The thrill of the hunt

Not only is it trendy, but thrifting is good for the soul and the planet.

There are so many things I love to do that give me an adrenaline rush. From stand-up-paddle boarding in the summer, to pre-pandemic roller derby, I am a dopamine addict, but the hobby that gives me the biggest thrill is second hand shopping.

There is something so magical to me about treasure hunting at my local thrift shops. It’s probably like the equivalent to beach combing and metal detecting for others.

Buying second hand is more popular now than ever. Between inflation, supply chain shortages, and gas prices, buying gently used items just makes sense.

But did you know that thrifting is good for the planet as well? Take a look at these stats:

Why it matters: The apparel and footwear industry account for about 10% of climate impact — greater than all international flights and maritime shipping trips combined. Buying clothes, shoes and more secondhand can greatly reduce fashion’s carbon footprint.

By the numbers: The secondhand market is projected to reach $77 billion by 2025! That’s up from $36 billion in 2021, and is growing at a whopping 11 times the rate of the broader retail clothing sector, according to a report from the retail analytics firm GlobalData.

  • Second hand chains like the Goodwill and Salvation Army, as well as smaller consignment shops are seeing a boost from all walks of life, but especially from Gen Z clients.
  • Another growing part of the secondhand market is e-commerce, as Axios’ Hope King reports. Platforms like Depop (90% of users are under 26 years old) and Poshmark have helped turn young shoppers into stylists who can make a bit of income, and then advertise on social media platforms like TikTok Instagram.

There’s also a solid mental health boost from thrifting. For many, it feels good to provide for their families while on a budget, and for others, it helps provide retail therapy without the buyers remorse. Some people just love the idea that they are saving clothing and other goods from the landfill and are not giving money to fast-fashion entities that continue to pollute the planet.

For me personally, I have a weird sense of fashion and love to find large grandpa sweaters and holiday vests that scream old ladies! The cringier, the better sometimes.

In the word’s of Macklemore:

“Im gonna pop some tags
Only got twenty dollars in my pocket
I, I, I’m hunting, looking for a come-up
This is f@**%$# awesome

I wear your granddad’s clothes
I look incredible
I’m in this big ass coat
From that thrift shop down the road”

By Connie Smith

TV Producer, Content Creator, mom, and a human.