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7 Unbelievable Thrift Store Trends That Are Disappearing From Stores

What are the “Mindbending Facts” about the disappearing thrift store trends?

Thrifting has surged in popularity over the past few decades, especially with members of Gen Z, who seem to value sustainability and individuality. Yet, retail experts say that traditional thrift stores are seeing a decline in quality items. So what’s going on?

The explosive growth of the resale market and the rise of fast fashion play a massive part in the blame game. Well, if you’re a fellow fashion lover and bargain hunter, get ready to take a journey through the declining world of nostalgia.

To make sure our memory wasn’t deceiving us, we reached out to retail experts to find out what exactly was going on. Turns out, the quality you can find at traditional thrift stores really does seem to be declining.

And the explosive growth of the resale clothing market over the past decade, particularly in the last five years, has also played a huge role.

In this article, we’ll talk about the thrift store trends that are disappearing from stores and and uncover the hidden gems that once adorned the racks of thrift stores everywhere.

From Hand-embroidered textiles to fine China, these timeless trends are vanishing before our very eyes. But don’t worry!

After reading this, you’ll learn the secrets to spotting these 7 evasive antiques and adding them to your collection before they’re gone for good. So join us as we try to preserve the essence of yesteryear’s fashion.

Let’s celebrate the beauty of thrift store trends and keep the spirit of nostalgia alive!

Thrift Store Trend
Photo by Chay_Tee at Shutterstock

But first, let’s talk about: Thrifting vs. the resale market

We should probably explain what we mean when saying “thrifting.” Until recent years, “thrifting” generally referred to visiting your local thrift store, Goodwill, or Salvation Army.

This was a shop where People donated their clothes after cleaning out their closets, where many different styles of clothes ended up on the racks, and where finding something you like required that monotonous search through a category as broad as “women’s pants.”

But “thrifting” to many members of Gen Z means buying something secondhand. For example, to the younger generations, going to a curated, online consignment store and purchasing slightly discounted Gucci loafers can also be considered “thrifting.”

The difference matters because part of the reason old-school thrifting has gotten so bad is that the secondhand market has gotten so big.

Thanks to sites like ThredUp, RealReal, Depop, and many others that allow consumers to sell their clothes, thrift stores are getting fewer and fewer quality items donated.

The issue is that need-based shoppers may now need time to buy quality clothes at an affordable price because the best pieces are picked over and sold at a ridiculous amount by curated vintage sellers.

Some need-based shoppers don’t necessarily need to thrift all of their clothing but turn to secondhand when they need to make a large purchase, like a suit for a job interview. But now, it’s easier and not much more pricey to buy a new blazer from Shein.

Yet, the boots theory, which is the idea that lower-income people must buy cheaper products that don’t last as long and need to be replaced often, might be worse in the long run.

So, now that we’ve got that covered, continue reading to find out which thrift store trends are vanishing. You might want to start hunting down your favorite items before they disappear entirely!

Thrift store trend: Non-stretch denim

We all need a “forgiving fabric” every once in a while. But what happened to having a choice?

Nowadays, most jeans and anything else made from denim seem to be a forgotten thrift store trend because they’re made of a hybrid cotton fabric, polyester, and elastane, which is the generic name for Spandex or Lycra.

Traditional all-cotton denim is gradually disappearing from thrift store racks. The outcome is clothing that simply doesn’t hold its shape over the years and won’t last as long.

Thrift store trend: Hand-embroidered textiles

If you’re of the older generation, you probably remember that the linen closet of your childhood home was filled with embroidered tablecloths, pillowcases, and napkins.

Due to the handiwork of grandmothers everywhere, this thrift store trend is becoming a thing of the past in the resale market. Buyers have realized that this type of intricate customization is difficult and expensive to replicate. So people have stopped making them altogether.

Thrift Store Trend
Photo by Malgosia S at Shutterstock

Thrift store trend: Original artwork

If you were hoping to find some original artwork at your local thrift store, we’ve got some bad news for you: Hobbyists seem to have disappeared! Thrift shops were packed with unique homemade sculptures, vintage Paint-by-Numbers masterpieces, and memory jugs.

These items were never high art, but they had an adorable and uniquely American aesthetic about them. We’ll surely miss having to sort through old art class cast-offs and floral DIYs!

Thrift store trend: Colored glass

Have you noticed that some colored glass marketed in retail stores isn’t actually colored glass at all? A minor scratch will reveal that a tinted coating is laid over a clear glass base. It’s probably an attempt to reduce production costs.

From lampshades to vases, genuine colored glass is becoming hard to come by in thrift shops, especially shades of blue, green, and amber. And let’s be honest: nothing beats the real thing. So, if you find a piece you love, buy it. We might be losing access to the genuine thing.

Thrift store trend: Solid wood furniture

Furniture made of particle board and MDF has been around for decades. Sadly, it’s been long enough for it to leak into thrift stores all around the country. However, it seems as tough millennials and Gen-Z are rejecting disposable furniture.

A cottage industry of flippers and restorers is rediscovering solid wood construction’s value and purchasing vintage pieces.

And through the influence of social media, they’re sharing their hunt for quality furniture, the rehabilitation process, and convincing before-and-after photos. So maybe there’s still hope yet for solid wood pieces!

Thrift store trend: Board games

Children don’t appreciate board games as much as we once did in today’s digital world. So, the next time you’re in a thrift store, take the time to look through a pile of old board games, that is if you’re lucky enough to find them.

Some rare and vintage board games can be worth hundreds, or sometimes thousands, of dollars, especially if they have all the pieces and are in pretty good condition. But people just don’t seem to care about them, and they seem to be dwindling.

So if you’re interested, the best ones to look for are: “Fireball Island” and “Dark Tower.”

Thrift Store Trend
Photo by Daisy Daisy at Shutterstock

Thrift store trend: Vintage comic books

Remember when we were kids, there was a cute little thrift shop in town with an entire wall of racks devoted to used comic books? And back then, the going price was 10 cents each. Oh, the 1970s was a great time.

Over the years, though, the supply of secondhand comic books has gradually declined. Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to find an old Beetle Bailey, Archie Comics, Richie Rich, or Space Ghost in the wild. Apparently, kids aren’t interested anymore!

But if you do luck out, grab a nice storage box from Amazon to keep them all organized!

Have YOU noticed any of these thrift store trends vanishing from where you live? Please feel free to leave us a comment and share your thoughts on the matter in the section below.

Meanwhile, if you liked this article, Mindbending Facts has many more fascinating posts for its readers. For example, check out: 14 Bizarre US Laws You Won’t Believe Are Real

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