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Although thrift stores have been around since the 1920s, they really didn’t gain popularity until much later. Two of the most well-known thrift stores, Goodwill and Salvation Army have been around for more than 100 years. Originally popular among hippies in the 1960s, thrifting was a way to express freedom. The hippie movement during the 60s helped bring value and style to secondhand clothing. Believe it or not, the Industrial Revolution paved way for the mass production of clothes, which made them seem more disposable than they actually were. This led to tons of scraps and waste, which was not good for the environment whatsoever. This paved way for stores to sell the waste and scraps rather than let them go to waste. The history of thrift store shopping changed drastically with the advent of the Great Depression. Demand was so high for secondhand items that thrift stores at the time couldn’t keep up. As World War II ended, and the country was in a better place financially, supply quickly rose again because people wanted to flaunt their new wealth with newer items. From then on, the world of thrifting became more popular and was expanding as a common teenager hobby. Many people started traveling to thrift stores more regularly in hopes of finding vintage couture items.


There are many personal advantages to thrift shopping such as donating to clear out clutter and making room for more things, all while staying budget-friendly. Thrifting also has many great advantages for the environment and puts the slogan “reduce, reuse, and recycle” into good practice. Another saying that has come to be true is “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Donating clothes helps to keep them out of landfills, where they would otherwise go and sit for hundreds of years due to not being biodegradable. Clothing is one of the items that take up a lot of space in landfills and help contribute to harmful greenhouse gases that are hurting our planet. Shopping secondhand plays a huge role in reducing your carbon footprint as well as boosting community development. Oftentimes proceeds generated at thrift stores go to local businesses and charities who may need help. Thrifting is important in preventing the wasting of energy on the production of new clothes, which helps to keep the environment a happier and better place to live. It is crucial to conserve energy not only to improve your carbon footprint but also helps to reduce chemical pollution and preserve water. These are just a few of the reasons in which thrifting benefits the planet.


Thrifting has become a major trend over the past decade. It has been becoming an increasingly likable hobby among youth and young adults looking to be cost-conscious. Thrifting is so much fun and personally, I have become addicted. Thrifting has become one of my favorite activities to do with friends on the weekends. We will all pile into a car and just hit a bunch of thrift stores looking for cool and interesting finds. In conclusion, buying secondhand and going thrifting is not only helpful for the earth but it’s also fun and entertaining!

Emily Weiland

Winthrop '24

Hey! My name is Emily Weiland and I am a sophomore Business Administration major.
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