If you follow fashion creators on YouTube or Gram, the word thrifting is already a part of your vocabulary. As the world turned to support small businesses during the pandemic, online thrift stores came into the limelight. While physical thrift stores are still scarce in India, you can find countless pop-ups and stores online.
So, what does thrifting exactly mean?
Thrifting is any kind of shopping at a thrift store, flea market, garage sale, or a charitable organization. It usually means shopping for pre-owned (or rejected) items at lower costs. Thrifting encourages recycling, slow fashion, and is often seen as a movement to cancel out fast fashion.
What’s the hype all about?
Where do we start? Thrifting seems to have a lot going on for it which is why more and more consumers are trying out. Stuff like:
Smaller shopping bills
It’s more economical. Thrifting perhaps got popular because it lets you own items that would originally be quite pricey at lower prices. We’re talking luxury items from high-end brands. One of the most “fun” parts of thrifting is getting a good bargain.
Planet 1. Fast fashion 0
Thrifting is a solution for fast fashion. It normalizes pre-owned clothing and encourages less waste. There is more pride and love in owning second hand clothing than there was a few years ago.
Vintage is having a moment
It’s no coincidence that thrifting starts thriving the year vintage fashion makes a comeback. Old grandma sweaters, pleated skirts, kitten heels are all in atm. And thrift stores are great treasures of unique vintage fashion.
Not too mainstream
Thrift stores curate clothes from different sources often leading to a unique collection with different styles. While mainstream brands often follow the trends, thrifting lets you shop for a more unique sense of style.
Shopping, that does good
We all love a good shopping spree. Thrifting takes off the guilt from it. It lets us not just contribute towards the panet, but many stores donate to charitable organizations too.
Okay but are these clothes even that good? Or clean?
If you’re new to thrifting, it’s common to have concerns. How do you ensure quality and hygiene? Well, like any kind of shopping you eventually find stores you like and trust.
Moreover, it’s a misconception that clothes these stories get are dirty or overused. Most people don’t donate such clothes, and even if they do the store owners weed them out. A lot of clothes are not even used, just export rejects or surplus.
Most store owners dry clean and wash their items before putting them out for sale. They check for tears, and missing buttons too. However, to be extra sure, you can always clean them once you get them. Clothes can be easily washed and accessories can be sanitised and disinfected.
Thrift shopping scene in India
Thrift shopping in India is on the rise. We have some really popular stores, as well as really small independent stores. There are many stores specializing in accessories, like bags or jewellery, or even a specific style of clothing.
We’re not even going to try to do the impossible tasks of listing down thrift stores in India because that list is long and growing even as we speak. So here’s a list from Homegrown and Missmalini to start you off. We’re sure, however, if you are looking out for thrift stores they aren't hard to find.
And here are 5 of our top picks:
It's also a strong community, so knowing a few will help you know even more stores with time. Most of these are Instagram pages or Facebook pages where you can comment and DM to order. Remember that at the end of the day they are a small business and deserve your support and love.
Share their work, encourage others, and give them a voice whenever you can. More than a fashion buzzword, thrifting is a community driven by individuals who love fashion and sustainability, and are not ready to give up one for the other.