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Danielle Jenkins | Greenwise

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Published: Friday, February 15, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 00:02

I have to begin this column by thanking Macklemore for praising the pants out of thrift shops. While his outfit in the “Thrift Shop” video makes it more satire than anything else, I somehow feel very proud of him for writing a song that I can sing to as I shop in the thrift shop.

Consignment shops are wonderful. All of a student’s needs, from a great first day of school outfit, to a Winter Bash ensemble and finally to clothes that fit that strange party theme, can be found in their great halls. However, this was not always my attitude regarding thrift stores. Despite my environmental tendencies, in the past I was hesitant to take my shopping there. Met with a barrage of color and an assortment of the unusual and garish, I often walked past consignment shops without a second thought. I would not buy anything because I was worried about quality, or “contamination.” Luckily, my friends are more determined than I am, and they finally dragged me into “Plato’s Closet” a few years back. I was a sitting duck. I found a brand new pair of Converse with the tags still on for $5, a pair of Gap jeans for $10 and a copy of “Anchorman”(2004) on DVD. All it took was a well−targeted shop and I was hooked. Now normally I don’t condone addiction, but if you need to get a shopping fix you might as well do it with a little less weight on your conscience and a little more weight in your wallet.

As evidenced by Macklemore’s song’s success, thrift shops have come up in the world. In fact, recently, thrift stores have been popping up all over. No longer stigmatized, they have become a resource for the financially and environmentally savvy who refuse to sacrifice style. This has not kept thrift stores out of higher−end shopping areas though. Both “The Closet” and “Second Time Around” have taken up residence on Newbury Street. In fact, “Second Time Around” has not one, but two locations on the upscale street, and has even made its way to Brookline.

Consignment stores have also migrated closer to our home on the hill. Davis has quite a few options for students who do not want to break the bank but need a change of pace. Artifaktori, Buffalo Exchange and Found will not only sell you “gently loved” clothes, but they will also buy your old styles from you, offsetting some of the cash you might spend. Keep in mind, these stores have high standards for what they buy and sell. Holey jeans, stained shirts and used underthings will not make the cut.

For those simply looking to make a purchase, The Goodwill Store is always an option, and for those students moving into a new apartment, the lower level of the Davis Goodwill is full of great finds. Over the past three years, my friends and I have collected chairs, mixing bowls and cups from Goodwill at a fraction of what they would have cost elsewhere.

By going to thrift stores, shoppers are not sacrificing the quality of their purchases. If anything, an item’s place in a thrift shop proves that it can stand the test of time. It belonged to someone for long enough that they had time to grow tired of it before it lost its value or its owner needed a little extra cash. The next time you are preparing to buy a new outfit, but can feel your wallet protesting the cost of food, books and your bills, walk down to Davis and check out what you can find at the consignment stores.

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