The stigma of secondhand

In October 2010, a Brigham Young University study showed that more Americans are purchasing secondhand and used clothing due to the current state of the economy. Interestingly, in a positive economic environment, social classes tend to mimic the class above them. However, now the opposite is true. Other than the economy, what changed? What happened to the traditional social stigma associated with shopping thrift stores? Has the American middle class  finally emerged from hesitation to readily accept (and love) shopping secondhand? We hope so.

It’s a fact: Americans toss nearly 70 pounds of clothing and shoes each year.  But we only purchase, on average, about 10 pounds of used clothing per year.  According to green news website Earth911, the 12-15 percent of people who shopped at resale/thrift shops in 2006 saved nearly 2.5 billion pounds of clothing from entering the waste stream. The benefits of buying used cannot be denied.

Yet for years there existed a stigma. One that associated thrift store shopping with a low or poor social class. That notion is quickly fading as “secondhand” becomes more associated with “quality” and “vintage.” Now it’s not uncommon for shoppers to search for expensive, used clothing, expecting great quality for a more affordable price.  Secondhand shops are quickly becoming the fad for college students and young adults looking for retro and hip clothing.  For working families, secondhand shops are a source of quality clothing at a price to rely upon.

USAgain makes every effort to bring affordable and quality clothing to secondhand shops here and around the world. Contribute to that process by dropping off your gently used clothing and shoes.  Let your potential trash be another’s treasure.

How about you? Has your perception of buying secondhand changed recently?  Or perhaps your perception was always positive?  We want to hear your story.

Stay tuned for more from USAgain!

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