Sustainability, low prices attract South Shore thrift shoppers – The Patriot Ledger

 Fueled by back-to-school shopping ads for  big-box stores and  a constant flood of hot new trends on social media, modern-day shopping habits often feed the flow of fast fashion – the production of low-quality, low-cost clothing. 
But  as interest in thrifting and consignment shopping grows among young consumers, there’s a new group of influencers: young adults and even school-aged children sharing their finds from local thrift stores and larger chains such as Goodwill and Savers. Smartphone apps to help discover the best secondhand finds are thriving, and local store owners say young people are sparking conversations about sustainability and low-cost alternatives to shopping new.
One of those local merchants, Cathy Dubois, owner of Twice as Nice Designs in Pembroke, said her customer base has gotten younger and younger over the last few years, and her Facebook following continues to grow.
The market for shopping secondhand is expected to  keep growing, says a recent report from online used clothing seller ThredUp. The market in the U.S. is predicted to double by 2026,  bringing in about  $82 billion that year. ThredUp found that 62% of Gen Z and millennial shoppers are searching for items secondhand before buying them new. Those two groups represent an age range of about 10 to 40.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s most recent data from 2018 shows that about 17 million tons of textiles were generated that year and around 66% of ended up in landfills. Only around 15% of the textiles were recycled. 
Real estate: $2.4 million Quincy home makes Top 20 most expensive recent South Shore home sales list
Uniquely local: Driven by recovery, Rockland couple make mocktails for all
Shop owners are quick to point out that  buying cheaper, more environmentally conscious items doesn’t mean sacrificing style. 
Kristen Harris, owner of The Designer Diva in Abington,  said dressing with style doesn’t have to be expensive or wasteful. Her personal catchphrase is to have a “caviar palate on a peanut butter budget,” Harris said. 
Her shop carries  a range of items for under $10. 
At consignment shops – where sellers bring in goods and receive a percentage of the commission when the clothing is sold – both sellers and buyers can give clothing a new life. 
Dubois, whose shop specializes in the resale of formal wear for men and women, said an average of two new consignors per day have walked through her door since January , and she receives many new clothes.
“It gives it a second life,” Dubois said of resale shopping. 
Harris said she has about 4,000 individual consignors stocking her shelves, and she also receives new clothes. 
Instead of rows of similar styles, however, the stock at consignment and thrift stores changes daily or weekly. Dubois and Harris said they add new items every day. 
Hull’s Atlantic House:The grandest South Shore hotel of the Gilded Age
Town meeting: Hingham taxpayers’ bills would rise if $160M for school, public safety building approved
Thrift shoppers aren’t looking to find the same pieces as everyone else with access to online shopping, but instead thrive on possibly finding a gem among the racks.
Dubois said some of her consignors bring in clothing they bought  while traveling. 
“We get a lot of one-of-a-kind pieces,” she said.
At the Local Mystique thrift store in Plymouth, owners Samantha Pike, Kati Walsh and Joe Walsh don’t wait for consignors to bring in unique pieces. They rescue clothing, furniture, vinyl records, home décor and more from estate and yard sales. 
“We’re not just getting brand-new stuff. We have stuff you’re not going to find going into a Target,” Kati Walsh said. 
Local Mystique at 398 Court St. in Plymouth offers an array of whimsical glass lamps nestled between clothing racks and jewelry display cases.
“We’ve put in the time to take the headache out of the search,” Pike said. 
The store also partners with local artisans to sell unique goods, including gems, woodworking pieces and macramé. 
At The Designer Diva at 171 Brockton Ave. in Abington, Harris said some people  don’t shop secondhand because they think the pieces will be dirty. But Harris requires that consignors dry clean the clothes they are selling the same day they bring it into the shop.
Harris, whose store is a popular spot for prom dress shopping, focuses on carrying clothing in a wide range of sizes, from 0 to 24. 
Twice as Nice at 46 Columbia Road in Pembroke has  items sorted by the popular labels Dubois said many shoppers search for, including  Lilly Pulitzer and Lululemon. Wedding dresses and formalwear  are on the store’s second floor.
Duxbury Thrift Shop at 48 Depot St. focuses on a variety of clothing for all styles. Jewelry, shoes, home décor and handbags fill the shelves, and proceeds benefit the Duxbury Scholarship Fund.
The Take 2 Thrift Shop inside the Cushing MarketPlace at 405 Washington St. in Hanover is run entirely by the students and staff at Cardinal Cushing Centers, a school for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Donors drop off gently used goods, and students work to sort, tag and sell it. 
The Resale Therapy consignment shop at 106 Pleasant St. in Weymouth takes pride in its selection of housewares, accessories and gifts. 
Quincy’s Bureau Drawer at 105 Adams St. specializes in vintage clothing, shoes and jewelry, as well as current styles. It also sells small electronics, books, toys, art and more. 
Thanks to our subscribers, who help make this coverage possible. If you are not a subscriber, please consider supporting quality local journalism with a Patriot Ledger subscription. Here is our latest offer. 
To reach Katherine Canniff, email [email protected].