The Novelty of Vintage: the Thrifting Trend Continues to Captivate Consumers

by Vicki Liang

Nowadays, the word ‘thrifting’ seems like just a buzzword a Youtube influencer uses as fashion clickbait. However, the trend of thrifting isn’t just a fad among the younger generation – two local vintage providers share how the art of thrifting quality pieces has fascinated them for years.

In a world obsessed with efficiency, quality is often sacrificed for convenience. But recently current trends have encouraged us to embark on a search for something special. A trip to the mall has been replaced with rummaging around lamp-lit stores that smell like our grandma.

Over the past couple of years, there has been a surge in thrifting and vintage clothing. According to a report by online resale company ThredUP, 40% of people between the ages of 18-24 shopped resale in 2018.

Multitudes of “Thrift with Me!” videos have appeared on Youtube, with vloggers raiding Goodwills and thrift stores in a treasure hunt for cheap, fashionable finds.

Online platforms like Depop are more popular than ever, with people selling items that range from bygone era clothing to covetable designer pieces, contributing to sales of $230 million in 2017, as stated in an article by Forbes.

But when did this trend of loving vintage start?

For many, the fascination with vintage started long before the current trend began. Collin Daggett, owner of Beekman Place Antique Mall in Corvallis, has been collecting and selling vintage items for 25 years.

The store is filled with an array of antiques, from cameras to furniture to an entire corner dedicated to Hawaiian button down shirts.

To many, the concept of antique and vintage are synonymous, but Daggett clarified this saying, “Antiques are over 100 years old.”

“They’re just better, a lot of the times higher quality, and are a fraction of buying something new,” he said.

Out of the smorgasbord of items that people bring to him, Daggett picks those that catch his eye and conjure happiness when he sees them.

Lucas Ahrend runs an Ebay store as well as @vintagebylucas on Instagram, offering a medley of t-shirts and denim from an assortment of decades. He was one of the vendors featured at the latest Loose Ends event, a pop-up promoting vintage resale.   

“I began to see how destructive the clothing industry is to our environment, so I began buying clothing from thrift stores. I took a liking to vintage because it was unique and every piece told a story.” 

During his search for clothing to sell, Ahrend looks for high quality pieces, ones that represent the era that they are from, and are made ethically in the United States.

He believes that preserving vintage clothing is important, not only because of its historic value, but because it safeguards the circulation of well-crafted items. 

When asked about why shopping for vintage has increased in popularity, Ahrend hypothesizes that it’s because “people are wanting unique items and people are realizing they can be stylish without spending a ton of money.” 

As an advocate for vintage-over-new, Daggett’s reasoning relates back to the challenge of finding unique pieces in fast fashion, claiming vintage is unusual rather than cookie cutter.

After all, the charm of finding a vintage piece isn’t fueled by commercial conformity, but by the individual magic that comes with sifting through the tried and true.  

Was this article helpful?