In recent years, society has decided that instead of looking down on people who wear hand-me downs, and although thrift stores have been around since the 1920s, it's recently become the newest fashion trend.
Here are 3 reasons that thrifting is more than just getting that hip vintage look:
1. Fast fashion is harmful, while thrifting is helpful.
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, fast fashion is an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.
Big name fashion stores are able to have new trends in the store in just weeks. This constant flow of trends leads to the waste of mass amounts of clothing in America. It also damages the environment due to the chemicals, dyes, and synthetic fabrics that seep into the water in the countries where the clothes are made. This leads to pollution of the water. Along with water pollution is land pollution.
Thrifting creates fewer clothes in the landfills.
Along with the damage to the environment and the high amounts of disposable clothes, there is also the issue of slave labor for the people making these clothes. Women and children are often forced to work in horrible conditions for low pay to produce a shirt that is less expensive to the consumers. By shopping at thrift stores instead of only big corporate stores, you will be helping people you will never meet, but who truly need your help.
2. Your community will benefit.
Most thrift shops help the community around them by providing jobs, donating to more global groups, or create a space for all people to be welcome. Many thrift stores help people to get back on their feet again by giving them a job.
Upland’s local thrift shop, Helping Hands, is a non-profit that exists to help local families that are going through difficult times. They help when crises like unemployment or illness hit.
3. One man's trash is another man's treasure.
Have you ever been walking into prom and you see the girl in front of you in line in the same yellow dress? Just me? By thrifting, unique items find their way into your wardrobe. The pieces that people are always asking you where you got them from.
Junior CC Southerland loves taking old things and upcycling them into fresh fashion pieces. She takes old clothes that people have gotten rid of and shines a whole new light on them.
“You find stuff that no one has because it's so random and it's pulled out of people's drawers from 20 years ago,” Southerland said “There's not a whole section of the same shirt. You're getting a variety of things.”
Thrifting can bring out the creativity in you. This creativity could look like cutting jeans into shorts or adding holes to them. Thrift store fashion is an art.
“I express my creativity through what I wear,” Southerland said “I may be putting pieces together —pants and a top, shoes, accessories — and it becomes very creative because you're taking a bunch of different pieces and trying to put it together and make it look good.”
There are two ways to get the most out of thrifting: Be creative and fearless. When looking through the diverse options in a thrift store, look for the things that stand out because they are different. Learn to be creative.
“You can try the craziest things ever and, it's okay if it doesn't look good, try something else,” Southerland said. “Just have fun with it.”
In order to get creative with your fashion, one must also let go of the fear of what other people will say. Southerland follows it up with this advice, “Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Sometimes our creativity can be limited because we are worried about what other people think.”
Whether you are thrifting in order to save a few bucks or to save the environment, it is a fun way to come together with friends and do something socially helpful to the world around us all.