Generation Z on TikTok reinvigorating thrift stores

Thrifting: Val Woods, owner of Clothes Up and Personal Plus Fashions Inc. (Photo by Ravleen Toor/The Press)

Thrift stores are seeing a rise in popularity, specifically with the popular app TikTok having a large influence on Generation Z.

Young consumers are now more interested in the experience of “thrifting”. Instead of shopping for fast fashion, they would rather buy brand items for cheaper. Generation Z is more interested in the social issues and the ethical treatment that workers of fast fashion face. Another thing is the need to recycle clothing since the world is now more environmentally conscious.

“We’ve got more environmentally conscious consumers, more transparency through true media coverage on the social issues surrounding cheap clothing,” said John Graham, director of government relations, for the Retail Council of Canada.

Local thrift stores are getting daily inquiries about certain items and if the stores are taking or carrying certain items.

“We have phone calls every day asking if I’m taking new consigners because they want to get rid of their things and sell them,” said Val Wood, owner of Clothes Up and Personal Plus Fashions Inc.

More thrift stores are now being opened as the demand is going up. Large apps such as TikTok and YouTube are creating a drive for thrifting.

“It’s very much a trend, a popular thing to do,” Graham said. “The ability to more individually select your clothes, rather than what’s on the shelf.”

Social media is playing a large role in this rise in used clothing, Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji being popular spots for selling.

So, creating your own look, and then most definitely from stretching of dollars, especially for higher and quality items that can be secured at a discount. – John Graham

“Some of my consignors have said ‘I’ve tried to sell it at garage sales or Kijiji, and it didn’t sell so I’m bringing it here,’” Wood said.

Thrift stores and online sellers are convenient. Teenagers are also going for the experience that is advertised to them on TikTok, designing your own items out of used clothing and buying brand name items for cheaper.

“So, creating your own look, and then most definitely from stretching of dollars, especially for higher and quality items that can be secured at a discount,” Graham said.

About Ravleen Toor 2 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Ravleen Toor is working as a writer for The Press during the 2021-22 academic year.