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From Fast Fashion To Thrift Store Hauls: How Thrift Shopping Trends Are Harming Low-Income Communities

AntonioDiaz - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

A once looked down upon necessity for low-income communities is now at the epicenter of the latest shopping trend. And the fad is stirring up some major debate.

Open up TikTok and search the word “thrift.” You will find that videos using this hashtag have collectively gained over six billion views.

The platform has become the go-to spot for sharing the latest fashion tips, hacks, and finds. But, these “fashion finds” have slowly transitioned from sharing clothing company names to flaunting “thrifting hauls.”

The act of “thrifting” is now a highly popular activity in which fashion influencers and lovers scan through thrift stores and buy out second-hand vintage, knock-off, or even designer items at next to nothing.

This movement took hold after fast-fashion companies came under fire for overworking factory workers and contributing to global pollution.

You might even remember when certain “hauls” were taking over the internet. But, that trend quickly ended after people realized the harmful working conditions imposed on workers and the immense amount of clothing waste their hauls of poorly-made clothing were contributing to.

So, the thrifting trend emerged in hopes of lowering the demand for unsustainable fast-fashion companies.

And while this is undoubtedly positive for the environment, the switch is now hurting a different demographic.

Before thrift shopping went “in style,” the stores were a safe haven for low-income communities. Now, the increased demand has led to low inventory and rising thrift store prices across the nation.

AntonioDiaz – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

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