Thrift Culture 2

Customers look to update their wardrobes at Goodwill, one of several thrift shops in Lawrence. 


I feel like I need to change up my style every day.

Sometimes I want to wear something I know no one else has, but that can be expensive. What if you could still get one-of-a-kind outfits and not pay expensive, fashion boutique prices? Thrift shopping allows for a unique and eco-friendly style for everyone.

Have you ever wondered why so many people are able to buy the same clothing item and everyone ends up wearing the same clothes? Stores like Forever 21, H&M, Zara and many other fast-fashion chain stores are affecting the environment with their mass production process.

These companies cause environmental issues, labor risks within other countries and recreate styles from other fashion companies. Many stores that mass produce their products end up wasting material and adding uncompostable materials to landfills.

My suggestion? Quit paying for decently priced, cheap-material clothing that will be ruined after one wear. Instead, check out places in Lawrence and Kansas City that buy and resell unique clothing items. 

In Lawrence, Plato’s Closet, Goodwill, Salvation Army and Arizona Trading Co. are bound to have options. Their prices vary from about $3 to $10 from personal experience, but higher quality and vintage items can range from $10 to $15. If you’re feeling adventurous, head into Kansas City and visit Dear Society, Savers, and Clothz Minded. I am always able to find fun clothing items and purchase big name brands at reasonable prices.


In the past, I have been able to find vintage Jayhawk apparel at Savers and Arizona Trading Co. that I still wear to this day. I have some fun windbreakers, over-sized t-shirts and cozy sweatshirts that I bought before coming to the University of Kansas, and people loved them.

I secretly enjoy knowing I'm the only one with a clothing item. I recently purchased a comfy, grey KU sweatshirt from Savers in Overland Park that I cannot wait to wear; I only paid $10 for it.

Many people get wrapped up in the fact that people have worn these clothes before and they are not technically new.

While that's not a bad point, there is this cool thing called a washing machine that you could use. I hear they clean clothes thoroughly.

Plus, someone else's trash might be someone else’s treasure — you never know what you’ll end up buying.

Thrift stores constantly receive donations and update their selections, allowing for more and more options each week. You might even find some old-school clothes from the '80s or '90s. And let’s be honest, the '80s and '90s styles are coming back, so why not find authentic items at reasonable prices. 

It’s easy to get wrapped up in things like online shopping its sales, but try your hardest to buy used or vintage clothing. It’s fun to go out and look at the clothing in person and know what you’re paying for. You can reuse or recycle clothing items in many ways that are helpful for you and for the environment.

Try cleaning out your closet for donation and sale. If you’re talented with sewing and designing, refurbish clothing that is boring or barely used. You can keep it for yourself or sell it.

Regardless, I suggest everyone thinks about their closet and what they could do to better their style, save some money and be more environmentally friendly.

Audrey Kesler is a sophomore from Prairie Village studying strategic communications.