POV: Thrifting, good for the wallet and the world


Hollie David

A brand new blazer with the tags still on it at Goodwill.

Hollie David, Features Editor

When walking through the door and seeing rows upon rows of bright colors, flashy accessories and vinyl records, I always know it is going to be a good day. Whether I am looking for a bright-colored blazer, a frame for a craft project or anything else I can think of, I know there is a chance it can be found.

As a college student, extra spending money tends to be non-existent after paying the bills and buying groceries every week. Simply buying a new pair of jeans or a cozy flannel for a cold autumn day can seem almost impossible. 

Luckily I have a somewhat simple solution to this problem that is both easy on a person’s wallet and easy on the world we live in. Thrifting is a great way to find high-quality clothing, sometimes with the tags still on, for prices that are within the slim budget of a college kid. This solution also allows for less clothing waste to accumulate in garbage dumps or as pollution.

Over the past several years, pop culture and social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram have removed some of the stigmas from thrifting and opened up a new world to younger generations. These platforms have become tutorials on how to thrift and customize anything and everything a person can find at a thrift store.

People can find thrift stores and consignment stores everywhere, from more name-brand thrift stores such as Goodwill and Plato’s Closet, both in New Hartford, to smaller, more local thrift stores which tend to have just as large of a variety of clothing and accessories for every occasion. In today’s digital age, there is even the option of online thrifting.

On my trips to various thrift stores such as Goodwill, I have found American Eagle jeans with the tags still on, Lululemon yoga pants in every assorted color and Converse that look brand new after a few small scuffs were cleaned off – all for $20 or less which is way easier on the wallet than buying off the rack.

If a person is looking for only more expensive brands, then there is also the option of a store like Plato’s Closet where any clothing that goes in is screened for quality and brand. Stores like this also give people the chance to make some extra money as clothing isn’t donated but instead purchased by the store. 

Besides being an easier financial option for college students, thrifting is also gentler on the environment compared to common practices used in the fashion industry.

“Fashion production makes up 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams,” according to the Geneva Environment Network website. “What’s more, 85% of all textiles go to the dump each year, and washing some types of clothes sends a significant amount of microplastics into the ocean.”

By opting to thrift, people are making a conscious choice to help reduce the carbon footprint they are leaving on the planet, along with having a more affordable way to fill their closets.