Welcome to Twice in a Lifetime! On this website you will find a compilation of thrift stores that are local to the Phoenix area, as well as fun facts, videos, and podcasts explaining the importance of thrift shopping, how fun it is and why you should do it. Check out the variety of information that our site has to offer; we hope that you learn something about thrift shopping and encourage you to reuse and donate!
The staff of Twice in a Lifetime
When you shop and donate to a nonprofit thrift store, you are creating opportunities for those in need. Nonprofit thrift stores provide jobs, donate to charities and recycle your old stuff into something new.
The number of resale stores is growing at a rate of approximately seven percent each year, according to The Association of Resale Professionals. There are now more than 25,000 resale, consignment and nonprofit shops in America.
Resale shopping has become a growing trend, according to America’s Research Group, about 16 to 18 percent of Americans will shop at a thrift store during a given year. It used to be that thrifting was only for middle-aged women, but a recent demand for vintage goods has attracted younger customers.
Customers at the White Dove Thrift Shoppe in Mesa, Arizona, describe their shopping as, “treasure hunting.” The culture change in thrift shopping is drawing in a more diverse crowd of shoppers.
Genna Caviness, the store manager at the White Dove Thrift Shoppe, has been working at the shop for four years. She said they have 90 volunteers just at the Mesa location on Guadalupe Road.
“It’s really rewarding to see what people give back to the community and how much they’re willing to give to make something happen,” she said.
Caviness said she likes the variety in the thrift stores with items dating back to the 1800’s.
“If you look around, everything that you see has been donated, and it’s just incredible how much we do receive as far as donations and how the community has come together to be a part of this store,” she said.
The DIY, or Do It Yourself, movement has also contributed to growth in thrift-shopping. Recycling old goods into something new is cost efficient and environmentally friendly.
“There are a lot of artists and people that come through and they think of things to do with the stuff,” Genna Caviness said. “Sometimes we get the before and after pictures and it’s really cool to see that. I would say the going green and repurposing part of it is a reason why they should donate.”
A trend that has become very popular in thrift shopping is up-cycling.
Samantha Morse, a freshman at Arizona State University, balances her budget and her creative urges with up-cycling. She has been thrifting for almost her entire life because her family didn’t always have the money. When she turned 14 years old, she started thrifting on her own, which led to her love of upcycling.
“You just do what you can to make (the old clothes) new,” she said. “You can add patches or you can take a jean jacket and turn it into a purse. Upcycling is essentially recycling but for clothing.”
Morse said thrifting allows her to wear clothes she feels confident in on a college budget.
“Upcycling has really helped me be able to have this wardrobe and this style that I pride myself on,” she said. “You can get clothes for so much cheaper and get really quality clothes. You can get them for a low price. They just need a little love first.”
Morse advises new thrifters to not be completely discouraged walking into a thrift store and not finding the right item immediately.
“It’s a bit of a treasure hunt in thrift stores,” she said. “It’s really great. Scissors are your best friend. Don’t be afraid to cut stuff up and change it.”
Shopping at thrift stores keeps potentially reusable items out of our landfills. Also, the more people shop second-hand, the fewer clothing items will need to be mass produced.
“We’re doing good with their donations,” Genna Caviness said. “The funds are going to a great place. It’s not getting put into a CEO’s pocket.”
Another way the White Dove Thrift Shoppe is giving back to its community is by helping the Hospice of the Valley, which is a nonprofit organization providing hospice services to terminally ill patients and their families.
Hospice of the Valley has been around since 1977 and will be celebrating its 40-year anniversary.
“Everything you see in our store is donated, and all of our proceedings go back to patient care,” she said. “We’ve never refused a patient regardless of ability to pay.”
Many thrift stores benefit a charity. Even large chains like Savers put their proceedings toward helping save the planet and aiding people across the world. Savers sends all their unsold items overseas.
My Sister’s Charities in Chandler, Arizona aim to protect endangered wildlife, to heal women survivors of domestic abuse and end euthanasia of unwanted dogs and cats.
The White Dove Thrift Shoppe has four different stores in Maricopa County that help the Hospice of the Valley.
“When we get the donations of from folks who have lost a loved one, they’re saying goodbye to that last piece,” Genna Caviness said. “About 40% of our donations come from families who just lost a loved one on hospice with Hospice of the Valleys care.”
Caviness said working for the White Dove is incredible because she can watch the community come together to help the store and see how much they donate.
“One of the most rewarding parts is that we are able to help families in need at one of their greatest times in need,” she said.