The Reemergence of Thrifting

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The Reemergence of Thrifting

Anna Wheeler, Staff Writer

Thrifting has recently become a popular activity among teenagers, especially with its glorification on social media platforms. Now, what was once seen as an indication of low income is considered to be trendy. While this may seem amazing on the surface, as wearing secondhand clothing helps save the environment, it is also damaging.

Thrift stores have upped prices, making the once source of cheap clothing no longer available to those who truly need it. Some stores have even been cleared out of the “normal” clothes it carries, leaving only pieces on the extreme ends of sizing or vandalized items. This creates one of the big issue thrift stores have: size availability. The most common clothing sizes typically get taken first, leaving very few practical or fitting options for other shoppers. 

The reason for this occurrence is due to the popular phenomenon of filming and posting about going to the thrift store on social media platforms such as YouTube. The stores now have another target demographic of teenage girls and not just those needing affordable clothing.

It is also quite common to go thrifting and buy cheap clothes, but then resell them on apps such as Depop or Poshmark. By using these last-resort clothing stores as a way to profit oneself, one would be taking away necessary resources for those who need them. Of course, this is not always the case, as many teenagers who thrift truly don’t have much money; however, those who use these stores for their own personal gain could be considered selfish.

Within close proximity to Gurnee, there are over 15 different thrift stores available to the public, a couple being The Salvation Army and Loved Twice Thrift Boutique. Despite there being a large variety of these secondhand stores near us, in more rural areas, there are very few available. This is an issue when, if there are only one or two options for people to go to as a last resort for necessary items, stores being cleared out is a much bigger deal than if there were more to choose from. As for our town, Gurnee might not be cleared out yet, but it might be soon due to the increasing population.

Another problem with this growing trend is that donations sent to a majority of these thrift stores are disposed of before they can even reach the racks if they are considered in any way to not be profitable. Due to fast sorting, good items can be thrown away without a second glance, and anything remotely damaged is tossed without the consideration that the items could be fixed. While heightened secondhand store mania does promote the reuse of clothes instead of throwing them away, donations are continuously wasted, leaving the future of thrifting in a state of uncertainty.

 

Sources used:

https://www.apnews.com/03b0437aeff341d092197a671a9da5f4

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