Is there anything more thrilling than rummaging through a second-hand store? The thrill of possibility in the vintage treasure you might uncover. The satisfaction of sustainability and knowing your money is investing in a positive cause. The bargain hiding under a dusty old scarf or a deceased person’s jacket, just waiting for you to claim it. Ahhh! Nope. There is literally nothing more thrilling than getting your thrift on!
It’s definitely the Womble at heart that makes the impenetrable smell of mothballs wafting through the air and that inevitable film of grime that layers your hands after touching other people’s old stuff more a badge of glory than a cause for disgust.
But fundamentally, it’s the pride in knowing that thrifting is an act of both social activism and personal liberation that makes it the ultimate fashion empowerment practice.
On a societal level, it’s a beautiful two-fingers up to the oppressive and prescriptive fashion system; a system that has relied on disconnecting and disempowering us, reducing us to empty vessels, filling us with what we think we need and pushing us to incessant over-consumption and perpetual dissatisfaction.
The speed and fickleness of trends it rapidly churns out is dizzying. It’s not possible to keep up. The whole thing is built to make us feel like we don’t have enough, we don’t look good enough and we need more, more, more.
How have our style figureheads become measured by Instagram likes, donning one-time-wears to influence purchases of the exact same look? That’s not creativity or style. That’s passive consumption and commercialism.
The wastefulness, impersonality, lack of creativity. Gross.
No person or institution can ever have total power to tell us what to wear, how to shop or how to spend. Thinking of how that system has swiped away our personal power for so long feels like a bad dream.
But, our revolution is through wearing second-hand and it’s the thing that bursts that entire Instagram-fast fashion bubble.
Many of us are awakening to that illusion and, in creating a new, personal, truly creative culture, thrifting is our liberation. It offers personal empowerment through reflexivity and individuality from the ill-fated, prescriptive and wasteful fast fashion scheme.
When shopping at charity and second-hand shops it’s just you, a bunch of old clothes and a whole universe of styling possibilities.
It requires style over fashion. It means getting closer to who you are, your identity and self-expression, your definition of your style. Only you have the power to create and play with that.
Foraging through used clothes requires presence and consideration over mindless consumption; empowered self-awareness and creativity over passive subjects who are duped by cyclical trends.
Thrifting is exciting. It requires heart and it’s the revolution lead by stylish, unique and self-aware women to a greener world.
Get thrifted fashion inspiration on my insta: @HCC