Used clothes shopping gains popularity

Teenagers are known for their addiction to shopping, and on weekends can be found toiling their time away with friends at malls and stores. In the last five years, however, where they spend that time has changed. More and more teenagers can be found shopping at secondhand stores and making someone else’s trash their treasure. Stores such as Goodwill and Plato’s Closet have seen a recent uptake in business and their teenage demographics.

Plato’s Closet sells gently used brand-name clothes at reduced prices. There, one can find a pair of American Eagle jeans for $20, instead of the store price of $39.95. However, Plato’s Closet is best known for its clothes-buying program, which is the source of the store’s stock. Junior Haley Keener was impressed with the program.

“You basically sell them high-end clothes and make money,” Keener said, “You can also find really cool stuff at, like, bargain prices. I like it because it’s a really easy way to make money, and the clothes are cheap.”

Plato’s Closet employee Kendra Andrews has seen an uptake in business since she was hired in July of this year, and attributes the increase to customer service.

“Everyone here has great communication skills, and we are always nice to our customers. We have been meeting our goals every week, which didn’t happen before,” Andrews said. “Also, a lot more people know about the store than before.”

But not every student is sold on Plato’s Closet. Sophomore Shelby Warnock said she prefers shopping at thrift stores such as Goodwill.

“I didn’t like [Plato’s Closet] because they didn’t tell you the price of each item. They just gave you the total for the clothes they bought,” Warnock said. “I also thought the store was overpriced. I like Goodwill more because you can get vintage stuff for really cheap.”

Goodwill takes older clothes and sells them for low prices, which Warnock attributes to the increase in teenage customers.

“I like the feeling of walking into a store and being able to afford anything in there,” Warnock said. “That’s why I, and my friends, shop there a lot more.”

Keener said the rise in popularity of used clothing is due to trends among teenagers, particularly girls.

“I think it [the rise in teenager shoppers] is because of recent hipster fashion trend. A lot of girls want to shop for vintage clothes now, and Goodwill has them for really cheap.”

By Molly Minta