Bhubaneswar: The trend of thrift shopping, hitherto a foreign concept in India, is now catching on in Odisha, especially among the youth. As a cultural trait and also largely governed by our religious practices, wearing hand-me-down clothes, and that too those belonging to strangers is looked down upon. But it seems the youth have no qualms about it, so long as they can keep up with the Joneses.
Of course, they have their own reasons, which make sense in today’s world. Thrift shopping combines fashion and sustainability. Thrift shopping does not burn a hole in the pocket and besides, it also serves larger goals such as environmental protection.
Thrift stores are available in both online and offline modes, with the former being more popular.
Unlike other countries such as the USA, where thrift shopping is quite a norm and there are large stories dedicated to it, the concept is relatively new in India. Since most Indians would rather not be ‘seen’ buying what is commonly called ‘second-hand’ stuff, the business is thriving on social media, where the buyer is invisible.
Vrinda Aggarwal, a thrift shop operator said that earlier, it used to be taboo for Indians to wear old clothes but now the mindset has changed.
Vrinda, who is a student of interactive media systems in Ausburg Germany, runs an Instagram thrift store. She started her business around three years back by selling her old and unused clothes to her friends.
“Thrifting is more of an ethical choice. It saves our money and at the same time, it is environment friendly,” said Smita from Jajpur who is a regular buyer from thrift stores on Instagram. This is the least we can do to avert climate change, she said.
According to online studies, the thrift market will reach $64 billion worldwide by 2024. A search on Instagram for “#thriftindia” yields over 1.7 million posts.