The buying of used clothes and donating them has become a trend that students at Johnson cannot resist.
“It’s different, it’s unique, it’s fresh. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to the ordinary,” junior Meghan Cantu said.
Students view thrift-store shopping as an opportunity to be able to express themselves at reasonable prices as they transform unappealing articles of clothing into their own original and unique creations.
“I try and make it cooler. Like, I will take a sweater that looks like it could be grandpa’s and belt it to make it cute,”said Cantu.
More and more teen buyers are enthusiastically grabbing deals that fit their budget.
“At Salvation Army they have color days where everything is half off. I got this vintage Dooney and Burke purse for only one dollar,” said junior Anika Glass.
Second-hand clothing stores offer more than retail clothing. They also sell furniture, videos, CDs, and other items.
“I take pianos lessons in my free time, so when I go to Goodwill, I see all these beautiful antique pianos. It gives me something to save up for and isn’t entirely out of my price range,” said senior Ashley Wilson.
The affordable prices are becoming preferable to the pricey brand names.
“I think that just because you buy the original for the name, it doesn’t make you any better of a person. I could go to Salvation Army and get the same exact thing, just cheaper,” said Wilson.
To follow good hygiene, students often toss their purchases in with a load of laundry before wearing their new attire.
“I mean the clothes can be really old, you can never tell. I just wash them every time I buy new clothes. It sounds gross, but it can be really cute,” said junior Caitlin Young.
Not everyone buys clothes for themselves. Savvy buyers use skills in entrepreneurship to profit from their innovative shopping.
“Some of the things I find aren’t as cute as they could be. So I take them to get fixed and then I sell it to Plato’s closet,” said Young.
Students Ryan and Riley Caskey’s mother owns her own thrift store, The Garment Exchange.
“My mom got the idea when we lived in Arizona because she shopped at thrift stores a lot there. Sometimes, she will take us out to Austin to the Austin Exchange to shop there,” said junior Ryan Caskey.
Their family-run business follows certain polices and procedures when pricing used clothes.
“We only accept certain brands of clothes and the resale price is only 1/3 of the original price,” said Caskey. “You can make a lot of money so bring in your clothes!”
Sometimes intelligent bargain-shopping isn’t fully appreciated by others. The feedback from others who aren’t into used clothing isn’t always positive.
“Some people respond with ‘Are you serious?’ when I tell them I shop there. I don’t really care though. I look unique and I’m not a clone,” said Glass.
Despite criticism, thrifty shoppers are certain that they are the ones benefitting from this economical revolution.
“I think it’s a great idea. It’s cheap and most of the time good quality,” said junior Robert Oliver.