When I was a teenager, thrifting was my main mode of shopping. It was my best friend that flooded me with images of Harajuku girls wearing colorful outfits; their personalities filled Japanese street fashion sites and magazines. She declared that thrift shopping was where you find items more unique than store bought clothing and so we treasure hunted whenever we could.
As I grew older, my tastes changed.
I matured from a colorful juvenile (Yes, I used to be very colorful!) to a dapper young adult. I was influenced through learning the technical aspect of structured clothing (suit love) and the creative drape of Japanese minimalism. I also started working in the fashion industry and I had to dress more professional. It was extremely difficult finding dress pants and formal shirts in my size under the once reliable menswear section of my fav thrift stops. I reluctantly ran to the nearest mall to a foreign land of new garments. It was an unreal experience after years of preloved clothing but it became my norm.
Upon reflecting, little did I know then that our teenage obsession with thrifting was actually a sustainable shopping habit. While we dug through racks and piles of clothes, we were supporting ethical practices (High five to little us!)
After years of busy weekends and lazily buying from the mall (I know it’s not ethical, I apologize!), my best friend and I rejoiced at a second-hand store like in our teenage years. The strong shoulder cardigan in this outfit was my gem and she went home with a very unique Astroboy sweater. It felt so nostalgic raving about our catches of the day over dinner, an experience that can’t be captured with trips to the mall.
What about you readers, how have your shopping habits changed over the years?
Photography: Tee Hui