Covid Conscious Consignment: How Covid-19 has Changed Thrifting

You hear the ding of a little bell on the door handle as you step inside, the smell of the old clothes not quite reaching your nose, as it once did, due to the mask encircling the better half of your face. You head into the aisle on your right, making note of the bright orange arrows on the floor directing the flow of traffic. You eye a sweater next to a person a couple feet away, six to be exact but you have to wait for her to move before you can check out that eye catching item. 

In the beginning of 2020 COVID 19 hit the US, sending businesses and people into a state of chaos. As the virus spread, many businesses were forced to adapt to state and national standards. Thrift stores, once reopened after the initial lockdowns, were forced to adapt with the rest of society. Amongst high schools, thrifting has grown in popularity, the pandemic has  affected the thrifting lifestyle for most teens but it hasn’t changed thrifting for everyone in the same way.

For some, like Storm junior Camille Yarmo, thrifting went from being an activity she once did all the time with her friends to something she has put to the side until life returns to normal.  

 “I haven’t gone once during the pandemic,” Camille Yarmo said. “It’s quite a bummer.”  

For other high schoolers, the pandemic hasn’t kept them from finding ways to keep up with their in-store thrifting habits. In fact, for Summit Junior, Andie Taylor, the time she spends thrifting has majorly increased. After the quarantine for local businesses ended and thrift stores reopened,Taylor started traveling to every thrift store she could find in Central Oregon. Her favorite places quickly became Prineville and Redmond because of the smaller crowds and greater room for social distancing. Plus they tend to have cheaper prices and better selections. 

Even though some high schoolers like Taylor have been able to continue thrifting, the way in which they do so has changed because of the pandemic even though some high schoolers have found a way to keep thrifting after the pandemic, they have changed the way they thrift. Instead of heading off to the thrift stores to shop in person, many have gravitated towards the world of online second hand shopping. Data from a study by Dmitri Weideli, MIT graduate, shows that the number of  online shopping users is supposed to grow from 35 million, 2020, to 52 million, 2027.

Online thrifting allows homebound and stir crazy to still participate in buying used clothing while staying safe. Many have actually come to love online thrifting while others still miss pre-pandemic thrift shopping.  

Summit junior Becky Knight is one of many thrifters that has found herself gravitating towards online shopping, even as in-person stores start opening back up. She usually goes to thrift stores once a month. However, she has tended to do more online thrifting now. 

“I’ve recently discovered online thrift stores, and I’ve been living for those,” Knight said.

During lockdown, Elsa Hammer, employee at Regroup Thrift and Senior at

BendHighschool, also stepped into the world of online retail. She found it to be a convenient way to replace her excursions to traditional in person stores, seeing as she used to go thrifting with her friends about three times a week. 

Unfortunately, online thrifting hasn’t filled up the thrifting spirit for all. Although convenient during the lockdown, the feeling of being in an actual thrift store, sorting through the racks of clothes, is what students enjoy about it.  

“I like finding the pieces myself, it’s rewarding for me,” Taylor said. Unlike Hammer and Knight, Taylor prefers the traditional in store experience rather than that of online shopping. During the lockdown she didn’t find online thrifting to be nearly as enjoyable. It just didn’t compare to the in store hunt for those unique finds. 

 Thrift stores have had to shift the way in which they would regularly run their store due to COVID guidelines. Shoppers, along with stores, have put in place many extra measures to make sure everyone stays safe. 

The Requiring of masks, closed off dressing rooms, inforced social distancing, 

arrows on the floor to direct traffic, a maximum number of people allowed in stores, and no longer accepting cash are just some of the ways thrift stores have tried to make it safer for people to shop and help to slow the spread of the virus. However, some people still have their concerns. 

Taylor has to be extra careful, as her possible exposure is much greater. The small, close knit racks make it hard to get past others without brushing up against someone. So, along with wearing masks and hand sanitizing before, during, and after each store, she also wears gloves and mainly sticks to outdoor thrifting events. 

Others such as Knight, make throwing their new clothes in the wash the very

first thing they do when returning home from a trip to a thrift store. 

Despite all these added concerns, the pandemic has had unintended positive effects for some thrifters. Taylor, who has a small business on Depop, an online thrifting platform where vendors can sell their old thing, says the pandemic ended up affecting her business positively.

Her shop (@andie_taylor) has seen considerable growth despite these challenging times. 

Because of online school She has had more time to do Depop in general; go to thrift stores, be more active on the app, and post more on social media about it.

Initially Taylor’s sales slowed when the pandemic first hit Bend. Thrift stores

shutting down caused her to take a small break from selling as she tried to figure out what to do for inventory. She said this was really the only time she felt a negative impact from the virus on her business. 

Now, Taylor thrifts every single day to find pieces to list on her site. During the lockdown, many people went on decluttering rampages, causing thrift stores to gain massive amounts of inventory. This caused there to be lots of new products for her to look through and have a more diverse selection. 

“Covid occurring made my business start to boom,” Taylor said. With people being at

home and their phones more often, more people were shopping and looking to purchase items. For many, thrift stores in surrounding areas hadn’t opened yet so they were interested in getting thrifted clothes from Taylor. 

Even though the thrifting experience has changed drastically from that of the  pre-pandemic, it’s great that stores are still able to stay open. Because of this students are able to find some form of normalcy in this crazy time.

By Elliana Bowers, Staff Writer

“Okay, you may go in now”, says the person standing next to the entrance.

You hear the ding of a little bell on the door handle as you step inside, the smell of the old clothes not quite reaching your nose, as it once did, due to the mask encircling the better half of your face. You head into the aisle on your right, making note of the bright orange arrows on the floor directing the flow of traffic. You eye a sweater next to a person a couple feet away, six to be exact but you have to wait for her to move before you can check out that eye catching item. 

In the beginning of 2020 COVID 19 hit the US, sending businesses and people into a state of chaos. As the virus spread, many businesses were forced to adapt to state and national standards. Thrift stores, once reopened after the initial lockdowns, were forced to adapt with the rest of society. Amongst high schools, thrifting has grown in popularity, the pandemic has  affected the thrifting lifestyle for most teens but it hasn’t changed thrifting for everyone in the same way.

For some, like Storm junior Camille Yarmo, thrifting went from being an activity she once did all the time with her friends to something she has put to the side until life returns to normal.  

 “I haven’t gone once during the pandemic,” Camille Yarmo said. “It’s quite a bummer.”  

For other high schoolers, the pandemic hasn’t kept them from finding ways to keep up with their in-store thrifting habits. In fact, for Summit Junior, Andie Taylor, the time she spends thrifting has majorly increased. After the quarantine for local businesses ended and thrift stores reopened,Taylor started traveling to every thrift store she could find in Central Oregon. Her favorite places quickly became Prineville and Redmond because of the smaller crowds and greater room for social distancing. Plus they tend to have cheaper prices and better selections. 

Even though some high schoolers like Taylor have been able to continue thrifting, the way in which they do so has changed because of the pandemic even though some high schoolers have found a way to keep thrifting after the pandemic, they have changed the way they thrift. Instead of heading off to the thrift stores to shop in person, many have gravitated towards the world of online second hand shopping. Data from a study by Dmitri Weideli, MIT graduate, shows that the number of  online shopping users is supposed to grow from 35 million, 2020, to 52 million, 2027.

Online thrifting allows homebound and stir crazy to still participate in buying used clothing while staying safe. Many have actually come to love online thrifting while others still miss pre-pandemic thrift shopping.  

Summit junior Becky Knight is one of many thrifters that has found herself gravitating towards online shopping, even as in-person stores start opening back up. She usually goes to thrift stores once a month. However, she has tended to do more online thrifting now. 

“I’ve recently discovered online thrift stores, and I’ve been living for those,” Knight said.

During lockdown, Elsa Hammer, employee at Regroup Thrift and Senior at

BendHighschool, also stepped into the world of online retail. She found it to be a convenient way to replace her excursions to traditional in person stores, seeing as she used to go thrifting with her friends about three times a week. 

Unfortunately, online thrifting hasn’t filled up the thrifting spirit for all. Although convenient during the lockdown, the feeling of being in an actual thrift store, sorting through the racks of clothes, is what students enjoy about it.  

“I like finding the pieces myself, it’s rewarding for me,” Taylor said. Unlike Hammer and Knight, Taylor prefers the traditional in store experience rather than that of online shopping. During the lockdown she didn’t find online thrifting to be nearly as enjoyable. It just didn’t compare to the in store hunt for those unique finds. 

 Thrift stores have had to shift the way in which they would regularly run their store due to COVID guidelines. Shoppers, along with stores, have put in place many extra measures to make sure everyone stays safe. 

The Requiring of masks, closed off dressing rooms, inforced social distancing, 

arrows on the floor to direct traffic, a maximum number of people allowed in stores, and no longer accepting cash are just some of the ways thrift stores have tried to make it safer for people to shop and help to slow the spread of the virus. However, some people still have their concerns. 

Taylor has to be extra careful, as her possible exposure is much greater. The small, close knit racks make it hard to get past others without brushing up against someone. So, along with wearing masks and hand sanitizing before, during, and after each store, she also wears gloves and mainly sticks to outdoor thrifting events. 

Others such as Knight, make throwing their new clothes in the wash the very

first thing they do when returning home from a trip to a thrift store. 

Despite all these added concerns, the pandemic has had unintended positive effects for some thrifters. Taylor, who has a small business on Depop, an online thrifting platform where vendors can sell their old thing, says the pandemic ended up affecting her business positively.

Her shop (@andie_taylor) has seen considerable growth despite these challenging times. 

Because of online school She has had more time to do Depop in general; go to thrift stores, be more active on the app, and post more on social media about it.

Initially Taylor’s sales slowed when the pandemic first hit Bend. Thrift stores

shutting down caused her to take a small break from selling as she tried to figure out what to do for inventory. She said this was really the only time she felt a negative impact from the virus on her business. 

Now, Taylor thrifts every single day to find pieces to list on her site. During the lockdown, many people went on decluttering rampages, causing thrift stores to gain massive amounts of inventory. This caused there to be lots of new products for her to look through and have a more diverse selection. 

“Covid occurring made my business start to boom,” Taylor said. With people being at

home and their phones more often, more people were shopping and looking to purchase items. For many, thrift stores in surrounding areas hadn’t opened yet so they were interested in getting thrifted clothes from Taylor. 

Even though the thrifting experience has changed drastically from that of the  pre-pandemic, it’s great that stores are still able to stay open. Because of this students are able to find some form of normalcy in this crazy time.

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