Thrifting stinks! Full of cheap, flimsy clothes, it’s harder to find designer at the Goodwill 

Many Americans were likely cleaning out their closets during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, filling community thrift shops with lower-quality items.

A new report from The New York Times has declared the golden age of thrift shopping officially over.

The main culprit is reportedly the coronavirus pandemic. The Times says many Americans were likely cleaning out their closets during stay-at-home orders. 

Brandy Noel, the supervisor of Blue/a Goodwill Boutique, holds a pair of brand Miss Me jeans that are sold in the store in Copley, Ohio. (Photo: Karen Schiely/USA TODAY NETWORK)

Shopper Tina Koeppe, who claims she grew up thrifting, notes, “there’s just less and less desirable items” in thrift shops.

“I’d go into thrift stores thinking I could find a few things for my wardrobe or for my family, and it would just be absolute, you know, garbage on the racks,” Koeppe said. “Like stained fast-fashion clothes that nobody wants.” She says she has found more and more tagged “fast-fashion” items from brands like Fashion Nova, Shein and LuLaRoe. 

According to sustainable fashion educator Megan McSherry, the influx of fast-fashion merchandise misdirects thrift shoppers to lower-quality items and also increases the thrift stores’ operating costs. 

The rise in fast-fashion donations to their racks is making it “much harder to do the business of running a thrift store,” said Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale author Adam Minter.

“I’d say that the golden age of thrifting is over,” opined thrift shopper Megan Miller. “The ability to find high-quality, well-made things is definitely on the wane.”

Still, while many shoppers say first-rate items in thrift stores are harder to find, some still manage to score a good deal. As previously reported by TheGrio, one Ohio bride found her entire wedding ensemble at local thrift stores for $11.75.

“Because I thrift all the time, it was just the option,” Jillian Lynch said. “I never even considered going to a bridal shop.”

Lynch posted her wins on TikTok. In one video, she showed a Camila Coelho dress that still had the tags on it; the video went viral. She later shared a brand-new Reyna Maxi dress, which she had tailored.

“Brides tend to go wedding dress shopping with their mom, their bridal party, or a group of people to get feedback,” Lynch said about posting about her findings on TikTok. “It felt a lot like that.”

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