By Chloe Smith
Shelves of knick-knacks. Racks of clothes, some with that signature musty smell. Framed prints. Glassware. Shoes. These are common items that fill thrift stores.
Some view thrift stores as places for old junk. To others, it is a modern treasure hunt. Thrifting has become increasingly popular among the younger generations. Some do it to be trendy. Others, to save money. Some even see it as a way to be environmentally friendly and break away from fast fashion.
“I like it because it gives me versatility in my wardrobe,” said Karis King, a junior psychology major at Cedarville, who often frequents thrift stores. “I shop a lot, and thrifting is a way for me to make sure I’m not spending too much while indulging in my shopping habits.”
“I like it because it’s a way to access high quality material at a very affordable price,” said Daniel Brubacker while sporting bright yellow pants he found at a thrift store. “I find stuff that I wouldn’t normally buy, or search for, and I find it at a thrift store, and I wear it and I really like it. It’s like opening a mystery box.”
Other than clothes, Brubacker finds other treasures at the thrift stores. He recently bought a vertical CD changer for his dorm room. It was retro, it was unique, it was aesthetic.
King once found a large yellow blazer at a thrift store. It was extra large, but that didn’t stop her from finding a way to style it.
“It was the most gorgeous item I’d ever seen.” she said. “It was in the middle of the rack. I flipped and it was there, just shining.”
King also frequents Second Act in downtown Cedarville. Because it is a ministry, Second Act has extremely low prices, and many treasures can be found there. She also visits the local Goodwills in Beavercreek and Springfield.
“You have to go several times, and you have to get familiar with each store.” King said, when asked for advice for a new thrifter. “You have to get a little creative.”
Because thrift stores can be filled with all kinds of items, a goal to find a certain thing can often change in a second, and the shopper can easily find something they weren’t originally looking for.
Brubacker advised keeping track of when stores restock.
“I find better things in the mornings. If you go at the end of the week, you’ll be left with just garbage,’’ he said.
Brubacker usually visits stores around his hometown in Chicago.
Thrifting is a complicated art, but for these students and countless others, it has become both a hobby and an affordable way to shop.