Thrifting... Good Trend or Bad Trend?


  1. What’s the trend? Millennials are bringing back the thrift store game in search of being original, ethical, and frugal… Debatable if hipsters or Macklemore brought it back.
  2. Where have I seen this? A lot of fashion bloggers online revel in cute items they fished at their local consignment stores for a bargain! A few big names are Goodwill, Crossroads, and Buffalo Exchange. Number of consignment stores increased 7% in 2010 and 2011, and many new stores have popped up near universities in recent years.
  3. Why is it buzz worthy? Thrift store shopping is one of the first things that consumers look to when trying to be a "conscious shopper." Reselling and rebuying already used things give us a feeling that we’re saving money and the planet at the same time. However, we are buying 5 times more clothing than we did in 1980s and throw away 40% textile in 2009 than in 1999. So are we actually doing much good if we're buying excessively but also giving away a lot?
  4. Who started it? In the 90s, DIY trend created more room for thrifting. Going into the 2000s, the musical scenes like indie rock and emo brought new fashion trends, and now the hipster movement that reject mainstream fashion revel in thrift shopping. The stock market crash of 2008 as well as increasing student debt for many has allowed thrift store shopping to be more widely acceptable.
  5. What does it actually mean? Thrifting does not solve many problems that we have with landfill nor does it help our constant need to buy - new or used. Only 20% of American’s donated clothing is actually re-used, 45% is recycled through textile recycling companies, about 25% is sold to developing countries, and about 11% ended up in landfill. So thrifting is not an end-all, be all.
  6. Bottom Line: Yes, we are in support of this trend but with caution. For buying, thrift store shopping is good if you truly need the article of clothing and it is in good quality (but first try to buy less). For donating, we encourage researching local NGO’s like domestic shelters or homeless shelters to donate to. They may have immediate needs. If there are no good local options, then donate, exchange, or sell at a thrift store.