You can learn a lot about people through their chosen fashion. In this infamous age of Gen Z, our spectrum of personalities has given way to a range of aesthetics, and has even popularized certain shopping styles. Thrift shopping has definitely had its rise in fame, even earning its own verb—“thrifting.” But thrift shopping has not always been as common as it is now and public opinions on the topic have greatly shifted for the better.
Long before thrift shopping became popularized, there was sophomore Keren Skariah. “I’ve been thrifting since I was in elementary school and I would sometimes go with my family.”
Although thrift shopping was common for Keren, not everyone shared her point of view on the hobby. “When I was in elementary school, it was definitely looked down upon that I had thrifted my clothes cause they would assume I had financial problems.” Despite her peers’ opinions, Keren continued thrift shopping, saying “It’s a cool thing to get really nice things for cheap and it’s better for the environment.”
As an avid thrift shopper, Keren witnessed her hobby slowly rise to the spotlight, and suddenly thrifting shopping became encouraged rather than belittled. “It’s not as looked down upon now especially since with influencers showing their finds on media.” Keren expressed her gratitude for the hobby as she joked, “I have a pair of Levi’s I thrifted for 1 dollar, and I would definitely rather pay $1 for jeans than the full price!”
The rise of thrift shopping has caught a lot of people’s attention, even students who have never gone thrift shopping. Rahaf Mohammad, a senior at American High School, is quite interested in thrifting as more and more of her peers took on the hobby. “I first heard about thrifting through YouTube where I would watch videos of influencers showing their thrift shop finds since those kinds of videos were popular.” Mohammad points out how a few years ago, thrifting was completely different than it is now. “Thrifting used to be about low income families shopping because it was a necessity, but now everybody made it trendy, so that previous stigma is slowly disappearing” However, Rahaf is unsure of whether the trend should be encouraged or not. “If everybody goes thrifting, I’m scared there will be nothing left for the people that actually need it.”
Whether the rise of thrift shopping is for the better or worse, to a lot of people it has created a new vessel for creativity and self expression. Sakshee Parekh, a senior at American Highschool, takes advantage of the creative freedom that comes with thrift shops. “I feel like with other retail stores, there’s a certain type of clothes that they have in stock at a given time, but it’s not like that in thrift shops, you can find anything there.”
Caption: Keren is wearing a crewneck that she thrifted. “I always like looking for good deals and the best part is that thrifting is also eco-friendly.”