The Cultural Shift of Thrift

Times have changed and the thrift culture is no expectation. Even though the thrift culture has been around for years, vintage clothes have only recently started to get mass appeal due to their rarity and uniqueness, however it seems like not everyone is happy with the growth..

For thrifters, vintage clothes represent experiences, for example; “I was thrifting at this charity shop one day and I was having trouble finding anything I liked but I kept digging in a heap of dusty clothes until I spotted a funky pattern immersed at the bottom. When I pulled it out, I knew that I wasn’t going to let go of it and I haven’t stopped wearing it ever since.” Thrifters have a strong bond with their thrifts because they actively had to find them, which is an experience that can’t be replicated in a regular retail setting.

Vintage lovers enjoy vintage clothes for their unorthodox colour schemes and nostalgic brand names; their passion does not derive from the experience of finding the clothing. Instead, it’s the genuine appreciation for the design, texture, and style of the clothing that ignites their passion even though they don’t go through the process of digging for clothes. In fact, vintage lovers have a hard time thrifting because they don’t have the eye and patience to spot a needle in a haystack, an hour could by without them finding anything that they like.

The introduction of vintage resellers through Instagram (Insta-stores) has brought about the most change in the culture because vintage lovers can now conveniently purchase from the comfort of their home; Insta-stores have played the biggest role in converting regular consumers into vintage lovers.

Some may argue that these Insta-stores are exploiting the culture but I disagree, Insta-stores have globalized thrifting; we can learn new style combinations from people in Tokyo, we can show off our own sub-culture to the rest of world and we even buy clothes from different provinces and countries at a touch of a button. Change in is inevitable and as long as we continue respecting the culture, vintage finds will only get better.


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Retro Retro Mag Young & Thrifted, Issue 03

“The third issue of Retro Retro Magazine is an ode to the culture of thrifting, which is why I connected with experienced thrifters that share mutual love and respect for the art of thrift shopping to discuss our thoughts and opinions on where the culture came from, where it is today and where it’s going. The title of Young & Thrifted celebrates the pride and passion that so many thrifters, vintage lovers and Retros share for old clothes. “

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