Second-hand success: Freshmen students trade out new with old


Gwen Alford

Grace Alford searching through the jeans section at City Thrift.

Grace Alford, Staff Writer

Freshman Samatha Porter has donated to thrift stores, shopped at thrift stores, and is 

currently working at Plato’s closet in Mission. 

From seeing thrift stores from almost every possible perspective, she says that it’s one of her favorite hobbies.

“I started thrifting because it was a lot cheaper and when I started thrifting I didn’t really care about the brands of clothes I wore,” Porter said.

Thrifting isn’t just appealing because of its effect on the environment. It also may draw people in because it is a less expensive clothing option. 

Freshman Franny Chaffee-McClure has been thrifting ever since she was little. 

“I think the environmental impact is huge because people realize that one-use clothing is a huge part of waste,” Chaffee-McClure said.

Just like many other stores, it’s also possible to come across great deals.

“I got a pair of jeans, and they were only 10 bucks,” Chaffee-McClure said. “Then, when I got home I looked in the pocket, and there was a $5 bill in the pockets.”

While shopping at thrift stores has been a little easier on freshman Clare Hansen’s wallet, she has also donated clothes that she no longer needs. 

“I go through a lot of clothes surprisingly so the ones that I grow and the ones that I don’t want anymore I donate them to Goodwill and other thrift stores,” Hansen said.”I like that I have the opportunity to help other people”

When clothes are cheaper than they would be in name brand stores, it gives students the opportunity to buy things that they wouldn’t normally buy or wear.

“I have a lot of Hawaiian shirts in my closet that I don’t really wear,” Hansen said. “But I like them.”

Thrifting has become popular with the Gen-Z generation ever since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the profit of the secondhand market was expected to double in size from 2020 to 2023.

“I think recently one of the more popular styles is kind of vintage stuff,” Porter said. “So thrift stores are kind of an easy place to find that kind of stuff.”

Thrifting has become a part of Porter’s weekly routines.

“I thrift probably three or four times a month,” Porter said.

The stores are not the only thing that has become a part of students’ lives, but the actual clothes as well.

“One of the favorite things I found thrifting was a short striped jumpsuit,” Hansen said. “It’s really cute, and I use it to work a lot.”

While thrifting can be a hobby for some, others might need to due to finances. Chaffee-McClure said that her parents thrifted out of necessity when they were still in college and law school. 

“I feel that everyone should thrift to an extent,” Chaffee-McClure said. “However, if it’s not a cost issue for you in any way, I wouldn’t make that your sole source.”