The struggles of thrifting becoming a trend

People shuffle through clothing while thrifting.


People shuffle through clothing while thrifting.

Over 13 million tons of textile is thrown away each year,  95% of which could have been recycled or reused. Thrifting helps us lower this number by being a market for people to buy gently-used clothing. 

The idea of thrifting has evolved over the years. In the early 2000’s and late 1990’s thrifting was used as a way for people to purchase new clothing, furniture and other items on a low budget. For those who could not afford new materials, thrifting was the only way to purchase these basic needs. However, lately the idea of thrifting has become a worldwide trend and thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales have taken advantage of that. 

Amelia, a customer in a thrift store, has opened up about the troubles this new trend has caused. 

“I have always come to these thrift stores to help me and my family get our clothing and materials at a low price, but I have been to almost four thrift stores in the past month and in every single one I came out empty handed. The prices were just too high; some were even higher than what it would have cost at a mall!” 

The entire purpose of thrifting is to make it available for people with a lower income, and it be an activity though which people can get everything they need with what they have. 

Thrifting has become so popular worldwide that there has even been an event, thriftcon. Thriftcon took place in Atlanta on March 21, where there where over 100 sellers. However, in order to attend, you had to buy an entry that ranged from $15-$30. 

Rafael, a junior in high school who was thrifting, shared his struggles with being bullied in his younger years for wearing thrifted clothing and how he believes that thrifting being gentrified will affect families with lower-income. 

“I would get constantly bullied for my clothing because it wasn’t on brand or new. At the time it was the only thing my family could afford. I see the same people who would bully back then take on this trend and buy thrifted clothing. It’s terrible seeing yet another way us low-income families try and survive be gentrified. We don’t do this for fun, this our lifestyle and it is being affected by rich people who believe this is “vintage.”

Thrifting is supposed to be a supportive way low-income people can still buy their necessities. Thrifting is not a trend; it is a way people survive.