Gen Z Fashion Trends: How And Why You Should Thrift


It’s nothing new. The backlash against shopping at fast fashion places has been around almost since it started, with people vowing to avoid H&M, American Eagle, and other retail places that make low-quality clothing in other parts of the world. In order to change their ways, people are choosing to spend their money elsewhere with “thrifting” shining through as the most ethical alternative and secondhand shopping has never been easier with websites like Poshmark and ThredUp servicing people everyday. 

So here are all of the reasons why you should take up thrift shopping if you haven’t already, and a few tips on how you should go about it.

Cue Macklemore. 

Why you should thrift:

  • It protects the environment.
  • When people go thrifting they’re buying recycled clothes, breaking out of the damaging cycle of overconsumption. The fast fashion movement has gone a long way towards destroying the environment with fast fashion clothing being fast to make and fast to break, ending up in landfills sooner rather than later. Also, the production of these clothes puts a strain on the environment. According to the United Nations, it takes 2,000 gallons of water to make a single pair of jeans, which is roughly the same amount of water your average person drinks in seven years. 

  • You aren’t giving money to a label that utilizes sweatshops.
  • Many of our beloved fashion labels are guilty of having their products made in sweatshops that are known for human rights violations. By not going straight to the source, you are skirting the companies that exploit child labor in other countries. Hopefully, in doing so, it will create enough of a chain reaction that will change these policies. 

  • It can be extremely affordable.
  • If you’re a girl on a budget, thrifting can be a more affordable option, where you can get stylish, high-quality pieces for less than you would have originally. Anytime something has been used by a previous owner, it has depreciated in value (although it does not have to have lost value in your eyes). You are, therefore, inevitably buying an outfit for less than it was worth. 

    How you should thrift: 

  • Do not thrift in a way that might impact low-income consumers
  • Avoid places like the Salvation Army and Goodwill, as shopping there can impact low-income consumers. If you shop at places that typically cater to low-income consumers then you run the risk of gentrifying the clothing store, effectively driving up the prices and making it more difficult for poor people to buy clothes. You still can buy secondhand clothes, with there being high and low ends to secondhand shopping, just make sure that you do it at a higher-end place. 

  • Don’t shame those who still buy fast fashion
  • With all of these ethical reasons outlined, it’s not hard to gain a complex as to why thrifting makes you a more conscientious consumer, but many people cannot drop the habit of buying retail simply because fast fashion is too beneficial to them. One of the main reasons why fast fashion is so successful is because it is incredibly inexpensive and therefore necessary for low income consumers. These clothing labels offer a level of stability to many people’s daily lives. 

    So there you have it: the ethical reasons why you should thrift and the ethical ways to thrift. Have fun shopping!