There’s a new wave of young shoppers with their focus set on unique finds that won’t break the bank, and they’re flocking to local thrift stores. According to a study done by ThredUp.com, an online secondhand store, 30% of millennials have shopped secondhand in the past 12 months, 21% say they will in the future.
The way teenagers buy clothes has changed plenty since the days of brand-name shopping. In a survey where teens were asked what was important in the clothes they purchased, 56.36% said “style” mattered most, 30.91% said price mattered most, and only 4.55% said that “brand” mattered most.
Because of the variety of items that are available at secondhand stores, simply looking at the eccentric home decor pieces and trying on the hodgepodge of different clothes can become an activity on its own.
“I really like going thrifting with my friends. It gives us something to do other than just hanging out in town, and it’s a lot of fun to just try on crazy looking stuff with your friends,” senior Aaron Hahn said.
Others are craving a way to define themselves through eye-catching outfits that are unrepeated by their peers.
“I just like to look for things that are different and things that not everyone at school is going to have. When you’re thrifting, you can find very unique pieces that may be old or from somewhere else in the world and you just don’t really know,” junior Casey Lanigan said.
Because secondhand shopping can be pretty hit-or-miss at times, veteran thrifters seem to have found some shortcuts in the searching process at their preferred shop.
“I’ve found the most luck with things like sweaters and button downs that I can just throw over other t-shirts, like flannels,” senior Conor Spriggs said.
Although there are those who are still averted to the idea of buying someone else’s used clothes, many people feel like they get something out of it that is unmatched in any other store. Thrifters find inspiration from knowing that they’re not the first person wearing these clothes.
“I like the idea that someone has had other experiences in the item of clothing that I bought,” junior Cate Osborne said. “It’s exciting to think that I’m going to make new experiences in [this item of clothing].”
This article first appeared in our December issue of our news magazine.