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Thrifting

Originally Printed in the November 2023 Issue of The Jaguar Journal
Thrifting
Massimo Resendiz

Why should you start thrifting? The planet has so many landfills worth of garbage, plastics, wasted food, and clothing and second hand shopping helps decrease our contributions to those landfills, little by little. And it’s a great way to express your own personal style. “Everyone can wear it differently, it goes to show how everyone has their own perspective of fashion.” said graduate Kevin Rodriguez.

Massive thrift chain Goodwill and other chain companies work in a specific cycle. They have their stores “The Racks” and whatever won’t sell there will go to an outlet known as “The Bins”. What does not get grabbed out of the thousands upon thousands of pounds of clothes will end up at, you guessed it, a landfill.

There’s many places you can thrift. Goodwills, Value Villages, and Plato’s Closet are all good places to find essentials and the occasional Holy Grail like a 1993 $650 Grateful Dead tie dye on a Liquid Blue blank. A grail doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. If you want to find local shops that use your money for a good cause for cheaper prices and great quality go to any Helping Hands thrift or Salvation Army Thrifts. Places like these have inspired so many major clothing brands such as Givenchy and Diors with their quality fabrics, and Vivienne Westwood with the pearls and fine jewelry. Even a new generation of designers like Kevin Rodriguez, who enjoys thrifting and sewing. “Making things different from what the average consumer could find. Just making them more original, or also just being able to upcycle.” said Rodriguez.

There is no specific time to show up, with special exception to the bins. The bins work in a set amount of rotations of new clothes for the day. After they complete the rotation, the rotation repeats until sellers purchase the items. When visiting the bins, wear gloves and practice proper hygiene. Nothing there is clean.

Something every  vintage clothing lover and reseller like to hear is that people don’t have time to go thrifting.However as Kevin Rodriguez put it, resellers are a valuable asset. “They’re cool because it makes it easier to find cool pieces.” said Rodriguez.  Good thing there’s vendors both online and offline, some major spots in Washington. Throwbacks NW, Late Night Vintage Market, and Lucky Lemon Seattle. All jam packed with clothing from all over the world. This is where prices, value, and satisfaction goes up, but your bank account drops.

Why is there such a desire for old clothes amongst the younger generation? We seek for a juvenile look from each era, from the bell bottoms to the cropped leather jackets. “The baggy fit of the clothes, it’s more comfortable.’’ said Rodriguez. We live in a time where we are so focused on the future that old clothes give a piece of nostalgia; whether that be a promo shirt for a game you played on the wii with your cousins, or a 1990’s band tee. We wear clothes because we need to, but also to express ourselves and give our interests exposure.

What impact does vintage clothing have on the future for new clothes? It inspired many designs we see on the T-shirts while walking through Pike Place Market or Capitol Hill. All of these small brands slowly coming up implement that distressed look on their clothes, examples being like GV GALLERY, Seattle local brand. They’ve all been using the faded and baggy style. And its something they’ve been able to do successfully. Already gaining 134k followers on instagram and selling out the same day whenever they drop. This is just one of many examples. It just goes to show that the look of the common vintage clothing piece will sell when put on to modern clothes.

At the end of the day “Fashion is just being about yourself.” said Rodriguez.

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