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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

A new way to think about thrifting

2 January 2017
Ellie Stansbury tells us about the nifty art of thrift shopping...

Photo Cred – Bubba’s Bag of Photos, Flickr

Students can pop some designers through buying thrift, like the tags of: vintage Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Jasper Conran, Karen Millen, Reiss, Austen Reed, Russel & Bromley and Hobbes, which are usually costly, and might otherwise stay bottled, gracing somewhere other than some bodies. Economical – not spendthrift; cool and adventurous – not valueless and pointless.

Photo Cred – respectable_photography flickr

Thrifting is essentially recycling, which might make those individuals, also environmentalists. Individuality can also be unearthed in this way of recycling fashion through alternative, adventurous feats –realising fashion before it being. “Fashion fades, style is eternal.”And, whilst fashion can be bought, most importantly, style is born from within and unbound. Not only this, but, by helping to fund charities, it is worthy to the greater and common good –a transaction created with meaning.

Don’ t let our modern day preconceptions and misconceptions and therefore, our un-acknowledgement or inexperience of thrifting; stop you from embarking on the fashion hunt. Such can be dated back to the attitudes found in the London, rag & bone era when the 80s and 90s was a time whereby old clothes would be collected on a horse and cart, yes, and the early South East charity shop called ‘Millie Howards,’ was then considered un-comely to go by, as thrifting was deemed a taboo; this also being known by selves who still went through the door, according to the fashionista who remembers her 15 year old self going through the door. However, what should supersede one’ s ignorance or embarrassment is the in-the-know-how art of second-hand buying, and the idea that there’ s always a treasure to be found. Someone’ s too big might be your perfect size, someone’ s previous style might be your style, and someone’ s rubbish might be another’ s treasure –anything can be tailored to fit you.

In a wondrous spirit, I enter all of the charity shops scattered in one location –the till guy exclaims “Sydenham isn’ t poor”and in other words, he is inferring that, nor are the charity consumers. And, did you know that the goods and valuables sent to charities are distributed without discrimination from area to area? Did you know that rummaging is a myth as you find everything organised into categories and sizes together. Be open-minded. I walk around the booty-fair seeing a plethora of sellers and a multitude of one-off things, feeling the freedom to go through them unsparingly. The Kardashians had their own boot-fair, too, did you know? “Be open-minded”I say, when I walk away with 3 jackets, one tailored blazer and £22 lighter. I go into vintage boutiques, I go into buy-and-sell second-hand boutiques where the business is between two types of sellers and one buyer – items are cherry-picked, allowing for the quality tobeat more of a concentrated level. Not necessarily any better though. I try thrifting amongst friends and family, and mutually, there’ s nothing quite like the thrill of second-hand buying. In the distinguishing and finding, and the isolating and releasing items from the basic rails, my inner voice talks to oneself, saying “bargain”and “great find.”My interrogating and scrutinising eye, after scanning over the desirable styles, can see to what extent it has been looked after, and it is found most often than not, pristine.The story is that clothes, shoes, and accessories are found, bought, sold, worn, and the rest is not history, but fashion speaking, fashion complimenting other fashions, the old mixing with the new –putting the “I am”in the ‘ I was.’

And so the moral of the story is that way in which we shop or thrift is just our own prerogative! Everyone can get involved in the buying and selling of thrift!