The American culture is based upon consumption. We are encouraged to acquire the latest technology and the newest styles of clothing, but this lifestyle can be wasteful in many ways. The environment, human labor and our pockets all suffer from this desire to own new things. However, some people choose not to one-up the Joneses and instead look to second-hand merchandise. Juniata students express their reasons for purchasing second-hand goods, describe some of the “gems” that they’ve found during their adventures and the names of some thrift stores they frequent.
Kevin McCarey ‘16, New Milford, Pa.:
I buy second-hand because it’s more affordable and more environmentally sustainable. I normally buy shirts, pants, coats and hoodies—anything but undergarments. I like to shop at Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Pluto’s Closet, which is in my hometown, and any family-run thrift store.
Hannah Hostak ‘15, Centennial, Colo.:
Second-hand clothing is completely unique. You know that when you but it, nobody else is going to have it. The clothing has already been loved and it’s cheaper. It’s also an adventure when you go to the store and you have to look through all the nasty stuff to find the gems. I usually buy ridiculous stuff, but it also depends what I find. I never get the same things, however if there are overalls, I always get them. Some places to go in town are Twice Upon a Time, Little Hearts and Good Will.
Jonathan Geyer ‘16, Newport, Pa.:
Goodwill sometimes has some really cool things, which makes second-hand shopping fun. You can find stuff that you would never find in a regular store like T-shirts with funny sayings. It’s also cheaper and more eco-friendly to buy second hand. I usually buy sweaters, shoes and records, but I’ll buy anything that looks fun. The guys on my floor in Tussey all had off from class on Thursday afternoons so we all went out shopping together at Goodwill and named our holiday, “Thrift Store Thursday.”
Zachary Fine ‘16, Flushing, N.Y.:
I purchase second-hand because the clothing is a higher quality than I would be able to afford otherwise and it’s more unique. When I can’t get something, I resort to Target. But I try to buy anything that I need and can find. I usually go to different places in Greenwich Village in New York.
Travis Smith ‘13, Warren, Pa.:
I buy second-hand items because they are materials that already have love worn into them. Many things are discarded in our culture where the next thing is supposed to bring more happiness/fulfillment. I tend to purchase any items that I find useful and practical or that accentuates an aspect of my personality: clothes, toys, books, food, whatever it may be. It is not the genre of items I am drawn to, but the appropriateness of the individual item to fill a niche or space in my life. Goodwill is lovely, as is Huntingdon’s very own Little Hearts, owned and operated by the mother of one of my good friends.
-Hannah Jeffery ’16 Juniata Online Journalist