Thrifting has become a creative way for college students to find inexpensive fashionable items and to discover new pieces that others might not have. I’ve been thrifting since high school. It started off as a fun activity I could do with friends, but now I enjoy it because it allows me to find pieces no one else has. During quarantine, my love for thrifting only grew as I searched for ways to pass the time. At first, I only thrifted men’s T-shirts and turned them into crop tops. But gradually, I branched out and found weird and unique pieces that I could make my own. When searching for thrifted clothes, I usually don’t look for certain pieces. Rather, I like to take my time and see what catches my eye.
Not only is thrifting a fun hobby, but it is an easy solution to fast fashion. Americans alone throw away about 10.5 million tons of clothing every year. The fashion industry is moving faster than ever. Instead of putting out new clothes and designs four times a year like they used to, retailers are putting out new clothes every single week. The amount of clothing produced has dramatically increased while clothing prices and quality have gone down. When we throw away clothes we don’t want anymore, they often sit in landfills for hundreds of years, if not forever. Thrifting is a way to help keep plastic out of landfills and positively contribute to the decrease in worldwide textile demand and waste.
You might not believe me when I say this, but your favorite pair of jeans took roughly 1,800 gallons of water to make. By thrifting instead of buying new, we can help conserve the resources needed to manufacture new clothing. Simply switching to second-hand shopping isn’t going to completely solve every problem in the fashion and textile industry, but it is a positive way we can take small steps toward a better future. Not to mention – thrift store items are so cheap! It’s fun to experiment with styles or colors you might not usually buy. If you only wear that hot pink top once, hey, it was only $3, instead of $30!