There was a point in time when admitting that you shopped at a thrift shop for your clothes was as uncool as playing Dungeons and Dragons. Well, Dungeons and Dragons is crazy popular in 2018, and so is saving money! Demographics have shifted pretty dramatically in the last decade.
Wages have stayed the same while inflation has gone up, and people generally have less excess money to spend on things like clothes. As such, name brand clothing off the rack has become less and less desirable to an entire generation.
After all, why pay $100 for a pair of jeans you could snag at a secondhand store for $5? It just doesn’t make sense. Today, we’re going to look at how thrift shops became cool.
If there’s anything millennials hate, it’s spending money on commodities. Sales of luxury goods are down across the board among the young demographic. Sports cars, name-brand clothes, diamond jewelry, gold and more are feeling these effects.
After all, wages have stayed stagnant while the cost of living rises steadily every year. It’s hard to justify spending money on things that offer you no more joy than the thrill of buying expensive things.
With this in mind, the spending habits of millennials make more sense. They have little trust in the value of commodities, they don’t often invest, and large purchases seem like unattainable pipe dreams. As such, spending money on luxury items is more than just a bad decision for them, it’s unfashionable.
It comes off as superfluous and purposeless. Instead, millennials prefer to spend what excess income they do have on experiences. Eating at a nice restaurant, going on a fun hike or taking an exotic trip, for instance.
One such experience is visiting a local secondhand store. Not only are such places significantly less expensive than brand-name stores, they feel more authentic. Millennials can detect inauthenticity from a mile away and avoid it like the plague.
Places with real charm, charisma and character are much more likely to entice younger shoppers. Whereas once admitting to buying a pair of jeans from a thrift shop would have been the height of unfashionable shame, it’s now worn as a badge of honor.
It’s good for the environment, for one thing. Reusing older goods, instead of throwing them away, is much more sustainable. Tossing thousands upon thousands of tons of old clothes into landfills every year the way the US does is unsustainable to an extreme. Millennials, as you likely know, have a much stronger attachment to sustainability than previous generation.
Secondly, saving money by finding deals in thrift store makes one feel more accomplished. Rather than paying the brand-name upcharge, a savvy shopper can get the same fashions for a fraction of the price.
There you have it: the demographic shifts and mentalities that made thrift shops cool. After all, why shop at some big name-brand store and spend ten times what you would at the thrift shop? Don’t you know what the cool kids are doing?