If you were to look up #thriftindia on Instagram, you would be bombarded by 3,77,923 posts from stores selling previously used or secondhand clothes. This is not a number to be taken lightly.
What started as a result of the pandemic – the rise in awareness of sustainability and the ban of the fast-fashion giant Shein – has now become a huge phenomenon in the country. Thrifting, which used to be an option for the those who couldn’t afford to buy new clothing, has now become an option for anyone and everyone. What used to be seen as unhygienic has become trendy and hip, not to mention, a tiny step towards saving the environment.
There are all kinds of thrift stores in the country, and from luxury to casual, they have it all with offerings at minimal price points. These stores have begun a revolution across India, with new ones cropping up on Instagram every day. The huge demand for their products only justifies this rise.
This dramatic surge in popularity of thrifting in India is in line with international trends. According to ThredUp’s 2021 Fashion Resale Report, the worldwide secondhand industry is anticipated to “double in the next five years, hitting $77 billion.” This rise appears to be driven by Gen Z and millennials. This popularity can be seen in India as well.
Why Do People Shop At Thrift Stores?
Since the ban of Shein, finding clothes at affordable costs in the latest styles has become difficult. As a result, thrift stores, which offer ethical alternative solutions are gaining popularity. While the ethical aspect is a priority for most, thrift stores also offer unique and, sometimes, vintage pieces. Shopping at thrift stores also encourages small businesses, this might be a driving factor for some to purchase from these stores.
Creators on social media have sparked a discussion about sustainability, allowing people to interact with the subject in ways they previously haven’t. Social media creators are addressing bigger problems and promoting fundraisers and events that have a positive influence on sustainability in the fashion and beauty industries. Creators are enabling their audiences to make sustainable choices and educating them on the problems at hand by increasing awareness. This has resulted in a positive impact being created on social media with influencers promoting clothing swaps, buying vintage, reusing clothing for other purposes, and recycling.
The Bottom Line
While thrifting is great for the environment and provides trendy clothes at a minimal price point, make sure you do your research before purchasing.