Graphic by Lilly Wood.
ANNA SMITH | OPINION COLUMNIST | firstname.lastname@example.org
More and more, it’s common to compliment someone on their groovy sweater and find out it is from none other than Goodwill. She then will proceed to tell you that said sweater cost $3. I know these girls exist because I am this girl. Not only does my bank account beam with happiness every time I choose to shop at Goodwill rather than Urban Outfitters, but I take pride in owning something that can be repurposed and loved again.
This contemporary fashion trend has a lot more benefits than you’d think. It’ll save you at least $50 on jeans, is a ton better for the environment and could seriously benefit people across the world. But let’s focus on its presence on Butler’s campus.
If you haven’t already heard, there are no shortages of thrift stores within a 6-mile radius. The options increase dramatically when you enter the Indy area. Whether it’s trusty ol’ Goodwill or new additions like Naptown Thrift, students are getting their thrift on.
There are many reasons people thrift. Some people thrift simply for the grungy, outside-the-lines, I-can-mix-patterns-and-still-look-flawless aesthetic. These are the people whose closets are full of eclectic clothing and who seem to be able to pull off the most outrageous outfits. If you’re a die-hard thrifter, the funkier, the better.
It’s important to remember that although this level of thrift is attainable — I promise they exist outside the realm of hipster neighborhoods in Seattle! — it takes a long time to acquire enough thrifted clothes to fill your wardrobe. No one wakes up with an assortment of grandma sweaters and old-timey trousers in their closets without a little work.
Beyond the impressive standard the Goodwill gang sets with their head-to-toe thrifted outfits, there is an intermediate group of thrifters out and about on Butler’s campus. These are the people that seamlessly incorporate classic basic clothing that can be worn under shirts or maybe rock a graphic tee.
Julia Bartusek, a junior peace and conflict studies major, falls into this moderately thrifty category.
“We categorize people as either thrifters — those people who wear very eccentric things, or non-thrifters — those who don’t,” Bartusek said. “They don’t understand that I wear thrifted things with other clothes that I’ve also bought from a more commercial store.”
More for reasons of “ballin’ on a budget,” these thrifters have a savvy eye for buying reusable clothing for less rather than buying from a more expensive store offering essentially the same item.
There are also people on campus that do not shop at thrift stores. Of course, this doesn’t mean they are against thrifting; it just means the brand name and tag mean more. These are the people sporting Gucci slides, Adidas sweatpants, or sweaters you know you’ve seen on Urban Outfitters mannequins. They don’t thrift, but they still look pretty cool.
I guess it’s up to anyone’s interpretation if thrift stores lives up to the hype or not. Thrifting in our culture has been made into a contemporary fashion trend, with celebrities, fashion bloggers, and YouTubers adding to the craze. They’ve joined the frenzy, and I honestly think we all should.
Thrifting is a way to express yourself through clothes that nothing else compares to. Not only are thrifted finds cooler than the clothes you’d find online, but they are also unbelievably cheaper — and you wouldn’t believe how good it feels when you manage to thrift a perfect pair of vintage jeans.
Size is flexible when you thrift. If something is oversized but you like the logo, do some trimming! Get creative! People buy distressed graphic tees for $30 when they could distress a $3 T-shirt they could get from Goodwill.
No worries if you mess up, it was only $3! Or if you don’t end up wearing something you thought you’d like, don’t fret! $3! The process of thrifting is like going on a scavenger hunt. It may be less convenient, but trust me, it’s worth the adventure.
It’s also important to recognize how amazing it is for college students on a budget to be encouraged to thrift. Let’s face it — few people can actually afford a wardrobe that exclusively consists of big name brands. College is already expensive, and there’s often not a lot of money to be spent on a huge Zara purchase or to shop casually through Anthropologie.
Thrifting as a fashion trend removes the stigma surrounding second-hand purchases and is beneficial for students who felt embarrassed in middle school or high school if they were seen browsing through the racks at Goodwill.
Adrian Daeger, a sophomore vocal performance major, talked about the negative stigma she was surrounded by during her childhood.
“Even as early as elementary school, when someone would compliment me on an outfit, I would be wary of telling them it was from Goodwill because people associate second-hand stores with being dirty and poor, which isn’t at all true,” Daeger said.
There is nothing to be embarrassed about at all. It’s so easy to compare yourself to people who seemingly have the world on a silver platter. Instead of trying to live up to those impossible standards, it’s so much more rewarding to express yourself through affordable means.
Thrifting is amazing for the college budget, helps people get their creative side on and encourages everyone that being savvy is freaking cool. It also could potentially help save millions of workers around the world and could seriously save the planet, but more on that later.