Want More Bang for Your Buck? Head to a Thrift Store, Not a Mall


Evan Liberman

Students can save more money by buying recycled clothing. It is a cheaper and more eco-friendly way to upgrade style.

Nadia Poncy, Social Media Director

Each month, the average person spends about $160 on clothes alone according to a publication by ClothingRic. These prices add up and can instead be spent elsewhere where it is needed most. Rather than buying clothing directly from storefronts, people can turn to consignment shops for clothing of the same quality but for a fraction of the price.

In recent years, there has been a spike in the popularity of thrifting, the act of shopping at thrift stores or flea markets where gently used items are sold at discounted prices, and the many benefits from thrifting can even be useful to the Benjamin community.

Senior Hailie Miller has saved money from thrifting instead of going to the mall. “When I go to the mall I end up spending over a hundred dollars almost every time. Some of the stores I go to are Bunulu, South Moon Under, Sephora, and Altar’d State. I have realized that many of the stores in the mall sell the same trends just in different colors, so with thrift shopping, there is more of a variety for a cheaper price. I literally get more stuff at one thrift store than I would walking around the mall and probably spend at max $50.”

Chinese teacher Ms. Lei Cohen has also found some great deals in her thrifting experiences. “Once I went to Goodwill and found a cotton white blouse. It is so comfortable, and I wear it all the time. It was only $4, but if I bought it in a regular store it would have been at least $30,” she said.

Thrifting can not only help you save money, but also help the environment. The fashion industry is one of the most wasteful in the world, as clothes often wind up in landfills and go out of style quickly. Thrifting and consignment shops prevent clothes from going to waste and allow them to have a much longer use than if they were in turn thrown away. 

According to an article published by Forbes, “A recent Pulse Of The Fashion Industry report stated that fashion generates 4% of the world’s waste each year, 92 million tons, which is more than toxic e-waste.”

Although thrifting can help you become more frugal and eco-conscious, it is not without a downside.. Thrifting can take lots of time, especially when having to go through numerous racks of clothing trying to find items that fit your style and size. 

Senior Tommy Rose explains, “I’m not one to love to go through racks of clothes for fun, so thrifting is not for me. I don’t buy a lot of clothes so it is just not worth my time to go thrifting.”

Thrifting may also not appeal to many people because most consignment shops or thrift stores appear more unkempt than regular stores, but Ms. Cohen believes students should consider thrifting for other reasons. “ If they can [shop at consignment stores], they can help save their parents money and get items for cheaper with the same quality,” she said.

There are only small downsides to pay in comparison to the many benefits when it comes to buying secondhand clothing. Thrifting allows you to find good quality clothing at much cheaper prices and also find pieces that are unique. 

Junior Emeline Smith believes that everyone, especially people who love fashion and clothes,  should try to go thrifting at least once; “I would totally encourage others to thrift. It is so much fun and makes your style stand out.”

Ms. Cohen agrees with Smith and believes thrifting should be more popular than it already is. Referring to the hit song “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore, Ms. Cohen explains, “If there is a song about thrift stores, that means it should be popular. If students here can [shop more at consignment stores], they can help save their parents money and get items more cheaply and with the same quality.”