Thrifting is an art. Whether it’s the search for summer sizzlers or winter warmers, it’s an activity that became popular amongst Gen Z (and now beyond) in the past few of years. Essentially, thrifting is buying gently loved clothing from at flea markets and such places at a discounted price. You should try it – often, you’ll find high-end and vintage clothing for much lower and affordable prices. In the past, the idea of buying second-hand clothing carried the taboo of uncleanliness and poverty. However, the rise of middle and upper-class consumers who have switched and begun thrifting, and have contributed their amazing no-longer-worn collections to the mix, has prompted this once unpleasantly-seen activity to become a widely-accepted and lucrative (for your wallet and wardrobe) trend.

No doubt, the idea of thrifting as a go-to option for clothes amongst the wider public was started by teens or members of Gen Z. Research shows that Gen Z consumers believe that companies have a responsibility to address environmental and social issues. In particular, clothing companies are targets of this, especially those considered fast fashion, which contribute largely to clothing waste and pollution. As a result, thrifting has become an eco-conscious method of shopping for clothes, while still being able to keep up with fashion trends (especially with the recent popularity of vintage fashion). Ultimately, the switch to thrift shopping can be attributed to wanting to make a difference in the fight against climate change and the increasing pressure to stay up-to-date with social media trends.

It is evident that gently loved clothing shopping is an ideal activity to help our environment. But it’s also important that thrifters who are thrifting as a privilege and not a necessity can do it consciously, in order to help the environment and not put anyone else at a disadvantage. Here are 3 main strategies to ensure you are thrifting consciously this chilly season:

  1. Don’t do huge hauls: shop mindfully and only purchase items that you know you will love to wear. Buying massive amounts of clothes undermines the real reason people thrift in the first place—to shop ethically and eliminate the cycle of disposable fashion.

  2. Choose your thrift venues wisely: look for vintage markets or thrift outlets in your local areas that are often there for the purpose of thrifting as a hobby and to help with your wardrobe overhaul bottom line.

  3. Only buy if finding the outfits makes you feel good (ethically) and adds to the ‘you’ you want to portray. Have a look through your wardrobe and determine where the gaps are – only buy to fill those gaps so you don’t find yourself with an overloaded wardrobe; having bought on a whim and after the shopping high fades, you realise you need to onsell (or heaven-forbid, dump); or overwhelmed. A well choreographed (or a capsule) wardrobe is surprisingly easy to manage on those busy mornings!

Extracted from an article by Asima Hudani (Oct 2020)