Before Macklemore came out with “Thrift Shop”…

Max Grinberg

Now before I begin, I would like to start off by saying I am by no means someone remotely competent in the fashion world. Nor have I ever heard of Jessi Arrington or what she stood for before I saw this video for the first time. But after watching I am pleasantly surprised to hear someone advocating shopping at thrift stores long before Macklemore made it famous with his hit single “Thrift Shop”. For a lot of people “Thrift shop” put shopping at once used clothing stores on the map, but since this video came out in 2011, I’m very happy to see that almost 1 million people have gotten to hear Jessi’s message about self confidence and your ability to dress uniquly, stand out, and save money.

I think this message get’s over shadowed by the hype that Macklemore got with his song, but in essence the idea of shopping at thrift stores, is a movement that is here to stay. Being someone that since coming to college, has saved hundreds of dollars, while expanding my wardrobe in a way that keeps products in circulation longer. As apposed to when stores such as Buffalo Exchange or Crossroads weren’t viable options to shop at when I was in high school for example when I would have dreamed about a store where I didn’t have to go to Macy’s to buy a stupid shirt with a brand name on it.

I like to think of these thrift shops really as a farmers market of clothing, and being in Seattle, we are in the epicenter of the Macklemore-cetric state of mind. I hope thrift stores like this continue to spread around the country encouraging people to dress a little differently, save some money, as well as recycle and give back clothes that might just be sitting in a box in your closet. It’s pretty simple, one man/woman’s trash is another person’s treasure.


  1. katielowell

    I think the notion of “thrift shopping” goes hand in hand with identity consumption. Why are people really shopping at thrift stores? Is it because they want others to see them as the Macklemore type hipster, for the thrill of the treasure hunt, or because they fiscally have no other option? The promotion of thrift store consumption is still the promotion of consumption to express an identity, albeit much more sustainable. But I think examples like Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads have their faults. They are primarily profit driven, often exclusively accept designer goods, and do not promote sustainability, like Patagonia for example. These stores rely on the unsustainable over consume/throw away cycle of others for their survival. Does shopping in a more sustainable way at a non-sustainable store really make a difference?

  2. urbanferal

    I love this Jessi lady. I think her idea of demonstrating how great thrift shopping can be is awesome! The clothes she showed look really high fashion because they are so vibrant and unique. I especially appreciated her idea at the end of not keeping the clothes at the end of her trip, but donating them. I think it is really important to work on reducing emotional attachment to things. By practicing letting go I think we can also retrain ourselves out of associating buying things with happiness.
    katielowell also has a good point. Just like any other companies, many thrift stores are profit driven I’m sure. However, if you are selective you can shop at thrift stores who support great causes, like Goodwill or St. Vincent De Paul’s.

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