Thrift shopping for students: A timeless trend


A clothing rack at a thrift store.

Thrift stores in recent years have seen an upward trend when it comes to business. Many college students enjoy finding affordable clothes that appeal to their tastes, and there is no feeling quite like being able to buy able to get a great dress and pair of shoes for only $10.

Students might have qualms when it comes to shopping secondhand, especially for clothing. They may wonder if an item is clean enough or made well enough for a second use. However, these worries can disappear when you find something that you love for only a few dollars. 

When asked about how she felt about thrift stores, Guilford College sophomore Kay Neal II took the pandemic into consideration when responding.

“I strongly suggest that you wash the clothing that you receive from thrift shops and from other people because you don’t know where the other person has been and what they have been doing, especially… during COVID,” Neal said. “I think that the popularity of thrift shops for our generation is such a big influence… It is so much easier to rock a style without wasting too much money on expensive wear.”

Eliza Huber of Refinery29 wrote an article exploring the safety of thrift shopping during the pandemic. Huber interviewed Kitaen Jones, who runs the Memphis nonprofit Clothes Minded Ones, for tips on safe thrift shopping.

“I make sure to keep anything that hasn’t been sprayed down with Lysol in a bag away from the rest of my personal things,” Jones said in the interview. She added that she washes each piece of clothing with laundry sanitizer and wears gloves when handling clothing.

Many have had to adjust their living and shopping habits due to the pandemic, but thrift shopping has become popular for those watching their budgets. 

Guilford students shared their thoughts on the thrift-shopping trend.

“Thrift stores are an amazing place to shop for all types of clothes,” said senior Kaleb Jeune. “…Certain clothing items at a thrift store are sold for a decent price and the clothing can be good quality!”

“I enjoy thrift shopping, and I go every couple months,” said junior Lucy Reardon. “I like looking through the racks of clothes because there’s always interesting stuff from various decades. My favorite place is called Urban Thrift near where I live in Maryland.” 

For students looking to find clothing items they love for an affordable price, thrift shopping is a timeless tradition.