Recently, Netflix released a biographical series that appealed to our millennial nostalgia by setting it in the early 2000s. Girl Boss told the story of Sophia Amoruso and her brilliant idea of selling vintage clothes online, a business that made her famous and wealthy. At least that’s where the series left us, since it was canceled after just one season. Leaving Amoruso’s story behind (which is not as interesting as one would think), what's worth noting are the foundations of her business. We see her buy a vintage jacket at a thrift shop for about nine dollars, to then sell it for $600, proving a very profitable business. So here’s what caught my attention: why are people willing to buy used clothing online when they can easily go to these shops and look for this kind of treasures?
Let’s go back to that beautiful time when the series takes place. When I started middle school, part of myself (if not all) was still a child. I mean, I didn’t play with Barbies anymore because my friends didn’t want to. So, the school I went was a completely new system where you could wear whatever you wanted (until then I had to wear a uniform). At first, I didn’t care, and my dad took me to the mall to buy random clothes, you know, a pair of jeans, some shirts, new shoes, among other plain stuff. Little did I know that those clothes would make me extremely anxious. For starters, all the girls were talking about brands and styles I had never heard about but I wanted to have to fit in. Soon, I stopped wearing all the things my dad bought me and saved some money to buy clothes at the popular brands, not realizing that they were basically the same or that some of the things I had were actually better. But it became a common thing to praise the outfit of the other by saying "what brand is it?" or "where did you get it?"
With time I no longer cared about where my clothes came from, as long as I liked them. It’s impressive how marketing and the fashion industry can convince you about the need to must have the latest trends from the best and most expensive brands. I know quality is something we should all care about, but think of how you can get a white t-shirt at a fast fashion store for a very small amount of money and a very similar one for 120 dollars (yes, Kanye West, I’m talking about you). It’s ridiculous! Going back to my previous question, I think we tend to go with the flow and follow fads just because that’s what most people do. That's why I was so obsessed with buying items I didn't even like but were fashionable among my friends. Why did someone buy a 9 dollar jacket for 600? Because they didn’t know they wanted it until it was placed on their screen.
The truth is that it's easier to get prefabricated outfits at a store rather than look for pieces with potential at a thrift shop. But it's not all that depressing. Recently, it's become a trend to get vintage clothes at these secondhand stores. Emma Watson has been promoting sustainable fashion, and thrift shop items are the most eco-friendly. It's not just a matter of getting whatever we find there. This kind of shopping requires a sense of style and patience to dive into the piles and racks of clothes in order to get the perfect ingredientes to create amazing and fashionable outfits.
Finally, there are many benefits from buying at thrift shops, my favorite being the price range. There's nothing I love more about shopping than getting a great deal. Thrift shops have become a paradise for me in that sense. Another good reason, related to a more social cause, is that instead of giving all your money to big companies, you can help small businesses that depend on the sales. And last but not least, a trip to the secondhand store can be a great adventure to the past, where you can find the most unexpected treasures.
If you're into vintage style, these places are ideal for you. There's a lot of probability of you finding a beautiful piece from the time that will make you look like a Hollywood diva.