It was on a Tuesday afternoon, the time where I calmly sip on my coffee at my balcony, trying to catch my breath from all the tasks I had to do during the day, and then the song “Thrift shop” by Macklemore plays on shuffle. Normally, I would either keep the song or skip it. However, this song in specific reminds me of the essence and virtue that I personally grasp out of what I like to call a treasure hunt, also known as “Thrift shopping”.
When you mention thrift shopping, some people perceive it as “cheap” because you’re basically buying secondhand items. However, for a person like me who is into fashion and is fully aware of the ethical and environmental consequences associated with normal shopping, thrifting is more than just clothing. It’s been years since I go to thrift shops occasionally, and I can certainly assure that I never went out of a store disappointed.
Many reasons highlight and support my choice in thrift shopping. First, fashion and clothing lines for me are a form of self expression and I do truly believe that every person has his/her own and unique identity. The drawbacks of normal shopping is that it can be outdated, just like the trends that rise for a month or two, where everyone starts buying the same bag because it’s all over the internet. On the contrary, when you thrift shop you start to notice that you are developing a distinctive, and non-repetitive wardrobe.
You’re not following a certain pattern anymore, you are buying clothes that reflect what you really like and the person you choose to show up as. Nevertheless, when you go down into a thrift shop, you notice that they constantly change their selection. Yet, if you go to any shopping store for a week, they have the same clothes on display. To also mention the vintage and luxury brands that you can find in thrift shops for a cheaper price. You can definitely be a natural thrift shopper, but the pleasure behind the thrift treasure hunt through the racks can never be outdated.
Now to mention the most important factor that will always push me towards thrifting ; the ethics and the sustainability that it carries within. Fast fashion is undeniably a great concept, yet it is highly threatening to our environment, and more people are becoming conscious of that everyday. The production process uses a huge amount of resources to produce just one single piece of clothing, while also highlighting that the quality is not always the best. Yet, when you thrift shop, basically you are increasing the lifespan of the clothes and filtering them out of the landfill. Therefore, when you buy secondhand clothing, you are directly contributing and playing your own personal vital role in decreasing the waste.
Thrifting does not only provide you with materialistic advantages. It also creates you an album of memory lanes and fun adventures that you could forever cherish, by simply taking a camera with you and going to random shops. It is overall an exciting activity that reduces stress and helps you explore all kinds of styles.
The best thrift shops that I have been to in Madrid are Aramayo Vintage, La Mona Checa, and Magpie Vintage. I spent hours there, the staff are super friendly and I recall how they all made their best to find me the kind of vintage shorts and shirts I wanted.
To wrap up, switching to thrift shopping will not fix all the fashion industry problems as for when you look closer into that industry, more gaps start to unveil. However, it is an ideal option for every individual to take accountability and reduce their carbon footprint , towards building a better planet. If you are privileged enough to have the choice between shopping at Subdued and a thrift shop, I hope you are smart and picky with your choices as picky as you are with your clothes.