The shift to thrift: Boone shops second hand

The+inside+of+Anna+Banana%E2%80%99s+on+King+Street.+Owner+Anna+Roseman+said+she%27s+noticed+a+rise+in+the+popularity+of+secondhand+shopping.

Monique Rivera

The inside of Anna Banana’s on King Street. Owner Anna Roseman said she’s noticed a rise in the popularity of secondhand shopping.

Zoe Zink, A&C Reporter

Inside Anna Banana’s, customers can find loud music, funky colors and an array of eccentric clothing, shoes and jewelry. Dancing at checkout will reward you with 10% off your entire purchase, a twist on a typical trip to the thrift store. 

Anna Banana’s is just one of Boone’s thrift/consignment shops, alongside Ram’s Rack, The Salvation Army, and numerous others. Secondhand shopping has become a larger aspect of the fashion and retail industry in recent years. Data gathered from a 2019 Resale Report from ThredUp, an online thrift store, shows an upward trend in thrifting. Some 70% of women surveyed reported being open to shopping second hand, as opposed to just 45% three years ago. 

Anna Banana’s owner, Anna Roseman, says she has noticed this shift herself. 

“It has been interesting to see the customer evolve,” she said. “We used to display outfits that we had created because people weren’t as well ‘trained’ by society on how to do it.” 

Not only is in-person thrifting becoming mainstream, many have turned to online resellers such as Depop, ThredUp and Rent the Runway since the rise of COVID-19 in March. People also sell thrifted or consigned clothing on Instagram pages. 

Jessica Phillips, an App State senior and owner of Instagram thrift business Rivers & Clothes, said her love for thrifting and fashion inspired her to start reselling thrifted clothes at a lower price online. 

“It was nice to start in a college community,” Phillips said. “There have been a lot of times when I would meet people on campus and times when I would see them wearing the clothes.”

Phillips attributes some of thrifting’s recent popularity to people looking to be more sustainable. 

“A lot of people love the idea of thrifting because they are recycling clothes and being sustainable,” Phillips said.

Thrifting is a more sustainable and economical alternative to “fast fashion,” which is typically described as cheap and low-quality clothing made quickly to capture trends. ThredUp’s report also found that 78% of young adults prefer to buy from more sustainable brands.   

Many social media platforms document the recent thrifting trend. From Youtube hauls to TikTok videos, there are many thrifting-related videos.

App State sophomore Erin McIntrye has noticed this shift on different platforms as well.

  “I think a lot of people were embarrassed to thrift,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot more thrift Instagrams, or people saying ‘Oh I thrifted this’ when that wasn’t normal before.”

Anna Banana’s manager, Ali Aita, has used the power of social media to her advantage. “Spamming” the business’s Instagram page with current inventory, hosting photoshoots and keeping an updated, positive social media presence for Anna Banana’s keeps customers engaged and has been a recent success since the start of COVID-19. 

“A lot has changed in retail since March … we went straight online and created a huge presence for us there. We got to test out lots of cool promotions and content,” Roseman said.

Aita has noticed an increase in both interest and inventory through her role at Anna Banana’s. 

“Thrifting is for sure a trend right now … I remember when I was 18, it was not necessarily cool to be shopping at a thrift store,” she said.