Thrifting in the Season of Giving


Violet Rowe

Platos Closet in Libertyville

Violet Rowe, Staff Reporter

Are you looking for that perfect gift for a loved one or yourself? At this time of the year it is easy to become tired of going to a mall that has overpriced stores with cheap materials. Or, it is also boring to sit at home on your computer shopping on the internet. Many GCHS students are finding thrifting provides a great alternative to shopping at retail stores or online. In addition to providing lower prices, thrifting is good for the environment and may allow you to find unique items.  

Even if you have the money to spend at retail stores, thrifting is a great way to find new brands and shop with your friends. Many thrift stores such as Plato’s Closet, carefully go through people’s donations and decide whether it fits the trends and would be bought by a customer. Thrifting is a race to find the clothes you want at a way cheaper price. There is nothing better than finding something that fits your style for half the price.

There is no doubt that Chicago has many opportunities to shop. While Michigan Avenue may have a number of great stores, many GCHS students are finding great thrifting options in Chicago. While Michigan Avenue is a great experience, do not miss the number of great thrift stores we have in Chicago and surrounding areas. 

While thrifting may save money, it may take more time than buying retail.  When you start thrifting and you know what you’re looking for, it becomes a hunt. Milla Kutsin a student at GCHS who also works at Plato’s Closet, admits thrifting can be hard work since “it can be very hit or miss depending on the day…” However, Kustin adds, “people enjoy thrifting because you never know what you’re going to find and it can be exciting, it’s sustainable, affordable, and makes your style unique.” While thrifting may take more time it has a huge upside since it can make your wardrobe more unique.  

Rewards from thrifting can be different for people.  Since thrifting is so unique to each person, not all GCHS students are searching for the same items.  For example, in an online poll conducted on GCHS students’ thrifting habits, students looked for the following brands of clothing: lulu lemon, Patagonia, Gymshark, Levi’s and Brandy Melville. While some students were searching for higher end brands, some respondents would settle for “anything cute.”  

Some GCHS students are not concerned with the amount of time needed to find that perfect item.  Rather, they find thrifting provides a good opportunity for people to meet up and hang out while thrifting. Kustin says, ”[t]hrifting has become more popular because it can serve as a time consuming activity for you and your friends.” Therefore, while some people do not want to spend the time needed to look for a particular item, some people enjoy searching. 

It goes without saying that social media has an impact on Gen Z. For example, Irelyn Duffee, a GCHS student, who previously worked at Plato’s Closet, has further insight as to why thrifting is becoming more popular with GCHS students: “more people have recognized it and it’s become more of a…trend because of social media mainly.” Kustin adds that “…thrifting has been deemed ‘cool’ by the media because it allows for everyone to have their own unique clothing pieces and style.”  

Participants in the survey also found social media to be useful at stores such as Plato’s Closet when “you can also hold outfits on their Instagram [and can] pick it up by a certain time…” Social media, which may not have impacted prior generations, may be one reason thrifting has gained popularity.

While past generations would have died before wearing used clothing, Gen Z has used thrifting to express themselves and be unique.