One way of obtaining clothing in a more sustainable way is through thrifting. Also known as buy/sell, thrifting vintage clothes is sustainable because it uses the same garments that already exists and makes less waste. This is especially important considering how wasteful fast fashion has become. Because fast fashion is notorious for including toxic chemicals, thrifting for quality items made with natural fibers can help avoid toxins in clothing.

Thrift stores in Portland
-Crossroads Trading Co.
-Buffalo Exchange
-The Red Light Clothing Exchange
-Hollywood Vintage
-Out of the Closet

These are just a few of the larger clothing thrift stores. Dozens of smaller vintage and thrift boutiques exist throughout the city. Across the U.S., there is a resurgence of thrifting. During the recession, thrifting became more popular out of necessity. According to a 2008 NPR article by Shomial Ahmad on NPR, the economy fueled thrift stores, “The tough economy has been a double-edged sword for thrift shops. Sales have increased as people try to save money on clothing and household goods, but the Salvation Army says donations are at their lowest level in 30 years.” It has been 6 years since Ahmad wrote that story and buying second hand and vintage is still popular. An entire generation has come of age with the concept of thrift as mainstream and hip.

There are a few things to look out for when obtaining garments from thrift stores for the purposes of avoiding toxins. Any of the “wrinkle free” or "no iron" garments, which are often marked on the label as such, contain formaldehyde. It’s a good Idea to find garments made of all natural fibers. If present, brands that are “organic” or “toxin free” can be purchased for a deal at thrift stores. A list of “toxin free” brands and sustainable fashion can be found at

Shomial Ahmad