Thrift-shopping promotes individuality

Katie Johnston, Staff Reporter

Juniors Abby Lynch and Siani Leahy sport their trendy thrift shop finds.

To find unique and low cost clothing, some students turn to local thrift shops to satisfy their retail therapy needs, at stores such as Salvation Army, Treasure Box, The White Elephant, and Déjà Vu in Warrenton. Juniors Abby Lynch and Emily Stafford find that buying things from alternative shops is more interesting.
“There is something about finding things that are old or vintage that interests me. It’s like they have had a past life. They are very unique,” Lynch said. “You can guarantee that nobody has them, and that’s what I love about it because I don’t like to wear clothes that people have.”
Consignment shops sell unwanted items and give a portion of the proceeds to the original owner; Déjà Vu gives back 50 percent. Thrift stores, such as Salvation Army and Goodwill, are usually run by non-profit organizations and sell donated items. Their proceeds go to a charitable cause, such as food banks or homeless shelters.
On March 18 and 19, Déjà Vu held a dress give away at which a high school girl could come and select a free dress, as well as jewelry, shoes, and clutches. According to English teacher Robin Frost, who helps with the event, 23 dresses were given away in five hours.
“During the event, I do all I can to help the girls find that perfect dress,” Frost said. “It’s a lot of fun!”
Junior Haze Packwood’s mother owns and runs Déjà Vu.
“One of the good things about it is the fact that a lot of people of the community can actually come in and take part in the economy itself,” Packwood said. “They can take part in the community by having their items bought and sold and still get some profit back to help them, as well as the store itself.”
The appeal of lower prices and of unique items and older, valuable pieces attracts customers.
“I love doing jewelry [thrifting], too, because you can find old things that are valuable and a lot of the time they are marked really low. They don’t know the value,” Lynch said. “I have found a number of purses that are leather and gotten them for pretty cheap.”
Stafford started thrift shopping when she was old enough to walk around Old Town Warrenton with her friends.
“If you go every day you don’t see a lot of new stuff, so I go once or twice a week, and by then they usually have new stuff out,” Stafford said. “Half of my closet is all thrift store. I would say that every single one of my outfits has something that I have bought from a thrift store or consignment shop.”
Some of Stafford’s favorite finds are a knitted sweater with peaches and a pin she recently got that says, “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”
Junior Siani Leahy’s favorite thrift store is the Goodwill in Stafford County.
“It’s really cheap. A lot of the time when I buy new clothes, I will bring other stuff to the thrift stores,” Leahy said. “I like that I can make my own fashion and style from the different pieces that they have.”
Stafford encourages others to shop at second-hand stores because it’s a fun way to recycle and find cheaper unique items. “You have to keep an open mind,” Stafford said. “If you see something you want, you just have to get it. It’s impulsive.”