Rags n’ Riches


Sophomore Isabella Hinkle shows off her completely thrifted outfit. She shops mostly in thrift/consignment stores.

From a symbol of poverty to a staple aspect of today’s’ pop culture crowd thrift shopping has made a 180 degree turnaround.

With a heightened awareness of excessive consumption and need to stand out from the crowd, thrifting is back.

Social media influencers like Emma Chamberlain advocating for thrifting with millions of followers tuned in, consumers have been exposed to the idea that thrift shopping is for everyone, especially with the modern developments made to traditional thrift and consignment chains.

Past thrifting experiences done in a traditional thrifting fashion included pieces of clothing that were still wearable, but not desirable. Thrift stores quickly gained a reputation as being filled with decades old, last resort options.

However, items  bought today by consignment and thrift franchises, such as Plato’s Closet, must meet a certain demand, that being timely trends and brands, separating today’s methods from traditional thrifting.

“Obviously people want to look and wear the best,” sophomore Dave Leggett stated.

“I think it’s all the attention thrift stores have put towards collecting expensive, name brand items like Louis Vuitton and Gucci that has more people going thrifting.”

Wanting the ‘best for less’ is not a new concept, however with thrift stores offering younger audiences top end products for considerably less than retail, the trend has resurfaced as a “Who can get the best piece for the best price? competition,” sophomore Lyzzalis Zuniga said.

This adaptation to  public demand suggests that thrifting is no longer solely for the needy, but for the contemporary trendsetters as well.

Junior Nedjie Jean-Charles said “Now when I go to Plato’s Closet or OMG! Thrift, I actually see people I know shopping alongside me,”

Long time thrifters, like Jean-Charles, have been around long enough to see the switch in attitude toward thrifting.

Society’s sudden acceptance and encouragement of hand me downs and previously owned articles of clothing has many people encouraged to go out and try thrifting themselves.

However, some past thrifters remain relatively unfazed by the trend surfacing to pop culture status.

“I don’t really care for the trend, it’s just convenient. I take my inspiration from Kurt Cobain so my style is really just 90’s grunge, which you can imagine is hard to shop for in regular department stores,” said sophomore Briana Lopez. “Finding a vintage ski jacket like the one I have would’ve been impossible if it wasn’t thrifted.”

Similarly, sophomore Isabella Hinkle said “My style is so specific that I usually take jeans and crop tops home to bedazzle, iron on patches, or tear up myself, so thrifting just makes it easier to find decent starter pieces for a decent price.”

For many students like Lopez and Hinkle, thrifting is not a last resort, but a choice. Those who support living in environmentally conscientious surroundings have also taken up an appreciation for the trend as well.

“It’s just more sustainable for the environment, I hate the thought of people making unnecessary amounts of new clothes when we already have so many decent pieces out there,” said sophomore Amy Joaquim. “The majority of my closet has been thrifted from Avalon Exchange.”

Whether taken up for the sake of preserving resources or just to keep up with the latest pop culture phenomena, thrifting has definitely made a comeback.

“Honestly, I think this trend just stemmed from the fact that everyone wants to be different and ‘edgy’,” said Lopez.

”Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that people have noticed it,  even if it’s just for the trend.”