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[Nov. 2016 Features] Students flock to thrift shops seeking one-of-a-kind styles

By Channing Smith ’17


It’s last year’s sweater. A scarf your grandma gave as a birthday gift which you pretended you liked. Jeans which now don’t even stretch to your ankles. A sweatshirt that’s been sitting at the bottom of your closet for years.

It’s someone else’s treasure.

Thrift stores are making a comeback among Millennials. Many trend analysts point to the 2008 economic depression, saying that it forced many consumers to rethink a $40 t-shirt purchase and go in pursuit of more sensible options.

According to the National Association of Resale Professionals, the past two years have witnessed a 7 percent  increase each year in the opening of consignment stores, or stores selling second—hand merchandise.

There are even several in the Westport area—such as Second Time Around, Roundabout, Goodwill and Then Again—which cater to shoppers looking for an individual look.

Ketty Moise, employee at Roundabout, a resale shop on Post Road, explained why the demand for consignment is on the rise.

“Women are constantly rotating their closets with the seasons and trends,” Moise said. “Reduced prices on second—hand items can make it possible to keep up with styles.”

Kai   Dasbach ’19, a frequent consignment store shopper, explains that her love of consignment shopping stems from the unique styles that they offer.

“I like to go to thrift shops because you can get some cool finds and one—of—a—kind pieces,” Dasbach said.

This love of all things different rises from this generation’s “hipster movement,” or rejection of big brand names and mainstream trends. This pattern, lovingly referred to as the “Urban Outfitters Effect,” has been proven by trend scientists such as Jonathan Touboul for Washington Post.

Marnie Adelkopf ’17, another frequent thrift store customer, echoes this belief of styles that strays from the mainstream.

“I would go in looking for a casual, kinda-hipster style for a music festival or something,” Adelkopf said.

However, this love of all things unique comes with a price. Differing from big name brands, which offer every color in every size, thrift stores offer one-of-a-kind pieces. Dasbach described it as a “hit—or—miss.”

Adelkopf agrees and recommends that “you shouldn’t go in looking for anything specific because they have more of a random—selection. You can’t really expect anything.”

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