Thrifting: The Lowdown From An Experienced ‘Thrifter’

One of the most impactful changes brought about by Gen Z undoubtedly is in shopping and fashion. Today’s teenagers radiate originality, uniqueness and eco-friendly energy, and they make sure their wardrobe reflects that. Gone are the days where, to be considered stylish, you had to shop in expensive stores selling the latest designs. Now teens strive for affordable and one-of-a kind items that highlight originality, without emptying their pockets. This is the phenomenon of ‘thrifting’.

What is thrifting exactly?

Simply put, thrifting means shopping in a thrift store (or flea market), where you’ll find used items in good condition for reasonable prices. Unlike fast fashion shops with mass-produced items, this is good for the environment. Thrifting is a way of recycling.

However, it is much more than buying used clothes: it’s an experience. With it comes the thrill of the hunt for unique items. It’s the fun of discovering beautiful locations, communities, and people. But most of all, thrifting is a way to discover your personal style. In thrift stores, you won’t find your everyday items, but unique vintage and off-season pieces that are nowhere else. It allows us to experiment with fashion by pushing us out of the comfort zone created by big brands. There is something beautiful about knowing that what you buy is special and that it was for its previous owner too.

If you aren’t convinced, just take Ashley’s word for it (aka “bestdressed”), a popular content creator and fashion guru, who teaches her followers the art of thrifting, along with many other fashion tips. In an interview she stated that she started thrifting because it was “a way to experiment with my style and make interesting content, and re-wearing clothes for years […] was just a product of not having that much money.” And this is exactly why so many teens, and others, have fallen in love with thrift shopping. Thrifting offers the perfect solution when you don’t have a big budget but you do have the desire to shop and update your wardrobe: minimum prices for maximum fashion.

Thanks to social media, thrifting is now a real business. Not only can you thrift in shops and markets, but its online presence is just as widespread, with the hashtag #ThriftStore, having over 217.7 million views on Tiktok. Snapchat also attracts young shoppers with features like “Poshmark Mini” that lets users “interact with other shoppers during real-time ‘Posh Parties,’ browse the entire catalogue of 200 million-plus items for sale, and see what brands are trending” (Fast Company).

YPulse’s recent analysis shows that social media is considered as a place to buy products by 87% of 13-39 year-olds. In addition, buyers can become sellers on Depop or Vinted, to earn some cash. Ashley herself runs her own business:; many others do the same with independent shops such as “thriftedbycait”.

If you are in the mood to update your wardrobe with new unique pieces, take a look at your closest thrift shop, or check out the online sellers. Thrifting is fashionable, affordable, eco-friendly and rising in popularity; don’t be surprised if “let’s go shopping” is replaced by “let’s go thrifting!”

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