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The Advantages and Disadvantages to Thrift Shopping

Lately, on social media, we have seen a huge interest in thrifting. Some people are new to this way of shopping and some have shopped this way for years. I think apps like Depop, where people can buy and sell their own clothes, have played a huge part in the increase of people who thrift shop. Another reason that thrifting has become more popular is the fact that so many styles are coming back. We see this in the Y2K trends and the popular 90s styles coming back on social media. I have never really seen any issue with thrifting and it is a way that I have personally shopped before. I do think there is an aspect to thrifting that can be harmful and needs to be talked about, but first I want to talk about the positive sides of thrifting.


Thrifting is a great way to be sustainable and help the environment. The circulation of clothes is much better than throwing them into a landfill, which happens way more than it should. A phrase I always like to remember is “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” I think thrifting really gives that phrase a lot of meaning because it teaches people not to be wasteful. Someone may think their clothes are outdated or maybe they simply don’t fit. If they donate their clothes to a thrift store, someone else may give those items a new home. Then the cycle continues. 

One of a Kind

Thrifting can be a fun activity to do with friends or family in your free time. It gives you a chance to get out of the house and explore new styles of clothing that may be one of a kind. A lot of the clothes in thrift stores can’t be found by going to the mall or a department store. A lot of the styles may be vintage or may be discontinued. It definitely takes patience to find gems when thrifting, but it’s worth it when you find something that nobody else will have in their closet. 

Quality and Quantity

One obvious reason that someone may want to go thrifting is because of the price tag on the items. Thrifting clothing and other items are very affordable and the quality of the items is normally pretty good. This allows people to buy numerous clothing items for a cheaper price than they would at a department store or mall. It allows people to still buy sustainable items without the expensive prices of the current sustainable clothing brands.

The Problem of Buying and Reselling

Recently I have seen a lot of people my age going thrifting and buying trendy clothing items to resell through their own small businesses or Depop accounts. At first, I didn’t think anything negative about people doing this, but recently I was on YouTube scrolling through my recommended videos as I normally do and I found an interesting video by Jordan Theresa called “The Gentrification of Depeop.” After watching the video I understood why the buying and reselling of clothes that are thrifted can be problematic. A lot of times people buy and resell clothing items through platforms like Instagram and Depop for a much higher price than they thrifted the items for. I understand that is how the sellers make their profit, but it ruins the affordable aspect of having a thrifted item. The bigger problem is the fact that people who actually need to shop in thrift stores can’t find as many trendy items because people are going into stores early and stockpiling all of the items that are in right now so that they can make a profit. People with low incomes might only be able to afford to shop in thrift stores so it’s harmful when the clothes they need are being sold at inflated prices. I believe that thrifting for oneself is great and I believe that people should absolutely continue to thrift for the reasons that I listed above. However, the buying and reselling of clothing items from thrift stores for a ridiculous price doesn’t sit right with me. Of course, this is just my take on thrifting and it is up to the individual to shop how they please.

Madison Lipe

App State '23

Hi!! I'm from Denver, NC and I'm studying communications journalism and marketing here at App State. I enjoy reading and writing columns as well as writing news articles for the paper.
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