In Tough Times, America Relearns Thrift

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2009 4:35 PM CST
In Tough Times, America Relearns Thrift
A used clothing store.   (AP Photo)

Staring down a recession, Americans are turning tail and running to their nearest shoe repair shop, reports the Christian Science Monitor, in a look at the reversal of the United States' "throwaway" society. Thrift stores and repair shops are doing brisk business while their retail counterparts languish, or even close their doors. Nearly three-quarters of secondhand stores in the US report an uptick in sales compared with last year.

Items once thought disposable, like shoes and computers, are making their way to repair shops. And used appears to be the new black. While environmental do-gooders and the poor haven’t forgotten thrift, the rest of consumer society will find the practice awkward. “Unfortunately, part of this is probably a lost art,” one frugality expert said. “It can be a tough sell, unless you have to do it—which is what's happened.” (More thrift stories.)

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