For many college students, it’s important for their fashion to be reasonably priced and multipurpose. However, even department stores such as Walmart Supercenter and Target have higher prices than some students can afford. According to ecogoodz.com one in five Americans shop in resale, or thrift shops.
“Even though I work, money is still pretty tight,” sophomore Mallory Krishna said. “And as I’m trying to lose weight my clothes don’t always fit right. Walmart might be convenient drive wise, but prices? Not so much.”
Krishna, a biology major at Northwest Missouri State University, often drives to St. Joseph, Missouri, with her roommates to visit thrift shops and second hand stores. However, for Krishna and her friends, not all thrift shops are created equal.
“Personally, I like Red Racks the best,” sophomore Alexandria “Alex” Green said. “It’s a lot easier to find things there since it’s bigger than Goodwill. I can find a lot of cute clothes that actually fit me than at other places.”
Resale shops are broken down into two categories: consignment and thrift shops.
Consignment shops are where a store sells items on behalf of the original owner, who gets a percentage of the sale. Popular examples include Plato’s Closet and Clothes Mentor.
Thrift shops, such as Red Racks or Goodwill, often double as charities and are the more popular type of resale store. However, if a person takes in charitable work as a reason to shop, they should double check how much of the proceeds go to said charity. However, there are other factors to consider.
When it comes to thrift shopping for clothes, it boils down to a few main points: price, fit and aesthetics. Krishna described her personal style, or aesthetic, as “practical, a little hipster and a dash of the ‘90s.”
“I like buying flannels at thrift shops,” Krishna said. “They’re already worn in and soft. All I have to do is wash it when I get home.”
“I’m a pretty laid back person when it comes to clothes. I mostly just buy shirts since most of my pants consist of leggings,” Green said
However, like many other types of businesses, thrift and consignment stores are now headed online.
“I buy a lot of my stuff online like on ThredUp,” senior Samantha Gaither said. “Some places have really high end products. I usually get stuff like Prada purses or Michael Kors on some sites.”
While most people turn to online for shopping, many still believe in going to physical stores.
“Like with a lot of online shopping, I hate buying clothes online because I don’t know how it’s going fit on me,” Green said.
However, for looking for chic clothing isn’t the only thing college students look for at thrift shops.
“I got one of my favorite purses while thrift shopping. It cost less than $20,” Krishna said. Krishna pulled out a faux leather, orange backpack like purse.
Green also has a favorite, none clothing item.
“I got a really cute nightstand for only $15,” Green said proudly showing off a crisp, white night stand.
Overall, while most may view thrift shopping as a less desirable form of shopping, there are benefits to it as well.
There are many mom and pop type thrift shops, such as Twice is Nice in Maryville, Missouri, which help boost local economies. As stated earlier, many also function as charities, usually donating to veterans, disabled people and the blind.