Would thrifting even be popular without the rise of fast fashion? This is a question I hear a lot so it’s time to get in to it
Here’s a couple of reasons thrifting exists outside of the influence of fast-fashion:
Thrifting has been a popular way to shop for decades, even before the rise of fast fashion. In fact, thrifting was particularly popular in the 1960s and 1970s during the hippy movement when people were looking for unique and affordable clothing options, that were easy on the planet and fit into their ‘peace and love’ ideology.
Also, it’s important to point out that people thrift for many more reasons that just to avoid fast-fashion. Some people love finding one-of-a-kind items, or they’re still looking for ways to shop that’s all about peace and love. Mostly though, people thrift because it’s affordable. It’s easy to forget when you’re in the world of fashion but most thrifters are just looking for a budget-friendly way to fill their wardrobes so they can use their resources on other things.
But, it’s a bit stupid to pretend that fast fashion hasn’t affected thrifting at all. As fast fashion becomes so ubiquitous, and the trend cycle is pushed off balance by the demand, people are seeing a lot of different styles at the same time. And even fast-fashion isn’t fast enough, so people are turning to the past or to aesthetic based styles. People will see, on Twitter, that long skirts are back on the runways of NYFW but Asos and Shein aren’t producing them yet. So why not go to Depop and find a vintage one that can be delivered to your house in two days? Because of social media showing us the next thing before it’s out, sometimes thrifting is faster than fast fashion.
Essentially, the answer to that question isn’t an easy one. Thrifting will always be around but without fast-fashion it wouldn’t have had the recent surge of popularity we’re seeing now. These two things work in conversation with each other, although it usually sounds like an argument.