“Is that a new jacket?” I ask.
“It’s new to me! I found it at [a] thrift shop for six dollars-- it’s vintage Adidas!” Ainsley Worthley ‘19 replies.
Thrifting has always been around, whether it be at an actual thrift store, a flea market, or just sifting through mom’s closet (“When I was your age, that kind of shirt was all the rage! You’re so lucky to have a trendy mom!”). Now thrifting has become more popular than ever. First Research estimates that while around 100,000 clothing retail stores in the US have a combined annual revenue of about $190 billion, used merchandise stores-- about 20,000 total in the US excluding stores selling used cars, boats, trailers, and mobile homes-- accumulate an annual revenue of around $17 billion, $5.37 billion of which was generated by Goodwill Industries alone in 2014.
Everybody’s Records, a record store in Cincinnati, has been on the thrifting “trend" for a while now. Selling used records, most for less than a dollar, Harry Lushey, an employee at the store, says that they sell “a pretty good amount of both new and used records” but that because older artists may not have new records available, customers will usually end up buying a used version of their record. “We’ve noticed more and more people buying records than in the past.” The growth in their customers mimics the growth in resale customers.
Thrifting is such a popular business because of the low prices and the unique items. Young people especially are looking for new ways to find clothes that are individual and cheap, but especially for ethically made clothing, an interest that most fast-fashion stores don’t cater to. By thrifting, people can be mostly be sure that they are being more environmentally friendly than purchasing new clothes instead. This is a cause that most people are more aware of than ever due to climate change and events like factory disasters in third world countries that ship their products to places like the US so that we can own cheap clothes--but not always ethically.
Throw out any negative connotation that comes along with thrift shopping because, as more and more people are discovering, it’s cheap, ethical, and, as Macklemore shows in his song “Thrift Shop:” So. Much. Fun.