What do Chloe Ting workouts, whipped coffee, and the “Savage” Tik Tok dance take you back to? If you are part of Gen Z, it takes you back to COVID and the unknown times that people faced during the pandemic. Don’t worry, I am not here to talk about politics, COVID, or anything related to the mature realties of living in the 21st century. Rather, I want to talk about my favorite distraction. Something that took my mind away from the terrifying reality of what was happening around me during the pandemic. With an ever-loving feeling for fashion, I decided to start thrift shopping during the pandemic. What I did not realize was that I would find my comfort activity during COVID. This is how my love for thrift shopping blossomed into a passion.
Entering my first thrift store, I was completely overwhelmed. Everything seemed out of place. My OCD-like tendencies spiked, and the funky, musty, grandma smell that comes with every thrift store was discomforting. Despite this, I started searching rack to rack and I found gems that I could incorporate into my closet. From a vintage Guess skirt to the perfect leather jacket, the thrift store made me excited for all I could do with the “old” items people donated. However, I am not claiming that thrift shopping is in any way easy… In fact, it takes a special person to have the patience to find the gems hidden on the racks. But, the hunt, the chase for something perfect is what makes it so fun.
The hunt, the chase, the patience, and the strategy. All things you must undertake. You can’t expect to walk in the thrift store and find vintage designer in 10 minutes. It takes time, but ultimately is a hit or miss. Although, there are ways to effectively shop to ensure the best finds. To start, I always go to the thrift stores in the morning. This way, I have the first look at the inventory that was just put out. Secondly, I make sure to go through every section, because the best finds are always hidden. Lastly, one must be creative and have an open mind while shopping. Look at the piece and what you can do for it, not what it can do for you. Some of my favorite thrift stores around Athens are St. Mary’s Auxiliary Thrift Store, Atlanta Mission, America’s Thrift Store, Emmanuel Episcopal Thrift House, and Goodwill.
The benefits of thrift shopping are endless. To start, personally, thrifting enhanced and upgraded my style. Instead of buying clothes from boutiques or SHEIN, I was getting one-of-a-kind pieces from the thrift store. It enabled me to develop and learn about my own style. Another benefit of thrifting is for our world. There are less clothes dumped into landfills and a huge reduction of fast fashion. Fast fashion is cheaply made, trendy clothing, with a short timeline. The production of fast fashion is typically done in unethical ways to achieve such a low price. Fast-fashion companies design, manufacture, distribute, and sell merchandise at the speed of fashion fads. Concluding, thrift shopping benefits oneself, the community, and reduces waste.
I can gratefully say that I have been blessed by the thrift gods’ countless times, and you can too! Grab a coffee, a friend, and drive over to your local thrift store. I will see you there, and the next time someone asks where your outfit is from you can brag and say “Its thrifted”.
WRITTEN BY: Paige Grisamore