Rise of Thrifting

Manasi Sugath

Thrifting has quickly become one of the most popular activities for teens to partake in with their friends. The idea of getting cheap, lightly used clothes has progressively become more and more mainstream. With the amount of shoppers calling out different companies and brands for their usage of child labor and their contribution to fast fashion, people are eager to find more sustainable alternatives for their shopping needs that not only are better for the environment but are also preferable for those against the employees of these companies being overworked and underpaid. Places like Savers, Crossroads, and Plato’s Closet are becoming very well-known as the interest in thrifting increases.

Thrifting, as opposed to moderately normalized practices such as fast fashion, is very beneficial for the environment. Fast fashion revolves around the mass production of trendy clothing items for minimal cost, leading to a massive pileup of discarded, out-of-date clothes in landfills whenever new collections are introduced. The abundant production of clothes additionally requires lots of washing, and in doing so, uses up plenty of water. In Rashmila Maiti’s earth.org article “Fast Fashion and Its Environmental Impact”, Maiti states that, “[fashion production] dries up water sources and pollutes rivers and streams, while 85% of all textiles go to dumps each year”. Going thrifting and buying second hand clothes allows for the reuse of clothes, limiting the amount of attire that ends up in landfills after hardly any use.

Another benefit to thrifting as opposed to buying from stores is that the clothes are much cheaper. Because the clothes are second hand and aren’t brand-new, they sell for much cheaper than retail prices. This benefits both people who want to be environmentally conscious about their buying and people who maybe couldn’t afford to buy lots of clothes from retail stores. The BER Staff write in their Berkeley Economic Review article “Rise of Thrifting: Solution to Fast Fashion or Stealing From the Poor?”, “Thrift stores… service the environmentally and ethically conscious consumers of today who do not have the resources to buy from such brands”.

Thrifting is a win-win situation: the customer gets good quality clothes for half the price, and the environment isn’t polluted as severely. Thrifting also serves as a very rewarding and sustainable option to buy clothes.

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