Thrift store shopping has many benefits, like finding one of a kind clothing and furnishings, saving money, and being good to the environment. And most thrift stores are run by non-profits that support a cause. According to Thread Up, it is estimated that between 2019 and 2021 the thrift store industry will grow by 69%.
Still, many of us do not realize the magnitude of the positive impact of thrifting. Just environmental impact numbers alone are huge. According to BrandonGaille.com, if everyone would purchase just one used item in the next 12 months, it would save 11 billion kilowatts of energy, 25 billion gallons of water, and 449 million pounds of waste. Pretty powerful.
Rutherford County has four non-profit run thrift stores that help teens, families in crisis, and those trying to better their lives with job skills training and education.
710 Memorial Boulevard, Murfreesboro
2955 South Church Street, Murfreesboro
201 South Lowry Street, Smyrna
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Founded in 1902 by the Reverend Edgar J. Helms in Boston, Massachusetts, he wanted to help the poor by giving them a hand up, but not a hand out. A Methodist minister and social innovator, he did that by collecting used clothing and household goods no longer wanted by the wealthy and hired those who were down on their luck to repair and mend the items. Then, they were either allowed to keep them, or the items were put up for sale.
Goodwill has grown into an international non-profit that directly provides more than one and a half million people worldwide with job training and community services, and millions more via their app. With a revenue from their more than 3,300 stores in the United States grossing $4.8 billion dollars, they in turn spend these funds on more job training programming.
There are three store locations in Rutherford County, two in Murfreesboro on Memorial and Church Streets and one in Smyrna on Lowry Street. They have many special sales. The first Saturday of each month everything is 50% off. They also have 99 cent clothing sales on the color of the week on Sundays and Wednesdays. Thursdays are Senior Discount days.
You never know what you will find in a Goodwill store. There might be a $2,000 cocktail dress for five dollars or a pair of Waterford crystal wine glasses for $10.00. New merchandise comes in daily.
309 South Spring Street, Murfreesboro
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Greenhouse Ministries started the Garden Patch Thrift Shoppe in January of 2010, shortly after moving from their 5,000 square foot facility on Front Street that they had outgrown to a new 11,000 square foot facility on Spring Street. The store offers upscale women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and accessories, as well as household décor and furniture.
Garden Patch offers weekly sales of 20% off every month. The first week is kitchen items, week two is clothing, week three is décor, week four is shoes and handbags, and week five is everything.
Sales from the store support the Ministry’s programs including educational programs, legal help, a bicycle program for kids, a nursing clinic, occupational therapy, career training, and a food pantry. They coordinate with other non-profits to care for those who feel like they have no hope.
It was begun in 1999 by Cliff and Jane Sharp who saw a need for helping those they saw struggling at Franklin Heights federal housing project where they donated their time teaching GED and computer classes, and provided child care. Their goal is to help whoever walks through their door.
Currently, they are working on a capital campaign to raise money to build a larger facility on land they bought behind their current location for offices and classrooms, with hopes to expand the size of the Garden Patch in the building their offices are in now.
If you are into vintage furniture, this Is the place to come, especially if you like to do some DIY touchups. They get some cool Mid-century modern pieces that are hot right now. The shop is set up like a boutique, and they have a lot of designer items at low prices.
1715 South Rutherford Boulevard
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a. until 7:00 p.m.
Sunday: 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.
A Ruthies Award recipient as the Best Thrift store in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, Outreach Thrift actually started in Florida and it has had three different owners. The current owner bought the store in 2011. It was started as a Christian based organization to help local agencies provide clothing to residents in need. They now work with 40 different Rutherford County organizations, including Domestic Violence Center, Community Helpers, and Doors of Hope.
Originally located on Broad Street, they moved to their current location about four years ago, but they still help people needing clothing and household goods. They take referrals from the various agencies and needy families can shop there once or on a rotating basis. Manager Delores Hendrix says that one mother of six makes her allotted dollars stretch by shopping bargains, while still getting good quality clothing.
They offer an assortment of clothing and shoes for the entire family, as well as toys, household goods, décor, furniture and some appliances. They always have unique vintage eveningwear and bridal gowns.
In the cases up front are pieces of jewelry and collectables. Or maybe a pair of fancy black and white rain boots shaped like cowboy boots.
Steered Straight Thrift Steered Straight Thrift
610 West College Street
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Jam packed with clothing and home décor donated from all over the country, the store supports the work of Michael DeLeon who provides seminars and workshops for youth about drug and alcohol awareness. A reformed addict and gang member, he has recently published a book called Table Talks to help parents navigate hard discussions with their kids.
The shop is squeezed into a small space, but Marketing Director Dustin Mayers noted that they hope to be moving to a larger space soon.
Of all of the thrift stores, this one has the most Generation Z vibe. It is filled with lots of one of a kind gently used current and retro clothing, and a few pieces of art and household items. The shop even has a cute little pup that comes out to say hello when you enter.