Your local thrift store can be a treasure trove if you look hard enough. There are countless stories of people finding designer-brand clothing, vintage furniture, and gorgeous glassware for a fraction of typical retail prices.
One shopper with a keen eye for detail even found an original artwork from an award-winning painter tucked among the items on display.
“The ‘expert’ in the thriftstore didn’t see it was an original,” they captioned a post on Reddit with photographic evidence of their discovery. “So I bought the frame for €10 – and got the painting for free.”
On further inspection, the thrifter found the landscape picture of two seagulls on a rock formation was by artist Gwyn Hughes, who is originally from Wales but moved to New Zealand.
Among those who have commissioned his work are the London Contemporary Art Company and the Royal Sussex Yacht Club, but our thrifter was able to snap up an original for about the price of an art print in a gallery gift shop.
“That’s very pretty,” one commenter said. “I’m glad it’s in the possession of someone that appreciates it.”
Another Redditor stepped in to offer some insight into the discovery. “Thrift shop manager here: you’d be shocked! We get original art regularly, some good, some…interesting. And some very valuable indeed.”
In addition to grabbing the occasional valuable item, thrift shopping brings many environmental benefits.
Buying items that have been donated keeps perfectly good clothes, accessories, furniture, and trinkets out of landfill sites. There, they are unlikely to break down naturally and will contribute to the production of methane — a gas the Environmental Defense Fund says is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of planet-warming potential in the first 20 years of making it into the atmosphere.
Buying clothes second-hand also reduces reliance on the fashion sector, which is one of the most polluting industries on the planet. According to Business Insider, fashion production accounts for 10% of humanity’s carbon pollution, while it is also a strain on water supplies and can pollute rivers and streams.
If you can’t find a local thrift store to donate your previously loved clothes to, online consignment and thrift store thredUP buys and sells secondhand clothing that you can mail to the company for free via a handy Clean Out kit — and you can even earn money by doing so.
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