Goodwill Responds to Fast Fashion Taking Over Thrifting

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In her July 6th article for The New York Times, Isabella Grullon Paz discussed an end to The Golden Age of Thrifting at the helm of fast fashion brands, inexpensive garments, and other thoughtless donations making their way into local thrift stores, driving up operational costs, encouraging overconsumption, and standing in the way of women finding the same durable, high-quality wardrobe staples that first sparked the rise of thrifting decades ago.

To the editor:

We agree with those Isabella Grullon Paz interviewed for her “The Golden Age of Thrifting Is Over” article. The rise of fast fashion has changed the way consumers shop for clothes and encouraged them to overconsume, with a huge cost to the planet.

However, fast fashion isn’t the only issue affecting the assortment of clothes at thrift stores. More people are selling higher-end and everyday clothing for consignment to Thread Up and other resellers. The resale market is growing and expected to reach $77 billion in five years.

Revenue from non-profit thrift stores like Goodwill NYNJ—which use a 100-year-old social enterprise model—supports job training and coaching for 10,000 people with autism or mental illness and the unemployed. Rather than work with volunteers, Goodwill NYNJ pays its staff. We believe your donations to charity thrift stores shouldn’t go in the “leftover” pile but rather serve as the engine that builds a culture of conscious consumption, thrifting, and support for social programs.

I signed on to the NY Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act to require fashion to be more responsible while expanding our local Goodwill to take more donations and encourage everyone to shop thrift. I always find treasures at Goodwill; I’ve worn thrift daily for six years, and have positively impacted the planet and supported employment programs.


Katy Gaul-Stigge 

Goodwill NYNJ President & CEO 

New York City, NY