The 1990s was a decade marked by fashion trends that were inspired by a wide range of cultural and societal factors. From the emergence of grunge music and alternative culture to the growth of hip-hop and streetwear, the 90s were a time of experimentation and self-expression in fashion. In this blog post, we will explore some of the key fashion trends of the 90s and the influences that shaped them.
One of the most iconic fashion trends of the 90s was grunge, a subculture that emerged from the music scene in Seattle in the late 80s and early 90s. Grunge was characterized by a laid-back, rebellious aesthetic that included oversized flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and combat boots. The look was inspired by the DIY ethos of the punk movement and reflected the anti-establishment attitudes of the time.
The grunge look was also influenced by the music that gave it its name. Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden all had a distinct sound and style that was heavily associated with the grunge movement. Their music was raw and unpolished, with lyrics that often expressed feelings of disillusionment and dissatisfaction with the world.
Hip-Hop and Streetwear
Another major influence on 90s fashion was hip-hop culture, which had been growing in popularity since the late 70s. Hip-hop fashion was characterized by baggy clothing, athletic wear, and sneakers, as well as bold colors and graphic prints. Brands like Nike, Adidas, and Fila became synonymous with the hip-hop look, and their products were often worn with oversized t-shirts and tracksuits.
Streetwear also emerged as a distinct fashion trend in the 90s, with brands like Stussy and Supreme leading the way. Streetwear was characterized by a mix of athletic wear, skate culture, and hip-hop style, and was often associated with urban youth culture. The look was heavily influenced by graffiti and street art, and included bold graphics and bright colors.
While grunge and hip-hop fashion were both characterized by an eclectic, bold aesthetic, the 90s also saw the emergence of minimalism as a fashion trend. Minimalism was a reaction to the excess and flamboyance of the 80s, and was characterized by clean lines, neutral colors, and simple silhouettes.
Designers like Calvin Klein, Jil Sander, and Helmut Lang all embraced minimalism in their collections, creating clothing that was elegant and understated. The minimalist trend also extended to accessories, with simple, geometric jewelry and small handbags becoming popular among fashion-forward women.
One of the less-discussed influences on 90s fashion was the growing trend of globalization. As the world became more connected through advances in technology and communication, fashion began to reflect this global perspective. This was seen in the rise of ethnic-inspired fashion, as designers looked to traditional dress from around the world for inspiration.
The trend also saw the emergence of new materials and techniques in fashion. As designers began to source fabrics and manufacturing techniques from around the world, new textures and finishes emerged in clothing. This global approach to fashion was seen in the collections of designers like Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, who were known for their avant-garde creations and bold use of materials.
All in all, the 1990s was a decade marked by a diverse range of fashion trends, each influenced by a different set of cultural and societal factors. From grunge to hip-hop to minimalism, the 90s saw a wide range of styles emerge and evolve. While some of these trends may have faded away over time, many of the key elements of 90s fashion continue to influence designers and fashion-lovers today.
The 1980s was a decade of bold and dynamic fashion, characterized by a distinct aesthetic that is instantly recognizable even today. From the rise of punk and new wave to the emergence of MTV and music videos, the 1980s was a time of cultural and social change that was reflected in its fashion trends. In this blog post, we will explore the key fashion trends of the 1980s and what influenced them.
One of the most iconic fashion trends of the 1980s was power dressing, which emerged as a result of the growing number of women entering the workforce in positions of power. Power dressing was characterized by structured, tailored silhouettes, shoulder pads, and bold colors, often featuring strong and assertive accents such as oversized bows, statement jewelry, and bold prints. This trend was heavily influenced by the feminist movement, as women sought to assert their presence and authority in a male-dominated workplace.
Another significant trend of the 1980s was the rise of punk and new wave fashion. Inspired by the music scene, this trend was characterized by leather jackets, studded belts, ripped jeans, and chunky boots. This anti-establishment aesthetic was a reaction to the mainstream fashion of the time and was heavily influenced by the punk rock movement of the 1970s. Bands such as The Sex Pistols and The Clash were major influences on punk fashion, which became a symbol of rebellion and non-conformity.
The 1980s also saw the emergence of hip hop fashion, which was characterized by bold, oversized clothing, including baggy pants, graphic t-shirts, and tracksuits. This trend was heavily influenced by the hip hop music scene, which originated in the Bronx in the 1970s. Hip hop fashion was a reflection of the culture of the streets, and it was often associated with the emerging hip hop subculture, which was defined by its emphasis on self-expression and individuality.
In addition to these trends, the 1980s was also characterized by a range of other fashion styles, including preppy fashion, which was characterized by clean lines, tailored clothing, and bright colors. This trend was influenced by the popularity of Ivy League fashion and was often associated with the upper classes. Another trend was the emergence of the “yuppie” culture, which was characterized by designer labels, power suits, and a focus on materialism and consumerism. This trend was heavily influenced by the economic prosperity of the decade and the rise of the business class.
So what influenced these trends? One of the key influences on 1980s fashion was the emergence of MTV and music videos. Music videos became an important medium for fashion designers and stylists to showcase their designs, and they helped to popularize many of the key trends of the decade. Bands such as Duran Duran, Madonna, and Michael Jackson were major influences on fashion, and their music videos became iconic examples of 1980s style.
Another key influence on 1980s fashion was the growing influence of celebrity culture. The rise of tabloid journalism and the emergence of paparazzi photography helped to make celebrities more accessible and influential than ever before. Celebrities such as Princess Diana, Madonna, and Michael Jackson became style icons, and their fashion choices helped to shape the trends of the decade.
Finally, the social and cultural changes of the 1980s played a significant role in shaping fashion trends. The rise of feminism, the emergence of the hip hop subculture, and the growing influence of youth culture all had a profound impact on fashion. The 1980s was a decade of change and experimentation, and fashion was no exception.
What fashion trends from the 1980s stick out the most in your mind? Are we going to see another resurgence of 80s styles sometime in the near future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
In the past century, the world has undergone tremendous changes, and one of the most notable transformations has been in the area of clothing recycling. Recycling clothes, which once was considered an unimportant and irrelevant matter, has now become a significant issue due to the increasing awareness of the importance of sustainability and environmental protection.
In the early 1900s, clothing recycling was not a widely practiced activity. The average person purchased clothes that were built to last, and any old clothes were either passed down to younger family members or repurposed into rags or cleaning materials. However, the invention of synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon in the 1930s and 1940s made clothes cheaper to produce, and their easy disposability led to an increase in waste.
The 1960s saw the beginning of the modern environmental movement, and with it, increased awareness of the need to reduce waste and preserve resources. This led to a resurgence in the idea of recycling, and organizations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army began to expand their clothing donation programs. In the 1970s, the first “recycling” stores were opened in the United States, where people could donate their old clothing and purchase second-hand clothes.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the textile recycling industry began to grow, and the first textile recycling machines were developed. These machines could sort through large quantities of used clothing, separating them into different categories based on material and quality. The clothes were then shredded, and the fibers were used to create new textiles, insulation, and even carpets.
In the early 2000s, the rise of online marketplaces such as eBay and Craigslist made it easier for people to sell their old clothing online, rather than throwing them away. The emergence of social media platforms like Instagram also played a role in promoting sustainable fashion, with influencers sharing tips on how to repurpose old clothes and encouraging people to buy second-hand clothing.
Today, clothing recycling has become a global industry. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the fashion industry produces over 92 million tons of waste every year, with less than 1% of it being recycled. However, there are now many initiatives and organizations working to improve this. Major clothing retailers such as H&M, Zara, and Levi’s have launched recycling programs where customers can bring in their old clothes and receive a discount on new purchases. Many cities and towns also have textile recycling programs, where people can bring their used clothing to be sorted and recycled.
In addition to recycling, there has also been a significant rise in upcycling, where old clothes are repurposed into new and fashionable items. Upcycling can range from simply adding embellishments or patches to a piece of clothing to completely transforming it into something entirely new. This has become a popular trend among DIY enthusiasts and sustainable fashion advocates, with many small businesses and independent designers specializing in upcycled clothing.
We, here at Diversity Consignment, pride ourselves in offering a unique textile recycling experience. One in which clothing passes directly from a consignors closet to a new and happy home. I believe that consignment has the potential to be the most sustainable way of recycling within the textile industry, applying a zero sum waste approach.
We also offer a platform for up cycling artists and creators to showcase some of their creations while making a profit. Come by and check out some of the unique things we have for sale!
Thrifting, the practice of purchasing second-hand items, has become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s not just about saving money, though. There are many benefits to thrifting that go beyond just the financial. Here are some reasons why you should consider thrifting for your next shopping spree.
The fashion industry is notorious for its impact on the environment. From the use of water and chemicals to the carbon emissions of transportation, the production of new clothes is a significant contributor to pollution. Additionally, when clothes are discarded, they often end up in landfills, where they can take years to decompose.
Thrifting is a sustainable option because it extends the life of clothing that would otherwise be thrown away. By purchasing second-hand items, you’re reducing the demand for new clothes and helping to keep usable items out of landfills. Thrifting is an eco-friendly choice that helps to reduce your carbon footprint.
When you shop at mainstream retailers, you’re likely to find the same items as everyone else. Thrifting, on the other hand, offers a unique shopping experience. Each thrift store has its own selection of items, and you never know what you’ll find. You may discover vintage pieces that are no longer available in stores or one-of-a-kind items that you won’t see anyone else wearing. Thrifting allows you to express your individuality and stand out from the crowd.
One of the most obvious benefits of thrifting is the cost savings. Second-hand items are typically much cheaper than new ones, allowing you to stretch your budget further. You can find high-quality items for a fraction of their original price, which means you can get more for your money. Thrifting is an excellent way to find bargains and get the most out of your shopping budget.
4. Higher Quality
Many items you find while thrifting are of higher quality than what you might find in mainstream retailers. This is because they were likely made to last, rather than being produced quickly and cheaply. You can find items made from higher quality materials, such as wool or silk, that are more durable and will last longer than their cheaper counterparts. Thrifting allows you to get high-quality items for a fraction of the price.
5. Supporting Local Communities
When you shop at thrift stores, you’re supporting local businesses and communities. Many thrift stores are run by non-profit organizations or small business owners. By shopping at these stores, you’re helping to support local economies and contribute to the growth of small businesses. Additionally, some thrift stores donate a portion of their profits to local charities, so your purchase can make a positive impact beyond just your wardrobe.
Thrifting can be a nostalgic experience. You may come across items that remind you of your childhood or a certain time period. This can be a fun way to reminisce and relive memories. Additionally, you may discover items that have a unique history, such as vintage band tees or concert posters. Thrifting allows you to connect with the past and add a touch of nostalgia to your wardrobe.
Thrifting is an excellent way to experiment with different styles and trends. Because the items are affordable, you can try out new looks without investing a lot of money. You can also mix and match items from different eras and styles to create a unique look. Thrifting allows you to be creative with your wardrobe and try out new styles without breaking the bank.
In conclusion, thrifting has many benefits beyond just the financial savings. It’s a sustainable option that helps to reduce your carbon footprint. It allows you to express your individuality and find unique items that you won’t see anyone else wearing. Thrifting is an affordable way to get high-quality items that are made to last
When it comes to the vintage scene, Boston is starting to make a serious footprint. There are all kinds of vintage stores across the US that have a stronghold in areas that are both remotely and in crowded cities. From LA to NY there are hundreds of some of the most iconic vintage stores packed with original Levis and adorable swing dresses. Many times, these stores are the places that Hollywood turns to for outfitting dated movie and television scenes. In fact, one of the names on this list has been featured in many movies across the big screen and they’ve been in Boston this whole time!
What is vintage? The term “vintage” and “antique” oftentimes overlap when spoken about from day to day. In terms of “true Vintage” we, at Diversity Consignment reference that phrase to anything that is at least 20 years old. Many department stores and boutiques will carry new “vintage inspired” outfits that may contain elements that one would commonly see in a vintage piece. These elements could include natural frays, dyes, or patina characteristic of a true vintage, aged garment. Not as good as the real thing in my opinion.
For this list we scoured the internet and by car for places within our home-town, Boston, Ma. in search of the absolute best true vintage stores in the area. There is no particular order to which of the top 5 is better than the others; this list is more of a comprehensive list of high-quality true vintage stores within Boston. Get ready…Go!
Bobby From Boston is the OG Boston vintage store. It was established in 1995 by the true legend Bobby Garnett. Bobby started off his career in the vintage game by establishing his personal collection and growing it into his personal showcase. He must have been a true pioneer at the time when vintage clothing certainly didn’t have the mainstream buzz that it does today.
He eventually evolved his personal collection into an internationally sensational storefront. Bobby From Boston has outfitted countless movie sets and inspired incredible fashion designers. They have thousands of pieces from every era throughout fashion history. I believe that they do not accept anything later than the 80s to be brought into their showcase for sale.
Prices are on the higher side of second-hand outlets; however, you are sure to find exactly what you’re looking for and more! Today, Bobby From Boston is run by Bobby’s daughter Jessica since his passing in 2016. Jessica continues to run the warehouse with the legacy of Bobby in mind while adding her own creative twist.
The warehouse is absolutely massive. It’s barely even a store really. There are thousands of garments and outfits from every era imaginable. The focus is certainly male-oriented but as we know, anything can be and should be worn by anyone. The place is a museum of hand-picked gems and should be recognized as one. Maybe it will be someday!
They are currently located in their warehouse at 545 Washington St. in Lynn, Ma. Bobby From Boston is exclusively open to the public on Sundays from 11-4.
40 South St. in Jamaica Plain may be one of Boston’s greatest hidden gems. The store has been in business for over 30 years and run by former rock star Hilken Mancini. Hilken was a rock star from the golden age of punk and was a member of bands such as Fuzzy, The Count Me Outs, and Shepherdess.
The store brings out that punk rock energy in such a terrific way. There are hundreds of true vintage gems all over the place! Included in the inventory are vintage rock shirts, womenswear as well as a vast selection of menswear. The place is a real vibe and Mancini contributes to that energy in a great way. She really is the queen of vintage Boston. It is easy to get lost in the mix of colorful 60s, 70s, and 80s fabric.
The store is certainly on the smaller side and is loaded with clothing. The place is vibrant and colorful. It is located at 40 South St. in Jamaica Plain, Boston. The store is open Thursday 12-6, Friday 12-6, Saturday 11-6, and Sunday 12-5. Definitely come check it out!
It’s pronounced “VeeVaunt”! Vivant Vintage pays homage to the rebirth of clothing. After all, the word vivant itself is the French word for life. Vivant Vintage has that goal in mind; to resurface life into cast-away and discarded clothing, shoes, and accessories and wow are they giving them life!
From the Traveling Spectacular cart owner Justin Pomerleau constructed in 2011, to the brick-and-mortar store he has today, Justin has created a legacy. So detailed, in fact, you can read the play-by-play history on the Vivant website. It is a true American Dream brought to life.
Vivant Vintage is housed in a unique location within Allston. It is close by to a candle factory so oftentimes there is a fresh candle-making scent lingering nearby. I think this adds to the charm of the shop. The store itself is organized in a very aesthetically pleasing organized clutter. Not to say that it is cluttered, because it certainly is well organized. The store just screams vintage. Hundreds of vintage jeans. Everything there is hand-picked by Justin and his team of experts. Nothing is not vintage, and that passion shows. They have an excellent selection of all things old but jewelry in particular is what stands out the most. Check it out for yourself!
Vivant Vintage is located at 318 Lincoln St, Allston Ma. They’re right there at the end of the footbridge. You may also see Justin and the team on the road as they stick to their roots by regularly scheduling pop-ups throughout various marketplaces in Boston.
Another vintage shop in Boston with humble roots in the street markets is High Energy Vintage. High Energy Vintage began on the streets of SoWa Vintage Market in Boston’s South End. In 2012 they were able to secure their first location in Teele Square, and in 2016 they moved to their current location at Union Square.
High Energy Vintage is one of those places that once you’re there, you never forget. The place is decked out in neat decor and childhood nostalgia (I guess if you were a child near the time I was, at least). The place is laced in vibrant, colorful clothing and some staple classics. Think 1980s as a store front and you’ve envisioned yourself within the walls of High Energy Vintage. The owners really do bring the energy when it comes to the decor and the vibes. They have a fairly large storefront and always have plenty of gems to choose from at very reasonable prices.
High Energy Vintage is your 1 stop shop for all things nostalgic. They even have a rad selection of vinyl records and VHS tapes! Also, I have to admit, their Tiktok and social media pages deserve more views and likes than they get. The marketing is absolutely fabulous!
Find High Energy Vintage at 429 Somerville Ave. in Somerville, Ma. They’re open every day except Tuesday. You can also find High Energy Vintage on the road as well! They’re oftentimes setting up shop at the local markets and have a schedule to see where they’ll be right there on their website.
Certainly, the oldest vintage shop on the list is the Great Eastern Trading Co. Originally created as an army/navy surplus store in 1969, Great Eastern Trading Co has a long and detailed history. I won’t go into all the details within this article, but the information is readily available on their website. The current owner, Nephtaliem McCrary has brought the store to the forefront of the “modern” vintage scene of Boston.
With locations in Cambridge, Malden, and Somerville, the Great Eastern Trading Co has roots that stretch to all corners of the city. The stores themselves are what you would want to walk into when desiring something different. The store specializes in true vintage garments and costumes. They have a huge selection of the perfect costumes for any party/event and especially Halloween. The stores are stocked full of eclectic displays and decor. The characters are really brought to life anytime someone tries something on and poses for a photo for the web page or social media.
When I tell you this place has energy, this place has energy. There are gorgeous styles from all eras (20’s – today). Owner McCrary really loves to test the limit of sanity with the fun stylings and displays inside and outside of the store. You can find all sorts of fun events scheduled on their website to keep you in the loop of what’s happening within the vintage world. Be sure to keep Great Eastern Trading Co on your list of must-see vintage shops in Boston.
So, there you have it! My list of the top 5 true vintage stores in Boston. Like I said, Boston is on the rise for cool and eclectic vintage shops, and I hope that this list guides you. Don’t forget to check us out as well! Diversity Consignment has been doing its thang, although I would not consider us a true vintage store, we definitely carry some awesome vintage stuff!
I hope that more stores carry on the tradition of recycling clothing and forgotten gems. The world could use more funk and I love to see the future generations rockin’ some unique stylish stuff as opposed to the cookie-cutter styles ugly department stores continue to push on us. Stay humble, stay cool.
Consignment shops can be great sustainable places to re-sell or purchase slightly used or even new clothing. In many regards, consignment shops are some of the most sustainable forms of recycling due to the low impact on waste they tend to produce. The clothing goes in a simple cycle, from consignor, to consignee, to consumer.
Of course, what to expect at a typical consignment shop will vary greatly depending on the styles and types of consignment shops in question. They can range from beautiful boutique style clothing stores, hype beast shops, and even true vintage stores. I will say, however, that the vast majority of consignment shops I have seen tend to be more focused on the up-scale designer centric styles. This may be due to the fact that within these boutique types of consignment shops, one may find some great discounts on otherwise unaffordable brands.
In this article we are going to cover some of the tried-and-true basics of what one would typically find inside of a consignment shop regardless of the specific type of products they offer.
What Makes a Consignment Shop Different than a Charity Thrift Store?
I want to start by doing a little bit of classification on what a consignment shop is and what differentiates it from a typical charity thrift shop.
A consignment shop is defined as “a store that sells secondhand items (typically clothing and accessories) on behalf of the original owner, who receives a percentage of the selling price.” This is different than a charity thrift store in a couple of notable ways:
A consignment shop typically has a carefully curated selection of products.
You can make money by dropping off your personal items to a consignment shop.
Consignment shops are typically for-profit businesses, however; in some instances, that is not always true.
The organization within a consignment shop is typically uncluttered and well-structured. This holds true in most shops that I have personally visited. Why are they usually so well organized? It is much easier to keep track of consigned goods inside a more well-organized setting. Remember, many consignment shops can have thousands of different products belonging to hundreds or thousands of different clients at any given time.
If a consignment shop is cluttered and disorganized, it can be a warning sign to prospective consignors. Unless the aesthetic is “organized clutter” (I have definitely seen some consignment shops master this visual) the prospective seller may be left wondering “How are they going to keep track of my stuff?” Consignment stores rely heavily on the community to supply the store with merchandise, so it is important that they gain the trust of a potential client.
Boutique style consignment shops will have a wide array of department store style fixings. Glass showcases, neat tables, and minimalist decor. While vintage consignment shops may have a good display of organized clutter. A shop should fit the vibe they’re trying to portray. I wouldn’t expect a lot of glitter and glam inside of a vintage store, for instance. On the other hand, I would still expect it to be more well organized than a run-of-the-mill charity thrift store.
Like I mentioned earlier, consignment shops will have a well-curated selection of inventory. The inventory will likely match the clientele that the store is delivering to. For example, a consignment shop in Nantucket will likely have a lot of pastel colored clothing or nautical themed home decor. A hype beast consignment shop located in the inner-city will likely have sneakers, casual clothing, and streetwear designer brands.
The products you should find in a consignment shop should fill the void between “new” and “heavily used.” Most stores will not accept items that show major, obvious signs of wear. This is important to note because you are not likely to find basement prices on the new arrivals section of your neighborhood consignment shop. We will go into pricing expectations a little further down in the article.
Couches at furniture consignment shops should resemble new couches. Dresses at the boutique consignment shop should look as close to new as possible.
You will traditionally (or I should say should not see at all) fast fashion brands or inexpensively manufactured items at a consignment shop, if they are doing their job curating products. Low priced retail merchandise just doesn’t have enough markup value on the resale market and therefore has little to no value to a consignment shop.
You should expect a good selection of desirable merchandise at the consignment store. That desirability, of course, will depend on who the target audience is geared towards at that particular location. Like I said, if you are into goth-core styled clothing, don’t be shocked if the local boutique consignment shop doesn’t carry a decent selection of what you’re interested in.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to pricing expectations should be somewhere between retail and bargain basement pricing. Consignment shop inventory as a whole, is typically between 90-95% used. Even clothing or household items that still have the tags and that are un-used should still be priced between 50-80% of retail value. Think about pricing on a department store clearance rack. I have seen some more boutique style shops that stick to near retail value and I have seen others that will go as far as 33% of retail value. The pricing should match the value that they deliver to you, the customer.
Consignment shops are places of discounted merchandise. It is not uncommon to see heavy discounts on sale racks (up to 90% off the original price tag). Usually, inventory is moving at a pretty rapid pace and new inventory is coming in hot. The stores need to make room for new arrivals and will put a good amount of inventory on clearance to make room for new merch. These sales can be great opportunities for customers to get some fantastic deals on excellent quality gems.
Consignment shops should deliver on value to prospective customers. They can justify higher prices than charity thrift stores by delivering on that value. How well the store in question performs on the following bullet points should help to determine the overall value of the pricing:
Cleanliness of the store
Selection of the merchandise (curation)
If the store delivers 10/10 on all of these components, expect to pay a little higher in price.
Here at Diversity Consignment, we try to differentiate in a few ways that help us stand out from the typical consignment shop experience.
Traditionally, clothing consignment shops have been cis-gendered and specialize in delivering excellent quality to either the female or male customer market exclusively. Here at Diversity Consignment, we have broken down the barrier of that exclusivity and welcome a non-binary shopping experience for all genders. Honestly, most people won’t really even notice this difference upon entrance because the racks are simply organized by inventory type (sweaters, hoodies, jackets, etc.) and size. This may not be the ideal layout for everyone, and we embrace that.
Another differentiator we offer is the products that we curate. In many regards it would be difficult to classify the inventory under one simple classification. We showcase boutique brands, instruments, vintage styles, vinyl records, and most importantly local artwork and custom creations. Really what we try to offer are things that our prospective customers would want to purchase. We try to communicate as best that we can with our existing customers and analyze the data on what is selling to narrow-down our future selections and curations. Again, our inventory is not likely for everyone, and we understand that.
We offer a calendar of events on our website and have a range of interactive activities for you to do while shopping! Swing by some time to shop or consign with us when you’re in the Boston area!
Consignment shops are fantastic places to stay frugal and in-style regardless of the type of consignment shop and what they offer. I would suggest finding one that aligns with your style and values, if possible. Don’t go in thinking you’re going to pay GoodWill prices; the consignment shops work hard to curate top-quality inventory and oftentimes work extra hard to make the inventory presentable.
The secondhand industry is continuing to grow as people become more aware of the impacts their spending has on the local community and the environmental impacts. Do us all a favor and support your local consignment shop!
Sounds pretty generic right? The basic answer I can give is that it depends on your intent and the way you go about thrifting.
Should I be thrifting more? What positive effects does thrifting have on the environment? I hate the idea of buying used stuff! Thrifting definitely has some pro’s and con’s you may never have even thought about.
In today’s article titled “Is Thrifting for Clothing a Good Idea” I am going to lay out some parts of thrifting that you may never have considered. We will cover thrifting to sell, the impacts of “thrift store depletion” and the effect thrifting has on the planet.
If you’re new to the page and want to get an idea on the basics of thrifting and how to get started as a thrifter, I suggest you read our previous article called “How to Get Started as a Thrifter.“
Is Thrifting-to-Sell a Good Idea?
Thrifting-to-sell has seriously taken off in the years since I began my personal consignment businesses. Early on, it was not very common to see younger people strolling through the door looking for “grail” pieces at “flip-worthy” prices. Now, more and more, we see this as an everyday occurrence. But the question is this; is thrifting-to-sell a good idea?
My answer to that question is yes, if done properly and mindfully. Thrifting-to-sell can be a great way to make money, recycle, curate, and even upcycle!
Upcycle: reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.
The danger can come into play when you are not being mindful about what you are sourcing. An example of what I mean would be sourcing only plus-sized or extra small clothing for upcycling because you get more fabric for what you spend. This results in leaving minimal to no plus-sized or extra small clothing for people who shop at discounted places for themselves to wear. Of course, this is not being mindful, and has in fact, created a huge lack of plus-sized clothing being available to those that need it today.
Another example of not being mindful while thrifting-to-sell would be wiping out a store of all of the bottom priced inventory. Yes, I know we are trying to make a buck by thrifting-to-sell but you have to be aware of the fact that people rely on the thrift stores to buy clothing for themselves and for their families.
The Effects of Thrift Store Depletion
This may seem obvious to a lot of people but for those who don’t know what I mean, I will explain.
As covered in the previous chapter, thrifting-to-sell is probably the main contributor to thrift store depletion. Thrift store depletion is the term I will use for when a thrift store has been depleted of a large amount of any given category. It could be plus-sizes, all bottom priced items, or even a certain category of clothing.
The major downside to thrift store depletion is that it creates a void for the people who rely on the thrift stores to clothe themselves or their families. I know you may be thinking “why would someone need a 1992 Nirvana concert tee?” Well, the answer is simple; it’s really just a t-shirt to everyone except yourself and those willing to spend more on it.
More and more frequently are instances coming up in which people can’t find anything good or quality at thrift stores. The quality garments are being scooped away as soon as they hit the rolling racks and the only things left are fast fashion products or ugly dresses in sizes small and medium. It’s really not fair to those in need and it’s starting to get a little out of hand.
Is Thrifting Good for the Planet?
Again, my answer to this question is going to be yes; thrifting is good for the planet.
It keeps clothing from being tossed away into the garbage and ultimately ending in landfills where it is either burned or buried. It also slows down the production of fast-fashion brands pounding out millions of articles of clothing by the minute to the outstretched hands of over-consumers.
The life cycle of the clothing alternatively to thrifting is not a pretty one. Imagine a world where clothing is being produced in under-paid labor facilities, worn a few times, and then tossed into the garbage to rot.
The charity thrift stores that allow us to thrift also donate a portion of the proceeds they make to worthy causes. It is good to support the thrift stores regardless of your intent, but don’t take advantage of them.
To be perfectly honest with you I am getting sick of the question “why do they need an Armani jacket?” Well Mr. or Miss “privileged”; they don’t, and neither do you. Nobody needs an “Armani jacket” but some people simply need a jacket and could care less what the brand is. It’s not like the person who donated it brought it in for only you to take. In fact, if they wanted something for it other than good faith, they would have brought it to a different type of store!
The point is this; thrifting is a good idea. You just need to be mindful about certain things. Thrifting-to-sell is totally fine, the money you spent goes to a good cause. You can make some money while supporting a good cause! Thrifting for curation of your closet is fine as well; you can get some dope $h!t you normally wouldn’t be able to afford! Thrifting to upcycle is also a sustainable way to make new creations!
Just remember, everything in moderation. There are people who would be better off if you didn’t clear our all the plus sizes or extra small sizes to feed your upcycling machine and people who need clothing to be priced affordably to support their families. Keep it to what you need or look towards a less harmful supplier of goods.
So, you want to start thrifting but don’t know where to begin? What types of things should you be looking for? Do you want to thrift for personal use or for reselling? Can I start a thrifting Vlog? These are some of the questions we’re going to try to answer for you in today’s article….”How to Get Started as a Thrifter!”
Side note: there are a lot of details involved with professional thrifting we may go over in later articles. In this one we are going to focus primarily on how to get started thrifting.
What Is Thrifting?
You keep hearing this term “thrifting,” but you’ve been living under a rock since 2010. That’s alright, we can explain. According to an upload on Wiktionary, thrifting may be described as, “The act of shopping for cheap items, as for example at a garage sale or flea market.” We, at Diversity Consignment, are going to define the term as, “The act of shopping at a second-hand store with the intentions of using your purchases for personal use, upcycling, content creation, or reselling.”
Thrifting is what we frugal shoppers enjoy doing in our free time. It is 1, good for the environment 2, fun to do and 3, can return you a profit if done correctly. I, personally, began my career in 2014, thrifting with the intention to resell for a profit. At that time, I had very little money to start up a business and enjoyed finding treasures at my local thrift stores. Little did I know that my frugal nature would lead me in the direction that it did! Back then, it was quite uncommon for younger people to be flooding the thrift stores and flea markets like they are today (I know, hard to imagine!). But I digress…
Thrifting is a huge step in the right direction for eliminating some of the textile waste we see negatively affecting our planet. It’s a practice that has been around for over 100 years but I can honestly say it’s great to hear that you’re finally taking on an interest!
Why Do You Want To Thrift?
In order to know what to look for, you’re first going to have to understand why you want to thrift. Is it because you understand the negative economic impacts wasteful companies such as the fashion industries progress? Is it because you want to stay stylish while saving money? Or is it because you’re looking to start a side hustle you can work on to call your own? It could even be a combination of all three! If your intentions are to become a thrifter who buys for reselling or Vlogging, we’re going to try to help you with today’s article.
What To Look For
Reasonably speaking, one can find all kinds of things at the thrift stores. Most places carry a wide range of second-hand products from clothing, accessories, CDs, stereo equipment, to artwork and much, much more.
If you want to start thrifting to resell, I recommend focusing on a particular category that you find especially interesting. That way when you find something unique or valuable, you will always get the same rush of excitement. Having a niche category that you look for can also save you a whole lot of wasted time and energy!
I would also recommend starting in a category that isn’t too overcrowded but also retains interest. Take some time to research on major ecommerce websites like eBay and video platforms like YouTube for some categories that don’t seem too competitive. By competitive what I mean is a particular category that has an overwhelming number of listings or videos already made or uploaded. For example, starting to thrift for vintage clothing may be great for personal use, but when it comes to resale it will be difficult to find the “grail” pieces first of all, and secondly, it would be challenging to make a footprint in the vintage market. If you were to get into vintage clothing, I would start with a more niche category such as “vintage travel t-shirts.” (I will go into further detail in a separate article on what constitutes an article of clothing as “vintage“).
You want to be able to get your content out there to people who are actually going to see it! The easiest way to get lost in the search results is to pick a broad category that already has a lot of coverage. Due to the algorithms set in place, in order to reach the top search results in ecommerce sites like eBay or video platforms like YouTube, you’re going to need a lot of listings and content with a proven track record. Of course, none of this you will have when you’re first starting out. The fastest way to be able to stand out is to choose something specific that shows interest but doesn’t have a lot of coverage.
Where To Start Sourcing
What you look for will also be important for where you go to source. For instance, if you’re intending on starting a Vlog about tractor equipment, going to the local Goodwill might not be the best place to start sourcing. Instead, research some barn sales going on in the nearby area (yes they do have barn sales) or yard sales in a more rural area if you live in the city.
This may sound silly but I’m being serious! Where you go to source will have a huge impact on preventing burnout. There are certain places that are honey-holes for specific things. You’re going to have to do some research to figure out where it is that may have what you’re looking for. You can find information online, through reddit discussions, or even in specific Facebook groups. Ask around! some people are more than happy to share where they go to treasure hunt.
Don’t be discouraged if other thrifters don’t share the information though! Thrifters can be notoriously territorial over their favorite spots!
How Much Should I Be Spending?
Now this is when things can get a little tricky. It depends. It depends on what your budget is for exactly what you want to do. I know this sounds ambiguous but bear with me.
Of course we all want to spend as little as possible when it comes to thrifting but you don’t want to give up quality for frugality. Some things you find might warrant a higher price! Don’t shy away from spending a little more to get something that you can flip for A LOT more. There have been plenty of times that I have wound up kicking myself because I left a store empty handed simply because I wasn’t willing to spend the extra $5-10.
Do a little research to find out what the market value is for what you’re sourcing. Have your smartphone with you the whole time you’re out there so you can quickly look up comps (completed sales) to see what the true value of what you’re finding is worth. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT think that asking prices are what things are worth. Anyone can ask any price for any thing! Figure out what it is actually selling for.
If you are creating a Vlog on a certain niche, the budget may be a little different. You may be willing to spend a little more for something special because you know it’s going to result in higher viewership or you have no idea when you’re going to find it again.
Find a category that interests you (tools, records, shoes) and narrow it down to a less competitive market that still has interest. Instead of “boots” narrow it further down to “cowboy boots.” Do your research. You may be saying WTF I came here as research! Trust me when I say that this is only the tip of the iceberg. There’s way too much detail that follows to include in this basic tutorial. If you want to be successful in Vlogging or Thrifting to resell you’re going to need to dedicate a lot of time to the craft.
That’s not to say that it isn’t worth it though! Thrifting feels amazing. It’s one of those activities that truly makes an impact beyond your personal achievements. So, I say, thrift on! Buy used shit!
If you found this article helpful, please feel free to comment your thoughts and ideas below in the comments section. Don’t forget to subscribe to get notified when new articles are being released!