Look Swag, Save Money

Why You Should Be Thrifting

In the past, shopping at thrift stores was an activity that many looked down upon. As Diane Nivens from the webpage ‘Life Hack’ expressed, “Having to wear other people’s closet rejects after they wore them out to threadbare rags, or wearing the clothes of someone that had died, was embarrassing and a clear sign that you or your family was poor.”

Because of the price reductions, a trip to the thrift store had been seen by many as an activity to only participate in if your pockets were hurting.

However, the times are changing. With the emergence of Generation Z becoming teenagers, ‘thrifting’ is seen as a fun pastime–something akin to a treasure hunt.

One of the reasons for the sudden popularity of second-hand stores is the affordability. With the prices of goods at malls and department stores constantly going up, a thrift store increases the amount of clothing that you’re leaving with.

“-A trip to the thrift store is much easier on your wallet than a trip to the mall, and I believe that makes it a much more appealing place to shop from,” said alumni Travis Ward, who is a regular thrifter. 

Ward went on to say that most of his wardrobe comes from second hand stores, vintage stores, or was handed down to him from his parents. He described that he can and would rather spend $70 on several pairs of jeans than going to the mall to buy one pair for the same price. 

Another reason why thrifting has become destigmatized is the motivation to reduce our environmental impact that’s caused by clothing production. 

Fast fashion stores that mass produce clothes use immense amounts of water to produce their products. For the clothes that get bought, many of them go out of style within a year and pollute landfills

When people purchase items from second-hand stores, it gives the piece of clothing–that would have ended up in the landfill if the previous owner had just thrown it out–a new home. 

“I think shopping sustainably is one of the most important things and, even though sometimes I cannot find what I need right away, it is worth it for the environment,” said sophomore Regan Bosley. 

Bosley attributes the popularity of thrift stores to the publicization of environmental issues and how people feel the compelling need to help with them. She also is in agreement with Ward’s statements on the convenient prices. 

While they both sell second-hand products, teens have also shared that they believe thrift stores will replace vintage/antique stores. In an Instagram poll between vintage stores and thrift stores, 

35 of 56 said they would prefer to shop at a thrift store. 

“I think [thrift stores] are replacing vintage stores because teenagers know more ways to get to thrift stores and they are becoming a better ‘vibe’ to teenagers overall,” said Bosley. 

Ward disagrees. “[Thrift stores] are getting a majority of their inventory from the thrift stores or people that would normally donate their clothes but now can sell them for a profit to a vintage store.” 

While this could be true, thrift stores continue to be the more affordable and accessible option to teenagers. With the prices of these places not making dramatic increases to accommodate for inflation like other stores are, it will most likely stay this way for future generations as well.