#QuaranWins: Thrift and treat

Tiffany L. Neri
·2 min read

Beyond the ongoing health crisis that mankind has faced this year, the environment itself is experiencing its own kind of “health crisis”.

In a world fueled by the culture of consumerism and fast fashion, it is no surprise to find out that a large amount of waste is produced by textiles and pieces that were thrown away for being “out of style”.

It all piles up! And, we just have to face the facts—clothes take extremely long to biodegrade if they even biodegrade at all. Thus, it would make environmental sense to prolong the life of your clothing by keeping it for as long as forever.

“The mission of my shop is to promote sustainability and to remove the stigma around thrifting clothes,” said Isabel Neri. She is the 19-year-old owner of Best Thrifts, a shop that sells secondhand items online.

It’s true that there is a stigma or even an elitist-type of culture, that looks down on the business of having secondhand items. But as the world changes, this mindset is changing too and she wants to push that change of mindset further. “Thrifting clothes is actually a good thing and not something to be looked down on.”

Isa is an avid thrifter. Before the outbreak of Covid-19, she would enjoy her free time visiting secondhand stores and purchasing secondhand items. But then there came the lockdown.

Being stuck at home, she started to “purge” her closet and used her own pieces to start the business. She said, “I didn’t start with any money. I just sold my own things and used what I earned from there to grow the business.”

Her online shop holds a collection of items carefully curated based on quality and style to fit the brand of being the “best thrifts” out there—a brand that proves that secondhand doesn’t mean second-rate.

To further support her mission, she opted to learn how to sew and redesign items that others would deem “out of style”, to encourage the sustainable life cycle of clothes and accessories. One of her first projects was a denim corset she created out of skinny jeans.

“Don’t wait for an opportunity to come,” she said, bright-eyed and hopeful as she encouraged fellow budding entrepreneurs to dive headfirst into their businesses. “Because everyone is capable of creating an opportunity for themselves.”