Has TikTok Popularized Thrifting?

Gabriel Thorpe, Contributing Writer

Thrifting has increased the interest of the public and has become normalized in today’s society, as social media platforms are revolutionizing fashion. I find myself to be inspired by various clothing items, and the wide selection of clothing sparks my imagination. However, I am shocked to find that either the price is out of my range, or the article of clothing is not in the style I like. Clothing allows people to embrace their cultures, especially through thrifting, which inspires and brings newfound ideas into clothing trends and the social media community, and has allowed people to come closer together.

Since the summer of 2020, TikTok has sprung into popularity. According to TikTok User Statistics, users average at 20.83% internationally and 22.83% using Tik Tok on a daily basis. Considering these statistics, we can assume that a lot of people are using TikTok as a gathering platform for spreading humorous videos, news, food, culinary, new trends, etc. Among these trends, one stands out to me: thrifting. There’s been a noticeable trend in TikTok videos that have shown their “wondrous” clothing because of how discounted the price was. Regardless of these insights, why should anybody care about thrifting? Moreover, why was thrifting introduced into the social media community?

1,800 gallons of water is used to make one pair of jeans, 715 gallons of water to make one cotton t-shirt, and 2,257 gallons of water to make one pair of shoes.”

Coincidentally, thrifting has been popularized through younger generations since the early 2000s, and ever since then, thrifting has created a domino effect by not only reducing textile waste but decreasing carbon emissions and fast fashion production. According to a Thrift World article, 1,800 gallons of water is used to make one pair of jeans, 715 gallons of water to make one cotton t-shirt, and 2,257 gallons of water to make one pair of shoes. In addition to this, statistics also show that each year, the fashion industry uses 79 billion cubic meters of water. These are some valuable numbers that may be compelling the TikTok community to incorporate thrifting into their lives, or even inspire people to collectively come together and share similar thinking on why they find thrifting so convenient. 

Needless to say, there are many aspects of thrifting that have permanently shifted the thinking of many TikTok users. Thrifting is about finding the right fit. Take this for instance: you don’t know what to shop for, you are on a stringent budget, and you want to stock up on many types of clothing. This could include shopping for a wide hoodie, or even materials for a DIY project! Reflecting on whether TikTok has truly popularized thrifting, I find myself heavily considering these factors, and I can personally say that Tik Tok has done a marvelous job at advertising thrifting to social media users, and has also warmly welcomed the opportunity for shopping at stores people don’t typically shop at. I encourage you to go thrift shopping! You might find your new favorite pair of sweaters while you’re at it, or even find a TikTok video that will inspire you to thrift!