The elusive art of thrift shopping
“I thought [thrift shopping] was stupid—you don’t want to wear clothes that are old,” 19-year-old Becca Cutter stated about her younger self. “Why would I want to wear someone else’s clothes?”
Upon growing up and learning to manage her own money, Cutter and many others are realizing that brand new does not always equal superior.
For some, splurging on clothes at high-end stores is an ideal way to shop. For others, the fluorescent-lit, loosely organized racks of what’s perhaps the outcome of people’s last spring cleanings is the way to go.
“I thrift now because it’s just fun. Going into it, you never know what you’ll end up with and you get to extend the lifespan of the pieces you are getting for really cheap.” Cutter said.
According to consignment company ThredUP’s 2019 resale report, the resale industry has grown 21% faster than the retail apparel market over the past three years. Simply put, saving money on clothes is becoming essential for many people.
For 20-year-old Rebecca Phillippe, thrifting wasn’t as much about the low costs as it was about the rarity of what’s inside a thrift store.
“My mom used to bring me thrifting with her when I was young. It wasn’t about the money for her, it was about the excitement of what she could find hiding in the racks,” Phillippe explained. “You find more than just clothes, you find exclusivity. You get to say ‘no one else has this.’”
Creating a wardrobe out of other people’s old clothes is an artistry in itself.
Pre-loved clothing items come with a personality—whether it dates back to the ‘80s, or the accidental bleach stain that makes an item looks like a vintage article of clothing.
Avid thrift shoppers love getting a bargain on a unique piece. For 19-year-old Christina Perez, it was a black and white t-shirt dress by Calvin Klein.
“I don’t buy clothes frequently, but when I do, it’s frequently from thrift stores,” Perez said. “When you find something after looking for so long, it’s a victorious feeling. So often you don’t really find anything, so it’s really rewarding when you do.”
The sustainable essence of thrifting also contributes to its popularity, as saving the planet is becoming as desirable as the clothing itself.
Those concerned about the environmental impact of the billions of new garments being
produced each year can turn to thrifting as a more eco-friendly way to shop.
By buying pre-worn clothing and recycling dated pieces, consumers can lower their carbon footprint significantly.
Thrift shopping is having a moment as more and more people are giving pre-worn clothing a chance. Thrift shopping is the living proof that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
By Sofia Jas