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Used clothing gets a second chance at life thanks to thrift stores such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, Buffalo Exchange, and a variety of other suppliers. Whether you manage to find the perfect fit of jeans or have to take in the seam four inches, spending $10 on a pair of lightly-worn clothing at a thrift store seems to be enough to fit the budget for most people. Although thrift stores have been operating for decades already, the trend of “thrifting” into this world of fashion seems new. However, thrifting became more widely “accepted” and trendy after the 2008 recession, as people began to care more about saving money over flaunting a brand-new designer T-shirt they bought for $75.

In recent years, specifically 2017 and 2019, millennials and Gen-Z have increased thrift store sales respectively by 37% and 46%. Why? The answer is that thrifting proves to be an environmentally friendly alternative. Also, thrifting encourages self-expression, as it is more accessible to customize and experiment with cheap, gently-used clothes compared to

expensive new clothes. In my own personal experience with thrifting, I have bought a pile of

clothes for around $20 and was able to feel comfortable cropping, cutting, and inventing new styles with the pieces I acquired. Living so close to New York, one of the fashion capitals of the world, it is easy for millennials like myself to draw ideas from and recreate streetwear directly from the avenues of New York City.

The benefits of thrifting not only apply to the customers, but also to the companies selling them as well. Stores like Salvation Army and Goodwill are nonprofit organizations that redistribute the money they make towards good causes. In fact, thrifting has annually brought in about $28 billion in revenue since 2018. This fashion type has grown twenty one times faster than any other fashion market in the last three years!

In addition to the stores previously mentioned, the world of online thrifting is booming. Sites such as Poshmark, Ebay, and Depop have become digital outlets to resell used clothes and other fashion items. It is another easy way to make extra money by getting rid of old pieces in your closet! Another website that has become increasingly popular, while different from Poshmark and Ebay, is The RealReal. The RealReal is an online luxury consignment store from

which designer clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and even houseware of brands such as Prada, Gucci, Fendi, and Chanel, can be sold for a fifth of the price of retail. One of the coolest parts of thrifting is being able to find pieces that are original and unique. It is

easy to fall into the latest styles and want to wear what everyone else is wearing, but creating your own style is much more fun.

For college students, their budgets are always a bit tight, and they are looking to save money in any way they can; however, thrifting is the best, most eco-friendly, and cheapest alternative to spending big bucks on new fashion. Overall, you can’t go wrong with upcycling and saving money! Support your local nonprofits, bedazzle a new jacket, and save your dough!

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