In today’s fast paced world and popular culture that teems with a variety of ever-changing and fleeting fashion trends (weird and admirable), you’d probably agree that it’s a wise idea to become a vintage warrior. One easy and cost effective way to do that is thrifting. Thrift shops are a treasure trove of timeless fashion and style, albeit the latter tends to be a fad rather than eternal.
By definition, thrifting refers to the act of shopping at a thrift shop, flea market or a shop of a charitable organisation, usually with the intent of finding interesting items at a low price.
Lately, thrifting has become synonymous with the hip hop culture. It boils down to the essence of hip hop being aligned with fashion. I mean, hip hop is credited for the birth of numerous fashion trends. Fashion, just like hip hop, is a vehicle for self expression.
People who revel in thrifting are mainly those of alternative lifestyle and fashion taste. If you are for all things unique and antique, and you don’t want to go around dressed like every Tom, Dick and Harry, then thrifting might be for you. With the growing repetitiveness and ubiquity of clothing items like snapbacks, leopard print leggings, to mention but a few, thrifting might set you apart from everyone else; for thrifting is for those who are in a quest for clothes that make a statement; clothes with character.
Thrifting has gone from being largely a financially conscious choice to being a cool thing to do, as evidenced partly by Macklemore’s multiplatinum hit single, ‘Thrift Shop’. Macklemore is not the only celebrity endorsing the vogue of thrifting. The elegant and divine enchantress, Elle Varner, is an avid thrifter too. The songbird even calls herself “The Thrift Queen”. It doesn’t end there; the bright orange jacket she’s wearing in the ‘Only Wanna Give It to You’ music video didn’t cost her an arm and a leg. She bought it for $4! Who would have thought? Miguel, Janelle Monae and One Republic’s Ryan Tedder are some of the many active protagonists of thrifting.
I bet the reason why our local celebs ain’t about that thrifting life is because they think they’re too cool for it. I mean, you know how the SA celeb scene is – full of pseudo ballers.
One of the obvious reasons for bargain shopping is of course getting some really cool stuff at cheaper prices. But keep in mind that being a thrifter doesn’t mean you love cheap stuff. That notion is just ridiculous at all levels. Being a thrifter simply means you’re a wise buyer. You pop some really heavy tags with incredibly few hundreds of Madibas. Hey, smart shopper. Thrifting is a frugal practice because it leaves one with significant savings one can do other useful things with.
Did it ever occur to you that by being a thrifter, not only are you being cool but you’re being a green shopper as well? Yes, thrifting is a green practice that pertains to reduce, recycle and reuse of products. You’re putting to use that vintage 90’s coat that somebody would have thrown away.
The act of thrifting also, to some extent, fights mass consumerism in all its myriad forms. We live in a world and society where we’re defined by our possessions. Although thrifting is still consumption, it is conscious to a number of things that mass consumption remains blind to.
But above all, at the crux of thrifting lies delightful antiques and the thrilling experience of hunting for those items you wanna buy. You can even do it for fun. Keep calm and go thrifting.