Thrifting: Better Style and Better for the Environment

There are countless social media fashion trends going around, and thrifting clothes is definitely one of them. Thrifting gained popularity around the early 2000s, but recently achieved even more of an audience. It all started when social media content creators on apps like TikTok and Instagram began posting “thrifting hauls,” which are videos consisting of creators sharing the cool clothes they were able to find while thrifting.

The effect of these videos spread quickly, inspiring many others to take matters into their own hands, and see what they can discover. Since then, you can find many young adults and just an overall more diverse population at thrift stores everywhere. The most commonly shopped thrift stores in Manassas are Goodwill and Salvation Army.

Thrifting definitely helps create distinctive styles for individuals, and many believe their style has improved since their thrifting journeys began. Because of the rare, and unusual clothing that is donated there, thrift stores provide an abundance of discoveries just waiting to be purchased and made into an amazing outfit.

“I’d say my style has improved because I can get a bunch of stuff for cheap, and have a lot of options for putting together outfits,” said freshman, Derek Bolo. 

“I have a lot of different styles that I have obtained from thrifting, but I would say the main ones would be the early 2000s and skater-like outfits. It influences me as a person by inspiring me to experiment with my clothes and find ways I can style certain pieces that may be basic or out of the ordinary,” said senior, Emily Servin. “I can find really cool and interesting clothing at thrift stores that I may not find at generic clothing stores, and wearing them makes me more confident in myself,” she added.

Overall great things come from shopping second-hand. The unknown of what you can find in the stores is what attracts so many. Some even believe they have found an all-time favorite piece of clothing while thrifting!

“I got a shirt when I was in Canada a couple of years ago. It was a half-lace tank top, and I wore it all the time. It was the best find,” said freshman, Eithne Richardson. 

Better style may come with thrifting, but buying second-hand clothes is also better for the environment than supporting fast fashion. Fast fashion is a term used to describe appealing, and cheap fashion trends (often imitating current designer looks) sold to consumers. Fast fashion pieces of clothing end up leaving a huge impact on our environment. Some cheap online shops such as Shein mass produce trendy clothing, and once those trends go out of style, clothing pieces end up going into landfills, destroying our environment. People might not realize this added bonus when it comes to thrifting their clothes.

“I thrift for fun to get old people’s sweaters at the Salvation Army, since I love them. But thrifting is also not high fashion so stores don’t pump stuff out into our environment, which is good,” said sophomore, Liam Sutphin. 

Since thrifting is a fun activity that provides shoppers with opportunities to expand their creativity when it comes to their styles, it is a guilt-free way of shopping that even has positive effects on our ecosystem.

“I have! [Reflected] While I’m not too familiar with all the benefits, it’s something that crosses my mind occasionally. I try to be mindful of my own impact on the environment as much as possible,” said English 10 teacher, Benjamin Hayes. “The reuse of clothes means less money spent on clothes being made, and less clothes in the garbage. Maybe if more brand names offered second-hand services, it might help them reduce the amount of unbought clothes in warehouses or reduce production costs, and thus the impact on the environment from clothes production,” Hayes added.

For the most part, there are many fashion trends out there that people regret participating in, but thrifting may not be one of them. With the unmatched sense of style that thrifters have been able to gain from this practice, there has been a rise in second-hand shopping. Since this clearly leaves a better impact on our environment, this trend might be one to cherish.