The controversy of thrifting

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Courtesy of Creative Commons

Thrifting is becoming a huge trend as people see this as a potential problem

Anna Berges, Staff Writer

With thrifting becoming one of the more popular trends, there is controversy on whether or not this is an ethical practice. People tend to label it as, “Stealing from the poor,” as the less fortunate tend to rely on these thrift stores to provide them clothing at cheaper costs. With thrifting bringing more customers into the stores, the prices are starting to rise which defeats the whole purpose of the clothes being inexpensive and easy to get.

As the winter season continues, it has been noticed to be an issue that shoppers are buying coats, hats, and gloves rather than leaving them there for the people who truly need it. If costumers buy more items than they really need, this creates an endless loophole of overconsumption. Another argument is that thrifting solves the problem of fast fashion, where clothes are produced at a faster rate but comes with an environmental cost.

In Mckinsey’s, “The State of Fashion 2019,” report, he states, “Nine in ten Generation Z consumers believe companies have a responsibility to connect the environmental interests on consumer choices.” With thrifting, it is a more sustainable way of keeping the same clothes in the environment, with less production of fast fashion. However there will always be controversy on whether or not it is the right thing to do.

Depop is an app for people to sell their items, mostly clothing. Some sellers on this app put up their thrifted items for sale, at a much higher cost than what they were bought for. This takes away the whole principle of making these items affordable and available when people are really in need for it. Emma R., a seller on Depop stated, “We are often seen as privileged upper class people taking necessities away from people that are truly in need and struggling. I am sure this is true for some, but especially with this pandemic a lot of us are just doing this as our only form of work.” A lot of resellers on Depop make this their only source of income, so with arguments in the air, they cannot just stop what the are doing.

Katherine Brand, student at University of Michigan states, “The popular trend of buying clothes from thrift stores and reselling them on Depop for a much higher price hastens the process of gentrification, referring to the process of repairing or improving a deteriorating neighborhood.” Along with thrifted clothing not being able to serve their purpose of availability, it could displace the people from lower classes who were the primary consumers at thrift stores in the past.