Is it safe to thrift shop amid the pandemic?

The act of thrifting isn’t for the faint of heart. I’m talking bin-diving at a donation center, sorting through piles of T-shirts and Dickies in an old production factory, and sifting through old wardrobe items at rural estate sales, all in hopes of finding that one coveted item. Despite what the Instagram lifestyles of successful vintage sellers like Justin Reed and Janet Mandell would have you believe, being a full-time purveyor of vintage and secondhand clothing is not an easy job — especially now in the midst of the pandemic. Even before COVID-19 hit the U.S, those whose job it is to thrift used some safety precautions to protect themselves and ensure that the items they sold were sanitary, whether that meant bed bug-free or clean of any stains and smells. Some sellers, for instance, froze their finds to eliminate any germs left on the items, while others used baking soda to get rid of the infamous thrift store smell. Many sellers were also accustomed to machine-washing their just-sourced items using the hottest temperature setting. Read more at Refinery29.