Thrifting a new self

By Melisa Salas

It has been over a year since the world erupted into a state of chaos. It was scary, yet considered as a positive thing by many people. For many people, a national lockdown meant we got the time to reflect more on ourselves and grow as a person. On the 19th of March, three of my best friends and I were on a FaceTime call enjoying a virtual glass of wine. We spoke about how scary we found the lockdown, and then decided to turn it into a positive thing by challenging ourselves. We decided to work on one of our bad habits. “May the best person win,” one of my friends said. 

I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to focus on right away. No one is perfect because life is a process of learning and growing. Yet it was difficult to choose something to work on. My friends challenged me: “Stop spending so much money on online shopping and new clothes.” At first it was a joke, but it turned into something more serious within a matter of time. One single joke turned into a hard pill to swallow. 

I decided to go for it although it was scary. To me, buying a new fashion item made me satisfied and happy. By doing this, I felt like I mattered and it gave me self-confidence. The lockdown was a perfect way for me to spend less money and start saving more.

That’s when I discovered thrift shopping and secondhand fashion. In May, the stores opened up again. My friend took me to Waterlooplein in Amsterdam where she showed me all the secondhand fashion places. A whole new world opened up to me. This was the perfect solution, I thought. With vintage shopping, I still feel satisfied while it’s way more sustainable than buying brand new clothes. It turned into a new Covid-hobby.

Looking forward, I want to reach a point where I try to buy as many secondhand items I can instead of brand new ones. Not only is it way cheaper for college students like me; it’s also better for the earth. Discovering thrift shopping has had such a positive impact on my life so far. After all, the pandemic isn’t only considered negative.