Thrifting. The act of shopping at a thrift store, flea market, or a garage sale, with the intent of finding interesting items at a low price. Thrifting has been around for centuries, but it was for a long time known as something for those financially struggling.
However, 2020 —being the game-changing year that it is- is turning thrifting into something popular with the younger generation. Why the change? Tiktok, of course. TikTokers are using this social media platform to post content on finding vintage second-hand products, and getting every other teenager rushing to the nearest thrift store.
But now we have a question. Is thrifting here to stay, or is it just another typical, short-lasting trend of our fast-fashion culture?
If thrifting is here for good, the benefits are overwhelming.
One of the many environmental benefits of thrifting is that less clothing will end up in landfills. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, an average of 14 million tons of clothing are thrown away every year in America alone. And 60% of these are made of synthetic materials, which take hundreds of thousands of years to decompose. If you buy from a thrift store, you are recycling the clothing that would have otherwise been in a landfill.
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Another environmental benefit is that you are saving water. Accordion to the UN #ActNow program, a pair of jeans takes on average 10,000 gallons, about 30,000 cups of water, to make. So let me ask you this: why are you getting new but ordinary 50 CHF jeans that wasted so much water when you can vintage Levi’s for 20 CHF, all while wasting no water?
Not only is thrifting a savior for the environment, but also for your wallet. As mentioned above, Levi’s jeans for 20CHF? This is much less than the 120CHF price tag of a new pair of the same product. Is there anything more to say?
A guide to thrifting
Thrifting is quite similar to just shopping at an ordinary store, but these are some tips that might help your experience more enjoyable and effective:
- Look through every single item
Thrifting is a game of who has the patience to look through every single piece. There could be hidden treasures even in an abyss of shady trucker tees. So if you want to find them, it’s always a good idea to look through everything. This is especially good if you don’t know what specific type of clothing you’re looking for, as finding out all the available options will give you inspiration.
2. Try on the clothes before buying them
Some things can look really good on a hanger but just really bad on you, or the opposite. To make sure you don’t get any items you won’t be able to wear, try your picks on before you pay.
3. Do multiple rounds of the store
The clothing racks are constantly being refilled, so if you come back to the racks, there will be new items that you have not seen previously.
4. Check the clothes stacks next to the changing rooms
This is where all the tried-on clothes go. If someone bothered to try the piece on, it probably means they are worth being bought but just didn’t fit the person.
Where can I thrift in Zurich?
Vinokilo is a popup thrift store that offers high-quality vintage goods at a low price of 70 CHF per kilo. The products sold are hand-picked out of textile waste containers and checked for major flaws, making sure that all products sold are in good condition. This is a very reliable store with many successful events all around the metropolitans of Europe. You can check for their next pop-up locations on their Instagram account, @vinokilo, or their online store, vinokilo.com.
Veintagerivive is a Switzerland-based popup thrift event that sells vintage clothes for 50 CHF per kilo. You can check for their next pop-up locations on their Instagram account, @veintagerevive.
Salvation Army Zurich
Here, you can not only buy but also donate your old clothes and do good for charity! The profits made by the Salvation Army thrift stores go to support Salvation Army charity’s social projects for the impoverished.
Just your town’s Second-Hand-Laden!
Explore your local second-hand stores. These are available all year round and probably the cheapest of the thrift stores.