Those ‘90s high-waist tight-fitted jeans that we’d laugh at our father for wearing and that tacky floral maxi skirt our mother wore in the ‘70s; well, look at us now.
It’s no secret that fashion is constantly being recycled (pretty soon we’ll all have mullets), resurrecting past styles from our parents’, grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ closets.
Take a walk down Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, the mecca of street style, recreating trends from previous generations.
Count the number of high-waist denim cutoffs, crop tees, snapbacks and rusty old band tees.
Odds are, you’re going to need more than ten fingers.
Among the average city-dwelling metropolitan hipster lies a savvy, tree-hugging, frugal consumer.
Thrift shopping formerly had a negative social stigma and was described as unsanitary, outdated and for the “poor.”
Today, the stigma for purchasing secondhand has diminished and become socially acceptable with people from all economic backgrounds joining in.
Avid thrift shopper and Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) fashion design student Joe Salas said thrift shopping is like a treasure hunt.
People can easily get impatient since thrift stores require time and numerous racks to search through.
“I found this designer vintage Versace top for $3.50,” said Salas. “The fact that it’s just one-of-a-kind things and obviously no one else is going to have it.”
Salas said shopping at thrift stores is also cheaper.
He added that buying from mall stores means risking passing by someone who has the same clothing as you.
Thrift stores are the common place to acquire valuable low-cost goods.
Vintage stores, which carry apparel from past eras, tend to be more upscale for the unique dead stock vintage value their items hold.
A growing number of young people are becoming environmentally aware; donating, re-selling and purchasing used goods in an effort to go green.
Monica Ames, manager at Memo’s Vintage in Downtown Fullerton, wears a head to toe secondhand ensemble.
“I rarely buy new clothing. I love the concept of recycling fashion,” said Ames.
In addition, Salas and Ames both agreed that secondhand stores are a local convenience.
Instead of driving out to the mall or to shopping plazas, thrift stores are usually scattered around the city with at least one or two within a reasonably close distance.
About 18 percent of people shop in thrift stores, nearly the same percentage as the amount of people who shop in apparel stores, according to the National Association of Resale Professionals (NARTS).
Resale shops are thriving.
Within the last year, the number of resale shops has increased by 7 percent, according to the NARTS website.
One retail company taking advantage of this global movement is consignment store Buffalo Exchange.
The store experienced a 29 percent increase in revenue sales within the past three years, according to the NARTS website.
If you can’t seem to get passed the decades of wear and tear held in thrift and vintage store finds, consignment stores are a great way to ease into buying used clothing since you don’t have to spend any money at all.
“The resale market is blossoming thanks to value-conscious consumers. With an increasing awareness of the importance of reducing pointless waste, we are progressing from a disposable society to a recycling society,” the NARTS website states.
Many college students experience the dilemma of maintaining lifestyles once had during simpler times.
Resale shopping adds to savings that can go towards vacation, outings with friends and college funds.