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Thrifting has become one of the trends in recent years and one I have whole-heartedly gotten behind. It’s fun, budget-friendly and sustainable, all of which score brownie points from me. I’ve noticed that this pastime has acquired a new crowd, too. Goodwill isn’t just for your granny anymore – if you’re not sporting a thrifted piece somewhere in your life, you’re practically uncool at this point. 

It’s 2022 and thrifting is the name of the game. There are so many exciting aspects about it that I could drone on for too long and bore you, so let’s just cover the biggest takeaways from thrifting. Economical. Ethical. Eccentric. Keep reading to find out more. 

Going thrift shopping is a low cost way to purchase goods, whether that’s clothes or household items. For college students, less is more and free is better, which is likely why thrifting has become such a hit among this group (I mean, same). I’ve found great quality clothing for cheap and fashion brands for way less than their market price. I’ve got a vintage 1960s mod dress that I paid $20 for and that’s just one of many steals. More than just getting a good price, thrifting usually creates an atmosphere of low pressure. There’s no push to buy anything. You can browse and let only your eyes shop if that’s what you want to do. It’s totally acceptable to let the items come to you.

Society is starting to focus more and more on the sustainability and ethicality of their goods and it’s honestly super exciting to me. Fast fashion, while sadly still popular, is getting an increasingly public bad rep for its environmental impact. Choosing to buy second hand is choosing to extend the life of a pre-existing garment instead of supporting an industry constantly making new ones. You keep the items from going to the landfill, which helps with waste management. 

I could go off about the life cycles of clothing and the environmental impacts these industries create, but I’ll bring it in and settle that score in another article. If you’re curious about a thrift store that is environmentally conscious, I recommend Goodfair. You can find out more about it by clicking here

There’s more to thrifting than money and ethicality, though those are both a big deal. It’s also about style. 

“This is how you grow into the main character of your story.”

There’s a reason Thrift Tok is killing it. People are sharing their hauls, reselling their finds like the aspiring entrepreneurs they are and looking fine while doing it. This is how you grow into the main character of your story. Shopping secondhand diversifies your closet in a way that shapes who you are as a person and establishes your style. Of course, your style can and will change but that’s okay! What you outgrow, you can donate for someone else to find. 

I love fashion. I’m a sucker for specific decades of clothing styles and having too many shoes for my small space. My closet is now 90% thrifted or vintage. A few years ago, I used to work for two big brand retail stores and wore almost exclusively their label. 

At the time, it was fun to get the new stuff when it came out and match with friends or coworkers (and there’s nothing wrong with that). Now, I can’t even imagine doing it and only have a few items left from those terrifying mall worker days. Honestly, the last time I went to the mall, I wandered around and only purchased Auntie Anne’s. 

It’s surprising how much my style has changed. My needs and wants for my personal image has expanded my closet into a multi-fabric, sequined rainbow of garments. It’s always an adventure when I go to a thrift or antique store and I’m rarely disappointed. Places in Columbia, SC that I like to visit are Goodwill, Sid & Nancy and Palmetto Thrift. I also love Avalon Exchange in Savannah, GA and Rumors Boutique, which I found online. I also use Poshmark and ThredUP, though I prefer to thrift in person. I usually find weird items or cringe shirts, which makes for fun stories and a smaller wallet (ask me about the CPR baby I found).

Thrifting gives you a sort of power, like an excited thrill that you’re riding when you find unique items or pieces that speak to you. It’s like when you find the perfect pants that fit your hips and your waist – with no awkward back gap. It gives you a boost of confidence when you put the pieces together and a stranger says they like your outfit. 

Thrifting has finally entered the main chat and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a fun way to hang with friends or get some much needed alone time. Going to physical stores usually makes for good memories too, since it’s likely you’ll find that something odd and hilarious was donated there. If you’re tight on money, second hand shopping is going to be a budget-friendly way of getting what you need. It’s more sustainable than buying new and gives you a closet that’ll set you apart from the rest, because why would you wanna look like everyone else anyways?

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Laura Rohrer

South Carolina '23

Laura is an environmental science major and mass communications minor at UofSC. She's involved in the mountaineering club, Sierra club, book club, WUSC-FM university radio station and Her Campus! In her (limited) free time, she loves playing with her puppy Moose and spending time with friends. She's also super into fashion and thrifts like a maniac. She never stops moving and lives exclusively on coffee and Chipotle.
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