Second-hand shopping has shifted to luxury; consumers have the power to change that – The Daily Evergreen

Fashion is arguably the main aspect of popular culture. Trends come and go, but the clothes themselves are here to stay. The second hand gives clothes a second chance, without contributing to new mass production trends.

Second-hand shopping is one of the most sustainable means of consumption, but this form of shopping has become a trend in itself. When things get trendy, there is a high demand for popular items.

There are nothing is more satisfying than finding a vintage piece to raise the fashion game. But as there has been greater demand for vintage and resale items, prices will also rise.

Even though the higher prices do not affect people who shop at both thrift stores and retail stores, low-income people rely solely on these second-hand items.

Prices are easy to manipulate, depending on location. Equity is an important aspect when it comes to catering to all types of buyers.

Michelle’s Closet is a thrift store in downtown Pullman, and it’s the perfect place to shop for the local student population. Michelle’s Closet is owned by a WSU Pullman alumnus who works specifically to attract students, unlike other local consignment stores which tend to appeal more to older members of the Pullman community.

For college students living on loans and part-time jobs who depend on second-hand items to build up a trendy wardrobe, stores like this are the best approach as they are consignment-based.

At consignment stores, customers can bring in their used clothes and resell them back to the store at fair prices.

Essentially it’s a way for people to make money and buy without adding to the wasteful mindset of the fashion industry. It also avoids the risk of reselling at a much too high price, which is seen on platforms like Depop and Poshmark, and makes second-hand clothing inaccessible to many low-income populations.

Marian, an employee of Michelle’s Closet, said that when pricing items resold to the store, they take the retail price, cut it in half, then add a dollar for the store’s profit.

The real benefit to the customer is their loyalty program; it allows a person selling items to see the status of parts. They can see if their item has sold or is still in store. If someone buys an item that someone else sold at the store, the seller receives 40% of the profit – or better yet, 50% of the cost in store credit.

This system is extremely efficient because it brings items and customers to the store, is environmentally friendly and brings customers return to sell their items.

For people who want to budget their money while being environmentally conscious, in addition to reselling fairly, Michelle’s Closet has cracked the code.

Some of the best thrift stores in the Palouse area, aside from Michelle’s Closet, are just across the WA-ID border in Moscow. Stores like The Storm Cellar and Revolver have the vintage pieces any college student could dream of.

WSU students can cross the border to South Main Street in Moscow for bookstores, bagel shops and thrift stores: the perfect afternoon for a weekend getaway.

For the most part, the stores fit the minimum-wage student demographic, but some of the vintage items they carry are selling for a hundred dollars more than they were bought for.

Revolver is one of the more expensive stores. In the store, they have rarer vintage finds, like a racing jacket priced at $210.

For students who have minimum wage jobs and pay rent, this can be a shocking number.

According to an employee, the reason for the high price is to match prices with competing stores in Seattle; the rarity of the items is also taken into consideration.

However, earnings in Seattle are very different from earnings in Moscow. The minimum wage in Seattle is $17.25, while the minimum wage in Moscow is $7.25.

If someone from Seattle wanted to buy the racing jacket, they would have to work close to 12 hours to afford it. On the other hand, Moscow buyers interested in the jacket should work around 30 hours.

Considering Revolver is such a good place for these rare finds, it might not be where the average person would look for their wardrobe essentials. Revolver takes an in-person resale approach, as opposed to the usual digital sales. According to 2022 ThreadUp Fashion Resale ReportOnline resale is the fastest growing second-hand retail sector and is expected to quadruple by 2026.

Resale is a product of high demand for items, but the arbitrary nature of the system can make trending items nearly impossible to afford.

A few blocks from Revolver is The Storm Cellar: another consignment-type store, selling everything from Fashion Nova to Gucci.

“Brands are important, but trends are more important,” said Hannah, an employee of The Storm Cellar.

Hannah said their primary age group is 16-22, which is the age range that’s typically influenced more by trends, rather than brands.

As trends fluctuate in society, the way they are consumed changes slightly with each cycle. In today’s popular culture, the rate of use among young people is so much faster than it was ten years ago.

Previously, fashion trends were seen only on the street, in a monthly magazine or in weekly TV episodes. Now, if a TikTok user sees an item of clothing they like, they can get it with one click at any time.

Thanks to platforms like TikTok and the immediacy nature of the digital age, savings has become a competitive trend where creators show off amazing savings finds and flip on the app.

Social media and the fashion industry work closely together to influence young people. When Emma Chamberlain started making YouTube videos of her amazing finds a few years ago, everybody started to go.

Maybe it’s the influencers themselves, with their cute looks and individuality that everyone wants so badly to embody; maybe it’s the uniqueness of the clothes themselves. Either way, influencers like Chamberlain have taken advantage of social media to make second-hand shopping a huge trend among the younger generation.

However, this influence has left individuals who depend on savings at an unfair disadvantage. Many people who have been influenced by social media to start saving are not necessarily need the items they buy, unlike other people.

Second-hand shopping is essential for low-income people to dress themselves and their families. For so many people, it’s more than just the latest influencer trend.

The power that resale and social media have over the new thrift community, Generation Z, could make or break the fashion industry and the affordability of sustainable clothing.

For students and local shoppers, these stores are definitely worth a visit for a weekend with friends, but it’s important to keep in mind who needs these items and the stranglehold that resale has on consumers. blind.

Consumers can often be the biggest influencers of all. Otherwise, why would places like Michelle’s Closet have loyalty programs to keep us coming back? Why would The Storm Cellar prioritize the latest trends over luxury brands when pricing its items?

We hold the power in the market as consumers. By simply buying consciously, we can shape the fashion industry as a whole and ensure second-hand shopping remains accessible to those who really need it.

Follow the trends and live your best life, but don’t consume for the sake of consuming.

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