Thrifting can be intimidating for people. What are some tips to help people get started? I always advise they go in with a list. Similar to a grocery list it is important to have a list to help them focus on the items they want and need. This will help them to not feel so overwhelmed.
Name 3-5 of your favorite second-hand or vintage shops in the Pittsburgh area. Thriftique, Goodwill and The Clothes Line are my go-to spots.
Do you also sell or give away gently used clothing? Why?I do both. It is a good way to continue the recycling process of the sustainable fashion system.
How can these practices reduce our impact on Mother Earth? The clothes can be worn and used by someone else rather than contributing to a landfill somewhere.
You really can look good and do good at the same time!
Follow Patrice’s thrifting journey on Instagram and Twitter: @thriftoutloud