March 13th 2013
I'll tell ya, growing up in Ogden, UT...I've done a bit of "thrifting", second hand shopping for those not in the know...haha! Now when I was salvaging good will (DI...Utah natives will understand) it was not considered "cool". You see much of my youth was spent in the consumerist 90's where accumulating mass produced items new and often was the chic and yuppie perspective. I was neither chic, nor yuppie, quite the opposite...my moo-mu clad mother would load us up in whatever "pimp mobile" car from the 70's that my dad had gotten from Breaktime Bob on the cheap and school clothes shopping was done at "Savers" or "Vintage Thrift" . Nowadays that would be cool....back then....we would hide our faces when my mom dropped us off in the "Aspen". But I digress.....This is about thift store shopping not my upbringing in a hyper-conservative place by an ubber liberal pair of parents. I still remember my super awesome "Nirvana unplugged" look a like sweater that my sister "Tex" found for 69 cents.
In the current market however, perhaps due to a more competitive global market. "Thrifting" has become cool, some mainstream brands actually have a "vintage" line where they send out their "stylists" to raid thrift stores and charge you 10 x what they paid for it! Portland is thrift Mecca, my favorite spot being "Better Bargains" it's old, huge, unorganized, and all those things make it a goldmine! Great for finding vintage items because after many years of people dropping off what they don't want the stock piles and many things dropped off in 1982 don't get opened and sold till 2012. Beautiful.
The less cool it looks the better...steer clear of anything with "hip" decor or being in a "cool" part of town. I do have a great consignment shop by my house...but if you wanna get the super duper under appreciated awesome....go dirty. Proud to say my high chair $3, double jogging stroller $40, and Gianfranco Fierre resort dress from the late 70's $12, Keen's for Ava $3 were all purchased and found at Better Bargains. I bought 50% of Ava's school clothes for pennies on the dollar, and most of Ari's clothes that aren't "hand me downs". Buying good quality items used, is like upcycling in the best possible way, it benefits everyone! Money can't buy ya happiness, and so much of our culture is based purely in commerce, it is necessary I agree, but I also think conservation is necessary. When I was a kid upcycling was instilled in me, and now it's actually a fashionable activity! So weird....its like that pair of shoes you bought in the height of a trend, then 10 years later you see high schoolers rocking em....I love nostalgia and maybe that is why I love thrifting so much. I never thought I would feel this way but I am so incredibly glad my mom raised me to be so "uncool" , the funny part of life is that in one's lifetime many things come full circle. Being wealthy for me isn't spending the most....but being wealthy in life experiences. With our blown out economy, and changing global vernacular "Thrifty" might just be the new "Rich". Next time you are browsing "Urban Outfitters", get some ideas then get out and buy it in your local goodwill....chances are something cooler, cheaper, and full of nostalgia will be waiting for you, and with the money you save you can do something awesome with your family, whether it be a vacation or simply an outing for ice cream.