Shifting to Thrifting


Isabelle McKenzie, Reporter

“Thanks, I bought it from the thrift shop!” a phrase rarely used in the last couple of years, seems to be becoming a more frequent response to clothing compliments among teenagers. In fact, it seems that thrifting and vintage shopping are becoming a very strong trend in the media world, as Youtubers and influencers across a multitude of platforms have been promoting this effective, money-saving lifestyle. However, thrifting has not just become a trend due to its rising popularity  among media celebrities. This method of shopping combines sustainable and ethical morals with the opportunity for a uniqueness attractive to everyone!

It’s 2019 and awareness towards extreme social, political issues has reached an all time high. By shifting to thrifting, you contribute to global change, spreading a movement that  battles both social and environmental issues in the United States.

For those who have not already taken Social Justice at Pres, one of the biggest social issues that thrifting combats is the support of companies that use sweatshops to manufacture products. Defined by the U.S. Department of Labor, a sweatshop is a factory that violates two or more labor laws. Most often, sweatshops violate laws that call for humane working conditions, fair wages, reasonable hours, and benefits for workers.

Sadly, many violations of the Department of Labor code often go unnoticed. This results in  in problems that not only violate the basic human dignity of workers, but bring about other social issues such as child labor in developing countries.

In terms of environmental issues, rewearing clothes reduces waste and pollution. The production of new clothing is very costly to the environment. Production of synthetic fibers, such as polyester, or crude oils, such as petroleum, require a lot of energy and release toxic byproducts into the air. Transportation-related pollution also decreases when second-hand items are reworn, as new clothes are more likely to travel longer distances than alternative thrift-wear.

If you still aren’t convinced to shift to thrift, shopping second-hand clothing has many personal benefits as well. Not only will thrifting save you a great deal of money, but shopping second-hand can contribute to the overall uniqueness of your wardrobe. In fact, thrifted clothing almost never comes in multiples.

As thrift stores allow you to explore diverse styles, you may find yourself running into genuine vintage items or even designer products at a fraction of the price. Even more so, you may find products that are no longer made.

Now that I have you convinced, here are some tips on how to thrift like a pro.

Go in with an idea of what you’re looking for. It’s important to go in a thrift shop with an idea of what you want. Sometimes thrift shops can be daunting, so it’s important to have an idea of what you want to bring home.

Look for opportunities to repurpose and refurbish. When thrifting, you might not always come upon that perfect match. Go shopping with an open mind. You can always refurbish an item to fit the look you’re going for. Afterall, making some rips in a pair of jeans or decorating a simple pot could make for an awesome art project!

Look in the men’s section. If you are into oversized flannels, hoodies, or pajamas then the men’s section is for you! Never put a limit the places you can find the perfect piece of clothing. Often the best oversized clothing can be found here!

Thrift while you travel. Thrifting while traveling allows for a whole new selection of items. When thrifting across the globe, you can find a unique, one-of-a-kind piece special to that location.

Have fun. Lastly, don’t take thrifting too seriously. Thrifting is the perfect way to find unique items at a killer price. Enjoy it as an activity with friends or family, or use it to discover your inner creativity. The possibilities are endless!