The rise of the thrift shop


More and more I am hearing about these cool, edgy thrift stores. Around my high school having something from a thrift store was as cool as having the new designer shirt. I bet if you ask the most hip person you know, they will have something from a thrift store. The trend is expanding to the young public fairly rapidly.  What’s the appeal though? Why the sudden interest in used and “vintage” clothes?

  1. Price is an obvious factor. Why pay $40 for a shirt at Urban Outfitters or Banana Republic when you can get one at thrift store for $10. You may have to look through a few racks of clothes, but the thrill of finding that perfect piece at ten bucks makes it worth it. Is price the only reason though? For some possibly, but many people that I have talked to can afford new clothes from regular stores, but choose to shop at thrift stores for the “different” appeal.
  2. There is a certain fascination with these stores. Shopping at these stores can debatable sometimes, but you will always find something interesting. When Macklemore’s  hit song “Thrift Shop” came out everyone became more aware of thrift stores and did not look down on them. He made it no longer bad or cheap to be buying from a thrift store. It was a way to be different, he talks about how buying something designer is “getting tricked by business”. His promotion of thrift stores influenced people’s view on them. The song reflects that thrift stores provide more interesting clothes at a much lower price than designer brands which are not worth that money.
  3. Macklemore should not get all the credit though. The use of used and shared items is rising more and more. It’s more than just being cool or in. It is changing the way people shop not only for clothes, but all kinds of items. Thrift stores and other reusing stores are almost always a better price and less wasteful than buying new.

If you are in the Chicago area check out Zealous Good to donate your unwanted items and continue in the cycle of reusing items!

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