How thrifting at one of these Salt Lake City stores can be good for the environment

Patrons shop at the Goodwill outlet store at 1850 W. 1500 South in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. According to Jason Asher, director of retail product and logistics, a Goodwill outlet store operates very differently from a traditional Goodwill store. “In an outlet, clothing and other items for sale are placed in large bins and arranged in a large ‘warehouse-like’ area. New bins of merchandise are then rotated onto the sale floor throughout the day,” said Asher. “Rather than purchasing individual items, customers buy a majority of items in the outlet by the pound,” he added. The Goodwill Outlet’s prices will start at $.39 per pound for books and $1.59 per pound for clothing and other items with discounted pricing with larger purchases. (Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Thrifting has long been championed by both the money-conscious and the vintage fashion-oriented, but repurposed clothing has also become popular among environmentalists seeking to reduce waste in the fashion industry.

An estimated 17 million tons of textiles were generated in 2018, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's most recent data on clothing waste. Also in 2018, landfills accumulated 11.3 million tons of textiles, and an estimated 3.2 million tons of textiles were combusted. Of these textiles, the EPA reported the majority were clothing.

As environmental awareness has grown among consumers, "sustainable fashion" has emerged with it, according to Scientific American. A key aspect to sustainable fashion is secondhand shopping, which reuses and repurposes discarded clothing to both prevent waste and decrease the amount of clothing that must be produced each year.

Many studies have pointed to substantial water waste and increased greenhouse gas emissions as a result of the "fast-fashion" industry, according to Scientific American and Uptown Cheapskate. The large number of variables factoring into the impact of individual articles of clothing creates difficulty in determining the benefits of buying fewer new clothing items and secondhand shopping instead, but researchers are optimistic that the trend toward thrifting will help to reduce negative environmental impacts from the fashion industry.

In Utah, numerous thrift stores present alternatives to traditional shopping. Here are some Salt Lake City thrift shops for environmentalists, savers and vintage fashion shoppers alike:

Deseret Industries

One of Utah's biggest thrifting chains, Deseret Industries has store locations throughout the state and in several locations in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area. Deseret Industries accepts donations from the public and provides store locations for customers to thrift clothing, electronics, furniture and more.


Another chain providing both a donation center and shopping, Savers is best known in Salt Lake City for its location on 3171 E. 3300 South. Not only does Savers provide shopping for the community and promote recycling, according to its website the organization also benefits nonprofits like Friends of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Utah.


A chain thrift store, Goodwill provides donation centers and shopping for recycled items throughout the United States. In the Salt Lake City area, Goodwill locations can be found at 4545 S. 900 East and 6042 S. State Street.

Assistance League Thrift Shop

This thrift store, located on 2090 E. 3300 South, provides a boutique atmosphere for both donations and shopping for high-quality items at low prices.


IconoCLAD provides consignment for locals and gives those seeking to repurpose their unused clothing the opportunity to earn 50% of the income from IconoCLAD's sale of the items, according to the company's website. The thrift store can be found at 414 E. 300 South in Salt Lake City.

Vantage Vintage

Located on 774 E. 800 South in Salt Lake City, Vantage sells a wide variety of vintage items to make thrifted style easier for its customers. See some of what Vantage has to offer on the company's Instagram.

The Other Side Thrift Boutique

Located on 3320 S. 1300 East in Millcreek and 4290 S. State Street in Murray, The Other Side is a thrift store that sells clothing, furniture and more. Learn more about The Other Side on the company's Instagram.

Uptown Cheapskate

Uptown Cheapskate, located at 253 W. 200 South and 2120 S. 1300 East, buys gently used clothes for cash on the spot or store credit, and then resells the items in its on-site stores. Uptown Cheapskate gladly donates any items not purchased to local charities, according to their website.

Find more thrift stores in Salt Lake City here.

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