Thrifting: Pros and Cons

As previously mentioned, there are many benefits to thrifting as a sustainable alternative to buying from fast fashion retailers. With thrifting, you’re not supporting the fast fashion industry and cycle, which means you aren’t contributing to the mistreatment of workers or the wastefulness of the industry. If there’s less demand in fast fashion stores, then less gets made and less people get exploited. By buying second hand, you’re not creating a demand for more materials, because those materials and items already exist. In fact, by thrifting, you’re able to keep items out of landfills. The fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry, with synthetic fabrics taking 100+ years to decompose. Thrifting also leads to greater individuality with clothes. When thrifting, a person has to physically look through all kinds of items to find something they like. In a fast fashion store, things are laid out and organized together based on trends, and the stores are essentially telling you what to like, but in a thrift store, every piece speaks for itself. Thus, you get to find out what you really like, and not just what’s trendy. Also, thrifting is often less expensive than buying an item new, so it’s a cheaper alternative as well.

There’s many benefits to thrifting. However, it’s not without its faults either. Because sustainability itself is trendy, more people have been going to the thrift store in recent years. This has caused a sort of gentrification of the thrift stores, as resellers flock to it for sourcing. With the increase in demand at thrift stores, prices have gone up, especially on heavier items like sweaters and coats. The average coat at a thrift store is between $12.99-$19.99, whereas before they were closer to $10. This especially hurts the people who rely on thrift stores as their only way to get clothes. Resellers will go into thrift stores and buy all the trendy or quality vintage clothing, and then mark it up to sell online. This also perpetuates the trend cycle, as people then feel a need to constantly shop at the thrift store, and constantly buy more to keep up. Thrifting can lead to overconsumption too, which is a problem for everyone. However, if done in moderation, it can be a way to get new items in a more sustainable way.

2 thoughts on “Thrifting: Pros and Cons”

  1. This was great! As someone who was always kind of skeptical of thrifting after reading this, I certainly want to give it a shot now. After seeing the potential cost savings and the thought of finding something super unique there’s no reason not to try it now!

  2. Thrifting is such a great way to get some cheap low impact clothes. Its just unfortunate that thrifting is trendy and the high demand is increasing prices. Its almost as if the point of thrifting is disappearing

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