Employee Spotlight: How Community Manager Ali Fuels Her Love of Shopping Sustainably
Welcome to Employee Spotlight, a thrEDIT original series featuring real-life thredUP employees. Meet Ali Ocampo, our new community manager! Read all about her expert thrifting tips (on and offline) and how she, as an avid shopper, stays sustainable.
What do you do at thredUP?
I’m the community manager! I work on the social media team to keep us in touch with all our followers and customers. Whether you have a question or just need help shopping on our site—I’m your girl!
When did you start shopping secondhand?
I started around college when I came to realize that buying a new outfit for every single event was not sustainable, and definitely not affordable. Also, when I moved to San Francisco, I found myself always asking people where they got their cute statement pieces and SO many people said they were from thrift stores. Now, my friends and I make it a point to go thrifting in the Haight in SF, especially when we need denim.
What do you find most surprising about thredUP?
There is SOOOO much stuff to shop. Working on the social media team, I also get to see all the cool outfits people tag us in. There really is something for everyone, no matter what your taste might be!
As an insider, what’s your top tip for shopping secondhand (and thredUP)?
Filters, filters, and I cannot stress this enough, filters. They are your best friends. Know what you’re looking for (especially on thredUP), because it could be a little overwhelming if you’re just browsing to browse. But if you know you your basic colored tees from GAP, you can filter by that. Or if you know you’re looking for a green raincoat for upcoming travels, you can filter to find exactly that too. I’m amazed every day at how specific you can get on our site.
When shopping in actual thrift stores, I highly recommend making sure you have time to go through everything. Some of my best finds have come from looking for one thing and discovering another! For example, I went in looking for band tees but I happened to wander into the coat section where I came across a yellow (which happens to be my favorite color) wool coat!
What’s one thing you do (besides thrifting) to live a more sustainable life?
Well, I love to shop. It’s seriously something I’ve cherished my entire life and something me and my parents did together (even my dad loved to shop), so I have a ton of clothes. I don’t get rid of things often, but I take really good care of my clothes.
When I’m shopping now, I’m a lot more conscious of where the clothes are coming from, how often I think I’ll wear it, and how long it will last me. I tend to shop brands that have a cause and support sustainability efforts. I love Madewell because I can take in a pair of jeans that they donate to be recycled into housing insulation.
How would you describe your style?
My style is really all over the place. Right now, I’d describe my style as girly tomboy if that makes sense. I love super bright-colored beanies, statement jackets, with a basic pair of skinny jeans and a white tee and converse. Also, I could live in overalls.
What’s one of the most memorable thrifty finds you’ve gotten?
I was looking for a plain denim jacket one day at one of my favorite thrift stores in SF and came across a denim jacket with a long brown fringe on the back, and shoulder pads (usually not my style)… I tried it on and to my surprise it was SOOO cute. It’s the perfect statement denim jacket that still goes with everything, and I’m pretty sure I’ve rocked it at every music festival I’ve been to since I bought it. If I went into a department store instead, this jacket would have been like $200, but it was only $50.