Alright you guys, so here we are half way through week two of Thrift Month and I am so excited to share the second Q&A of the month!
If you missed it, freshen up on what Thrift Month is and why I’m doing it here in the first Q&A.
And now to the good stuff!
Today I am interviewing a gal who owns an online vintage and secondhand resale shop called Foundshop. She’s also a wife and mother, such a support and friend to me, and just an all-around inspiring person!
Rebekah will be sharing so many things about her life, the fashion industry, her shop, ethical fashion, and what we can do about it all, but it is all being shared through her heart to make ethical fashion accessible to everyone through selling beautifully curated secondhand items at a low cost.
She has an amazing heart and I’m excited to share her perspective on the fashion industry with you all and her response to it all! (Hint it has to do with thrifting… I surprised you there didn’t I?!)
So without further ado let’s jump into her q&a, shall we?
Tell me a little bit about yourself:
Hello! My name is Rebekah and I am a wife and momma to one supportive and kind man and two sweet baby girls. I have a deep love for people, vintage, and adventures. Right now we are in a season of change. We’re moving, starting kindergarten in the fall for my oldest, and trying to adventure in the mountains as much as we possibly can before school starts.
I also run a little shop called Foundshop where I source and sell vintage and carefully curated second-hand items. Life is full but in the best of ways and I am so thankful.
What inspired you to start thrifting?
I have loved thrifting for quite some time now. I started while in High school because I wanted to find unique and one of a kind gems. Vintage was my outlet for expression in my closet and I have always loved older things.
Fast forward through college and young adult years to being married and having kids and that love for second hand and vintage has remained.
Why did you start an online shop?
Foundshop is all about making ethical fashion accessible. I realize that being able to afford a completely ethical closet is hard and thrifting/sorting through mounds of clothes isn’t for everyone.
I enjoy the hunt and wanted to start the shop to encourage others in the shift to an ethical closet. I hope to find the best gems I can and sell them at an affordable price.
This is truly the reason for every effort I make for the shop.
To make beautiful and ethical fashion accessible.
And the best thing? Every item sold is second hand and 100% recycled. That makes my heart so happy.
In your opinion what are the environmental issues at stake with purchasing fast fashion solely and what effects does this have on people?
My main concerns are:
- The effects on the environment.
- The effects on the people who make the garments
- The expectations we have as consumers
The fashion industry has a huge impact on the environment. For example, in order to produce enough conventional cotton to make endless amounts of lines and seasons of clothes, the fashion industry is responsible for 25% of pesticide use worldwide. It is also one of the top industries responsible for water pollution second only to the oil industry. It’s easy to think, “It’s just a new outfit.” But every shopping choice we make is a vote towards the type of world we want to live in. I believe consumers have a key role in effecting positive change in this broken industry. If we change, big business will follow.
The other concern I have with the fashion industry is the treatment of garment workers. If you really think about it, everything is handmade. Not just those special garments sold in boutiques. When I see outrageous sales or incredibly low prices, my mind immediately thinks about how cheaply those items had to have been sourced. Fast fashion relies on millions of sales in order to make a margin out of cheaply manufactured goods. In my opinion, it really serves no one. The items we get are so poorly made that we have to keep buying new and the garment workers are paid so little that they are stuck in a cycle of oppression in order to provide for their own families. Change has to happen in order to improve the quality of life for garment workers as well as our Planet.
What kind of impact can we have even with small changes in our consuming behavior?
We can make such a BIG difference by:
- Staying informed
- Keeping businesses accountable
- Making more secondhand choices
At the end of the day, brands want to make money and if consumers are trending towards ethically sourced fashion, those brands will work to meet that demand.
When it comes to making a statement as a consumer, I like to take it a step further and only choose secondhand. It’s a great way to take all the buying power I have and invest it in recycled fashion exclusively. I feel really empowered when I can fully say no to unfair practices in the fashion industry and care for the earth while I’m at it.
And thankfully there are so many gems to be found at the thrift store!
Do you have any tips for those considering purchasing more secondhand or making a move towards a more ethical wardrobe?
If you are considering a move to a more ethical closet, I would say start by:
- Challenging your shopping habits
- Thinking in terms of what you really need or really should purchase As that changes, your shopping choices will change as well. But take it one day at a time.
I made the decision to shop only second hand or ethically sourced about 3 years ago. It can be challenging at times because there is a reason that fast fashion works, it’s convenient and a great price. But I had to re-train myself to think about how much clothing I really needed as well as how much that clothing should really cost.
Now, when I see outrageously low prices I am moved with compassion instead of want. I realize that garments take time and good fabric is expensive. So the items I buy should reflect that.
What suggestions do you have for passing on unused clothing?
There are many ways to try and recycle the clothing in our closets. A few suggestions I have done personally are:
- Swaps with friends
- Selling online to places like Poshmark
- Repurposing old tee’s/other items to rags
But through the years I have found that buying less and choosing better-made garments, causes you to have less excess and the problem of too much tends to decrease or even go away. That has been a great feeling for me. Having less and choosing well has been so good for my heart and home.
What resources would you suggest for those of us who want to know more?
Some resources that have encouraged me while making the shift to recycled and ethically sourced fashion include
- The True Cost movie. Change really began there for me.
- Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline.
I also like to use the App Good on you when I choose to buy new. It’s a great app that helps me know about where a brand gets its materials and about their ethics when I am in a hurry.
Overall I really believe that a little pause when it comes to our shopping is good for all of us. It helps us to reconsider a purchase and really identify why we are purchasing and what that purchase is voting for.
And that’s it for this q&a!
I love hearing Rebekah’s perspective and heart behind what she does, and I believe that even making some choices to purchase from ethical brands, cutting back on purchasing new, and instead, purchasing secondhand can make such a big difference in the world and in support of people!
I will be taking Rebekah’s words to heart and continuing to pause before purchasing and really evaluate why I am buying something and who I am buying from and I hope you are encouraged to do the same!
And as always tell me your thoughts, my friends!? Are you working towards an ethical or secondhand closet alone? Or are you working to incorporate some ethical/secondhand items into your life right now?
So much love,