August 17th

National Thrift Shop Day -

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The 17th of August is recognized as National Thrift Shop Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the joys of secondhand shopping, unearthing hidden gems, and making environmentally friendly purchases. This day spotlights the principle of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, and honors the numerous thrift stores around the nation that offer both affordable attire and essential homeware.

For those who love to shop smart and find good deals, as well as for those who are interested in eco-conscious shopping, National Thrift Shop Day is an occasion specifically designed for you!

History of National Thrift Shop Day

The practice of thrift shopping has a long history, with its origins tracing back several centuries when people began selling and purchasing second-hand goods either out of necessity or for practical reasons. The term “thrift shop” seen today has its roots in the ethos of economizing and being frugal, terms that gained popularity between late 19th and early 20th centuries.

One of the most influential organizations who have left an impact on thrift shopping is The Salvation Army. Upon arriving in the United States from England in 1880, they launched the Salvation Army Household and Relief Department in 1897, which sold donated items to fund their cause. This business model laid the groundwork for future thrift shops, and inspired other organizations like the Goodwill Industries, formed in 1902, to embark on similar ventures.

Thrift shops, over time, have seen their popularity wax and wane due to changes in the economy, societal views, and fluctuating fashion trends. However, their core purpose — recycling goods, supporting commendable causes, and offering low-cost items to those in financial need — has remained steadfast.

National Thrift Shop Day underscores the environmental and societal benefits associated with thrift shopping and prompts individuals to think about purchasing second-hand items and donate to these stores. For thrift stores, the celebration of this day presents an opportune time to enhance their visibility and sales through special deals and events.

National Thrift Shop Day Timeline

Early Origin of Thrift Shops

The inception of thrift stores can be traced back roughly to the Salvation Army's opening in the 19th century in England.

The First Goodwill

The first thrift shop related to Goodwill was opened Rev. Edgar J. Helms in Boston.

Spread in the United States

Thrift shops spread across the United States, providing affordable clothing and home goods during the Great Depression.

Post-War Expansion

After World War II, thrift stores become more popular due to increased demand for affordable clothing and household items.

Thrift Stores and the Counterculture

Thrift stores became popular among counterculture groups such as hippies and other youth subcultures, who sought unique and vintage items.

Increase in Popularity

Secondhand shopping sees a resurgence in popularity, with more people shopping at thrift stores for environmental and economic reasons.

Thrift Shopping in the Digital Age

With the rise of online shopping, websites and apps that function as online thrift shops have become increasingly popular.

Ideas to Celebrate National Thrift Shop Day

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Donate to a Thrift Shop

Celebrate by donating things you don't use or need anymore to a local thrift shop. This is a great way to declutter and help your community.

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Thrift Shop Makeover Day

Select a room in your house and see how much of it you can transform using only thrift shop finds. The before-and-after results can be quite dramatic and fun!

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Charitable Shopping Spree

Spend the day shopping at thrift shops that support local charities. Not only will you find some bargains, but you'll also be supporting a good cause.

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Thrift Shop Photoshoot

Organize a thrift shop-inspired photoshoot. Use clothes and props found at your local thrift shop to create fun and creative shots.

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Thrift Shop Day Tour

Plan a tour of several local thrift shops in your area, spend the day exploring and hunting for special treasures while supporting local businesses.

8 Interesting Facts About Thrift Shops


Origin of Thrift Shops

Thrift shops were introduced by the Salvation Army in the 19th century. They were initially set up to provide employment and to offer low-cost items to low-income communities.


Famous Thrift Shop Song

The popularity of thrift shops rose when Macklemore & Ryan Lewis released a song called 'Thrift Shop' in 2012. The song soon became number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.


Thrift Shops for a Cause

Some of the biggest thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army use their sales revenue to fund crucial community programs that aid individuals with disabilities, homeless, immigrants, and more.


Vintage and Rare Finds

One of the most exciting things about thrift shops is the potential of discovering vintage and rare items. From clothes and books to furniture and antiques, treasure hunting is a common thrill for avid thrifters.


Popularity Among Millennials

Thrift shops have gained significant popularity among millennials due to their eco-friendliness. Buying second hand reduces the demand for new production and therefore lessens environmental waste and pollution.


Thrifting Boosts Economy

Thrift shopping not only saves shoppers money but also contributes to local economies. Every year, billions of dollars are pumped back into communities from the sale of thrift shop items.


Famous Thrifters

Even many celebrities like Julia Roberts, Macklemore, Zooey Deschanel, and Sarah Jessica Parker are known to frequent thrift stores for rare and unique finds.


Thrift Shops and Fashion

Thrift shops have made a substantial impact on the fashion industry, influencing trends and promoting sustainability. Many fashionistas and designers get their inspiration and even clothing materials from thrift shops.

National Thrift Shop Day FAQs

Next National Thrift Shop Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 August 17th Thursday
2024 August 17th Saturday
2025 August 17th Sunday
2026 August 17th Monday
2027 August 17th Tuesday
What is the pattern? Every August 17th

National Thrift Shop Day Word Search

  • Bargain
  • Vintage
  • Classics
  • Discount
  • Clothes
  • Reuse