Hannah Martin: Finding Joy Through Thrifting


Maggie Phelps, Writer

All of us have places and activities we feel like we can retreat to. Things that provide us with a sense of comfort and security, where we find joy.  It looks different for everyone, but for junior Hannah Martin, she is able to find this serenity through the act of thrifting. 

“I love having clothing that nobody else has,” said Martin. 

Martin finds that thrifting has helped her unlock her individuality. 

“I just think that thrifting is one of a kind like you can find stuff that nobody else has and I mean it’s just fun,” Martin said. 

One of Martin’s favorite pieces that she has thrifted is a shirt that plays a pun on the state of Utah.  The shirt features a picture of  Utah with text underneath that states “Utah, but I’m taller.”

Martin shared another thrift find that she enjoys.

“There’s one that has a checklist on it and it says, ‘I haven’t found Mr. Right yet, but I have met Mr. Rude, Mr. Cheap, and Mr. Married’.” 

It is evident that Martin is proud of her personal thrift collection and she wants to help others grow theirs.  She shared tips on how to grow your own thrift collection. 

“Go to the sections where you don’t think you’d find anything, like yeah you don’t really want to buy hats or certain kinds of shoes but if you have to, you have to, like I’ve bought crocs – brown crocs yep.”

Thrifting is not only something that has helped her become one with herself, it also serves as a way she can connect with her friends.  Martin said that the spontaneous act of thrifting after school or on a random day is what keeps her interest in the activity. 

“You need to go when you have nowhere to be.  Take your time, look at everything like yeah, that does take a lot of time but there are some things that are hidden and are things that you’ll never find anywhere else.”

Apart from thrifting being a factor in Martin’s life that brings her joy, she recognizes the important role that thrifting and shopping second hand has on the environment. 

“I like to think about it as we only have one planet, so if we trash this one then what are we left with?” Martin shared. 

Martin explained how she feels that shopping second hand is the most responsible option when it comes to purchasing and consuming fashion. She touched on how thrifting is not contributing to the production of new clothing, therefore more pollution isn’t going into the air which gives Martin a sense of moral accomplishment. 

Martin, much like her fellow teens, have noticed that thrifting has had a rise in popularity and has become a trend in recent years.  Shenoted the pros and cons of this surgence. 

“I mean honestly if more people do it then there’s less chemicals and stuff like that going into the environment and ruining our world.”

Martin continued, “But at the same time, with the popularity that it’s grown, prices are going up to where families that rely on thrifting aren’t able to buy stuff at like Goodwill or wherever.”

Martin has noticed first hand how the popularization of thrifting has caused the industry to change.  She mentioned how prices have gone up where clothing used to cost $3 and now the same article of clothing is around $6, almost meeting current prices in stores that promote new clothing production. 

Martin also shed light on how the stigma around thrifting has diminished as the popularity has grown. 

“When people used to think about thrifting they used to be like ‘Oh you don’t have money, you like to buy second-hand clothing.’” Martin continued,  “but now I think today there’s not a stigma around it because it’s a trend so people don’t think negatively towards it.”

Overall, Martin finds thrifting to be a fun retreat for her and recommends that everyone should give it a try and to dismiss the criticism that you might receive if you do thrift.

“Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Some people, especially high schoolers, like to judge you if you do thrift, but hey, I have clothes that no one else has and they’ve already been loved.”