Written By: Lesego Kgatle
The power of authenticity is unmatched as it allows one to truly be and exist in spaces in their true form. In this generation of media, authenticity is not always the focus, instead recreating an outfit from a paparazzi image of a celebrity is in the top searches. While the celebrity fashion inspo can direct people to find looks they would enjoy wearing, the pressure of fitting in with the designer brand clique still manifests in the media. Fashion designer and Founder of Rachel Zoe Inc., Rachel Zoe says, “style is a way to say who you are without having to speak,” and I completely agre.
To move past the expectations of fashion and the dents created in your bank account, the concept of thrifting comes to pass. Although organized thrift stores have existed since the 19th century, the newer generations including late Millennials, Gen Z, and early Gen Alpha have popularized the term and brought exposure to the culture of thrifting. Platforms such as TikTok and Instagram have made room for those who thrift to create hauls and inspire future thrifters to find clothing authentic to who they are.
For those who do not have easy access to thrift stores, an online store such as Yaga, which allows you to purchase and sell preloved clothing together with Instagram accounts such as @Thrifthappensjhb, @Thrift_hard_ and @Preloved_thrift_ are here to save the day. The luxury of finding affordable clothing pieces that work for you is at your fingertips.
The option for those who enjoy the thrill of exploring the city while finding hidden gems is open, as you can tag a friend along and check out pieces from St Luke’s Hospice, and Coats for Africa in Cape Town, Victoria in Durban, and Bounty Hunter Charity Shop in Johannesburg.
While thrifting has advantages that include sustainable living, affordability, the feeling of nostalgia, and giving to local communities and charities, the ability to be authentic and express individuality is another reason why thrifting should not be overlooked. Thrifting allows one to find pieces that make up who they are and how they would like to be perceived. While searching for yourself between the racks, do not forget to be alert with yourself and your belongings and stay safe.