By Collin Murray

Cool vintage clothes, (hopefully) cheap prices, a sense of superiority over your peers and their name brand clothing—who doesn’t love thrifting? It’s almost like there are no downsides at all. But imagine this: you’re sifting through the racks at Goodwill, you can’t find anything that catches your eye. You swipe past seven “land of the free” American flag shirts before giving up and going to check out with your one somewhat vintage-looking tee that you’ll probably never wear. The guy in front of you has been at the store for hours, accompanied by a shopping cart filled to the brim with every even minorly appealing item in the store. “There’s no way this man needs this many clothes,” you think to yourself, “Half of them don’t even fit him.” You go home defeated. The next day, you decide to check out some clothes on the popular social shopping platform, Depop. You find every item that this guy bought for no more than $8 each listed on Depop for $50, $60, $75+ on here.

That’s one of the major problems with thrifting these days. Instead of seeing it as a cost- effective way to buy fun clothes, many see it as an investment opportunity—another way to exploit the lower class and their resources for their own personal gain. Rather than taking advantage of second hand thrift stores for profit, we should be appreciating them for what they are: not only an affordable outlet for unique additions to our wardrobes, but also a place where those less fortunate than others can purchase necessities like clothing and appliances.