The Gentrification Of Thrift Stores

Christian Platas-Sanchez, Editorial Writer

Fashion is a way younger generations express themselves. Teenagers know there will be items not many other people have. Teens also consider thrifting to be fun since friends can tag along to find very cool finds and maybe even have some bonding time. The ability to make up an outfit out of different styles.

However, due to this, thrifting has become a major trend rather than a necessity for clothes. This has slowly and severely affected many low income families who are in need of clothes.

According to a 2010 study conducted by Pennsylvania State University, lower-income families shop at second hand stores more frequently for clothing, furniture, and household items whereas higher-income families shop more for commodities.

Many say that thrifting is slowly getting gentrified, in which a poor area is changed by wealthier people who make accommodations to their liking. This negatively affects people who rely on these thrifted items.

Reselling thrifted items for higher prices and profiting off of them is taking resources from working class families who really do need it, which is wrong. This is a major problem that needs to be addressed because of the fact that the amount of people buying to resell will most likely cause these thrift stores to raise their prices, making it unavailable for in need families.

Due to the high popularity of “cute affordable” clothes, online resellers have also gone on to find “trendy” finds in a surplus amount in order to sell on their websites, which really just leaves nothing. It has also gone to the extent of leaving less quality items on shelves of thrift stores, making it much harder for people that need it the most. Thrift stores are often the only place where low income households can afford to buy clothes, shoes, essential appliances, and so much more.

I strongly believe that resellers should remain mindful about the products they buy and how it will affect the people that rely on thrift stores. People reselling thrifted items should also keep in mind that they are taking away clothes from underprivileged people. Resellers should also take into consideration how their price-gouging can affect others severely.

People who donate to these thrift stores in the first place often do it for the sole purpose of helping people in need. Now, this becomes void when wealthy customers spend hundreds of dollars at a thrift store. That’s not something they should be taking advantage of. Instead, they should be helping out low income families.