I Will Fast From Thrifting For Now
Credit: best in Singapore
Even if you’re not part of the thrifting culture in Singapore, you would know by now that Gen Zs dig into the retro & vintage vibe. They say that second-hand clothes are evergreen, but is this thrifting trend here to stay?
I first started my thrifting journey when I was 17 years old. It was a community service trip to Cambodia that led me to a visit to a recycle shop which sold a variety of second-hand goodies including clothes.
The experience was memorable because it was the first time that I felt so alive, experimenting with different styles and colours. I truly felt me. I wasn’t a consumer of brands from the get-go so it sparked a thought in me: I could be a fashionista without breaking the bank!
When I was back in Singapore, I was determined to hunt down every thrift shop that was available. I’m pretty sure all of us in the thrifting community would know these three places - Salvation Army, New2U and Lucky Plaza Level 6.
However, anyone who uses TikTok will know even more lobangs as mini “Where To Thrift” vlogs have been trending on the app. When I saw them on my For You Page, I too was tempted to go down for a payday treat. But I was bogged down by this feeling of uneasiness, these are the reasons why.
Credit: Global Fashion Agenda
Many IG thrift businesses are big on their stand in Sustainability. Thrifting has completely changed the consumer journey. It’s more than just about looking good, it’s about playing a part to protect our earth as well.
However, the pattern which I’ve observed about myself as well as the people around me is that we could thrift our clothes on impulse at times. Albeit for the affordability compared to fast fashion brands. But it dawned on me the irony - how does that make us any different from someone who mindlessly grabs everything at the sales of say, (inserts fast fashion brand)?
How we consume is as significant as what we consume, isn't it?
Credit: Seven Wholesale
I tried my best in disposing of my older batches of clothes in the most ethical way possible, through donations or a recycling centre. But I still had to come to terms that as an individual, my textile consumption has already amounted to so much! What more the world? This realisation remains a sobering thought whenever I look at people flaunting their thrifted buys.
Additionally, my appetite for thrifting had also decreased with the contentment of my current wardrobe. I somehow have found my sweet spot with what I own at present - colourful, neutrals and B&W. I do admit that I’ve gotten sick and tired of creating new outfit combinations but I don’t desire to add on more clothes too.
I’ve realised that Minimalism isn’t just an abstract concept or a lifestyle that is exclusive to some. The heart of it is to recognise what amount is enough to you and to stick to that. Basically, you can have more even when you have less, it’s up to how you make do with it.
There Are People Who Need It More
As mentioned earlier, I wasn’t a consumer of brands as I was not from a well-to-do family in the first place. This was also why I was an avid thrifter as the affordability aspect was not only a bonus but a need. Knowing that there are people in a similar plight, reiterates the fact that as much as Thrifting can be a trend, it is also an economical retail option for the needy.
Night Owl Cinematics’ talent Nicole Liel shared her sentiments on the video shown here:
This doesn't mean to say that we should stop thrifting entirely! There are specific businesses set up to target the hypebeasts and hipsters. of our generation.
Places such as The Salvation Army, SSVP (Society of St Vincent de Paul), Something Old Something New and MINDS Shop are non-profit places to provide employment for the needy. However, as many of such places are located near the heartlands, Singaporeans from lower-income families as well as foreign workers will often buy their clothes there. So do take note the next time you're out for a thrift shopping date, think about the intentions and impact of your purchase!