Our promise: transparency and ethical business practices. Always.
Here at philly gurl thrift, we believe that one thing lacking from many businesses is absolute transparency when it comes to business practices. So in the spirit of transparency, here's a behind the scenes look of how we've made philly gurl thrift as ethical as possible.
Every item that we sell is either second hand+repaired or handmade from secondhand materials. We do not buy mailers, and we try to limit how much we need to buy packing tape and other shipping supplies. If you've bought from us before you've probably noticed that the mailers are reused ones from previous online purchases. I collect these from family, friends, and my campus recycling center.
Sourcing secondhand items:
Almost all items or materials are bought from local salvages/vintage warehouses-places that take in all the unsold leftovers from thrift stores, store closings and estate sales. Much of what they have is damaged, which is why they often price by the pound or very very cheaply. If you're local and interested in checking these out yourself I suggest Thunderbird Salvage, Bulk Vintage and Goodwill Outlets. I suggest bringing gloves to dig around in those bins, trust me.
Once in a while, items are sourced from a select few local thrift stores. These stores are located in high income areas in the suburbs between NYC and Philly that get an overabundance of donations despite few customers.
I do not buy plus size items or winter coats to sell since they are often in short supply in thrift stores. Likewise, I do not buy plus size items simply to make them fit a smaller body.
Anything marked handmade was made by me. I get fabric, sewing supplies and more from numerous secondhand places. Some of it comes from the salvages listed above, but I also recommend Jomar (especially for fabric!)
Items almost always were damaged when I got them. If they were not, they were items originally from my closet or the closets of friends and family. As I do lots of extensive repairs (keeping in mind the details appropriate to the item's age/era/style of course), selling items for the price they were bought for is just not possible. Buying from philly gurl thrift is not just paying for the item-it is also paying for time, repair work, and the supplies to properly fix vintage items.
Where does my money go?
I am a first gen college student and a WOC in my last year of college. The profits from this business as well as my two jobs goes to paying my bills and tuition. I definitely wouldn't be graduating without the insane amount of support I have gotten from the secondhand/sustainable fashion community! If I have money left over at the end of paying off bills, I try to donate to local mutual aid funds that center BIPOC.