Reduce, Reuse, Rewear

Thrifting Trends Spread Among Teenagers

Bri Tremper, Reporter

     Thrift shopping has become popular, in part due to TikTok where users make videos of themselves thrifting and showing off the inexpensive finds.

     This has encouraged teenagers to go thrifting to purchase clothes while saving money, allowing them to completely change their wardrobe as well and find unique pieces.

     “I don’t have enough money to go out and buy a $30 T-shirt. They also always look good, too,” said sophomore Nakeah Mugala.

     Some aren’t as impressed by what thrift stores have to offer.

     “I don’t know. I feel like you can find some really cool stuff at thrift stores. You can’t really find very much modern stuff, and that’s how I mainly dress,” said sophomore Chase Kiel, who doesn’t thrift. “I am mainly in athletic wear.” said Kiel.

     It takes about 650 gallons of water to make a brand-new cotton T-shirt, and it takes about 1,800 gallons of water to make a new
pair of jeans, according to the water calculator on the website of Grace Foundation, a non-profit working to raise awareness about how people in the United States use water throughout their day.

     In 2017, about 17 million tons of textiles were put into landfills while only 2,570 tons were recycled, even though 95 percent of textiles can be recycled. It can take up to 200 years for clothes made out of synthetic materials to decompose, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

     Another Benefit to thrifting is not supporting fast fashion. Fast fashion is clothing made at fast rates and sold very cheap.

     “Speedy supply chains rely on outsourced and often underpaid labor from factory workers overseas,” according to VoxMedia articles.

     These people who make clothes are usually women and children, and they often are treated poorly, according to the New York Times. Shopping at local thrift stores could also help the community as well as those in need. The Hillcrest thrift shops are a nonprofit organization.

     “We have an open heart and open mind to those who are in trouble,” said Lou Warner, director of Hillcrest thrift stores.

     Their goal is to help people get back on their feet.

     “Our primary objective is to move clients from homelessness to self-sufficiency by addressing the total life situation of homeless families we serve,” said Warner.

     During the pandemic they have opened their doors to even more people in need by using a voucher system.

     “We are serving to young adults and families who are having trouble getting back up on their feet,” said Warner.

     The uptick in prices have made it harder for people who need thrifted clothes to buy them. Thrifting can also be more difficult as a plus sized person due to the lack of flattering plus size clothing and the oversized clothing trend.

     “As a plus sized person, when you find clothes, you’re not trying to give them away. One, to find them and they’re really expensive when you do find them. So it’s rare that you’re just going to be giving your good stuff away,” said   Alesha Bowman, owner of a plus sized thrift store UnLEShed+. “And then, for some reason if there is a thrift shop where you do find your size, you’re taking everything.”

Rachael Mueller