Tamar is such a gorgeous woman, inside and out! She has the most chic style, she’s a devoted vegan, a committed thrifter, and truly so kind and open to anyone who has questions about the thrifting life. I don’t want to steal her thunder, so read on to learn more about this sweet lady!
Tell me a little about yourself? Who are you, where are you from / living, etc?
“Hello hello! My name is Tamar and I’m 21 years old. I’m an English Literature and Linguistics student at the University of Amsterdam; the loveliest city below sea-level. For all you silly (trust me I love ya) Americans or basically everyone outside of Europe, Amsterdam is located in The Netherlands, that’s not Belgium or Germany and Amsterdam is not a separate country either. Now that we’ve established that, let’s talk socials. My Instagram account is @i.thrift.shit where I mostly post #ootd’s and try to distract the focus away from my awkward face with paying some attention to the backdrop of the pictures. I’ve recently decided to go with the name Tamar Esperanza as my online name. Esperanza was my grandmother’s last name and means hope in Spanish. I translate this ‘hope’ as a wish to work together towards a more sustainable and compassionate way of treating our planet and all who inhabit her. I mostly focus on thrifted fashion on my Instagram page as I feel like that’s where my talent and passion lie and I will be the most equipped to motivated others to thrift (and thereby not contribute to fast fashion) as well. Furthermore, I started the YouTube channel ‘Tamar Esperanza’ to talk about and engage with a multitude of subjects keeping the theme of ‘hope’ in the background of all of my content. I hope to start posting on there this summer!”
How did you first get into ethical / sustainable fashion?
“When I was around 15 years old my mom took me and my sister to a thrift store in the small town where my grandparents live. I had never seen anything like it before. I had been to vintage stores in Amsterdam and other cities in Europe before, where I was equally amazed but never bought much because of the prices. I don’t come from a very well off family (although I have really nothing to complain about) so during my time in high school and the first years of University I worked at a grocery store to make some money for myself in order to afford my obsession with fashion. All right, back to the thrift store. When I looked around and started digging through all the racks of clothing, I was in awe of all the pieces and the prices. I absolutely loved the hunt! I was so happy to have found a way to look unique and like myself without having to break the bank. Even now, every time I walk into a thrift store I almost start shaking with excitement.
Around the same time (apparently my 15th year on this planet was a very significant one), I became a vegetarian and later on went vegan. I have always had a deep love for animals and the planet. We as human animals often see the fact that we have a higher intellect as a reason to decide the fate of the animals we consume, use, and test on. I see this intellect as a responsibility we have to keep this planet as green and as happy as possible and to harm no animals, human or otherwise, in the process. Thrifting gives me the power to not contribute to the horrible practice that is fast fashion. So, this year I decided to share with the world ‘how’ and ‘why’ I thrift, to hopefully convince more people to stop shopping fast fashion.”
What’s something you really want other people to know about ethical / sustainable fashion?
“I would urge people to not get discouraged, and really hope they won’t. There is a way to live and enjoy sustainable fashion for everyone! I know thrifting can be very time consuming and if you live in a small town you might not even have great thrift stores around. Bless the internet! Here are some options for you to be able to shop second hand and get the items delivered to you: Depop, Etsy, Ebay, ThredUP, Poshmark, and there are even more websites out there! I must be honest and tell you that I’m personally not very familiar (yet) with ethical clothing brands that actually make/produce items. At this moment in time, it is my mission to thrift as much as possible but I am also determined to learn more about ethical brands. For now, I would recommend to watch content on YouTube about ethical fashion, look on Instagram, and do your research!! Finally, ‘the most sustainable wardrobe is the one you already own’, don’t start throwing away those Zara dresses you love, make the most of what you got and try not to over-consume.”
Who are your inspirations (ethical fashion or otherwise)?
“I must say, the thrifting community on Instagram blows me away. I’ve had the pleasure to talk with so many like-minded, compassionate people through my DM’s and in the comments. It is honestly amazing. Beautifully written and researched captions underneath the prettiest pictures. I see them as my peers and some even as my friends. They motivate me to keep going and that there is value in what we’re doing and creating. If you are not sure yet about sharing your own love for thrifting; trust me, we’ll welcome you with open arms.”
Do you have any ethical brands you’d recommend or tips for how to find great thrifted pieces?
“Three of Tam’s Thrift Tips:
- (if you have the time) Look through it all! Men’s section included. Sizes are all out of whack when it comes to the thrift store and older items. My wardrobe consists of a range of sizes S up to 2XL.
- If the prices are right, it’s time to play! Why not try on that yellow, fake fur jacket? Experimenting with clothing styles is so much fun man.
- Go with someone! A friend, your mom, your brother. It really helps to have someone helping you decided if that yellow jacket will go with the rest of your wardrobe, to keep your spirits up, and watch your stuff when you have to pee! (Don’t forget to thank them and do the same for them of course.)”
What is one of your current favorite items of clothing you own?
“My current favorite item is this super unique little shoulder bag I found at Rataplan Amsterdam (thrift store in Amsterdam). I have never seen anything like it before. It’s silver on the in- and outside. Has a lilac zipper. It’s so nicely made. I paid €4.50, – for the bag and it had the original tag on it. On the tag, it said that the bag was made out of recycled chips bags. I MEAN. It’s just the coolest.”
What are you reading, listening to and/or watching right now?
“If you are interested in veganism I would recommend one of my favorite podcasts ‘The Bearded Vegans’ and one of my favorite books ‘How Not to Die’ by Michael Greger. I personally love watching thrift hauls on YouTube to see all the unique items people are able to pull from the racks. I also got really into skincare lately (obviously, cruelty free & vegan skincare) and have been consuming a lot of content around that subject as well. I am currently studying for my finals and hope to be able to read, listen, and watch more after all this is over!”
Where can we find you?
I hope you enjoyed hearing from Tamar this week–she’s one to watch for sure! Go ahead and give her a follow if you aren’t already!