The Evolution Of Thrift Stores



When we think about the thrift meaning we immediately collocate the word into an economical space.

The thrift meaning has in fact originated from words used around the fourteen century in Great Britain, with two main uses: prosperity and saving.

Only a couple of centuries after, the thrift meaning started to change owning the sense of “habit of saving”. The word, a conjunction between the form of self prosperity (due to the action of not using, for example, the money) and the idea of saving slowly evolved and remained blocked to the second part, and everything that was connected to started to imply the economy.

With the beginning of the nineteenth century, the thrift meaning obtained a new extension: the one connected to the shop, the thrift store.

Why did it happen that thrift meaning changed so recently? Well, the explanation is really simple, in all the centuries before 1800 everything that was created by people had a reason, had an explanation, nothing was waste so it was pointless to have a thrift store.

From a longer dress, you could have made shorter or smaller ones, from the smaller one’s strings to tie o pieces to use to saw over other things.

From a wooden chair you could have used the wood to make a smaller chest or a box or burn everything inside a fireplace to create warm or to feed the fire used to cook.

The mental was to create objects with natural materials when they were needed and just because everything was more simple and raw, it was easier to used it again in other ways, this is why the thrift meaning was a little bit different because anything you could have saved you could have used in a new way, saving and from saving having more possibilities to do other things.

Due to the industrial revolutions, the world started to incorporate the overproduction of everything, people needed cheaper objects, people housed to move more, people used to have different kinds of jobs.

People started to leave the original mentality connected to the thrift meaning to enter in a new one where it was important the time instead of the products.

When you don’t care about things, you easily through them away, its faster, you don’t have to think about how to reuse something, how you can invest that object or piece for something else, this was also the moment where people started to realize that they could have had the possibility to resell the used objects, they thought to create businesses around that or even fix the broken ones and sell them again, here we are, with the first kind of thrift store.

The thrift stores were a place where to find used products for a cheaper price but not all the products were seen in the same way, garments, for example, were hardly sellable, poor people did not have in any way the money to buy anything and who had more possibilities tent to prefer having less but with a decent quality; buying old clothes was almost consider something really bad to do.

At the same time, another form of a thrift stores or places with a sort of thrift meaning came out from important Institutions in our lives: the churches and the state.

Both of them with different names, in different places, started to collect donations from people to give what they received to others.

Decades after decades the idea of thrift stores was always more popular and known, people started to see these kinds of shops as normal shops, people started toggle to the thrift store meaning a new identity, a new life.

With the World Wars, the place of the thrift stores was suspended, people were living a completely different life, no one had ever experienced anything like that before.

During the 50’s the situation was still stuck, stuck because the mentality to buy, to over-produce, to be happy, and to own things that would make you happier was inside any individual but still hidden by the fear.

Only with the ’60s and their values, the reconstructions concluded people had time to think about their extras, to through away broken or used things to buy the new ones; this was the beginning of a new phase for those stores that were collecting old stuff and were trying to resell them, thrift store meaning changed again, a new vitality, a new perception, a funnier one, a younger one, entered in the people’s life.

Thrift stores became a sort of entity, where younger kids had the possibility to be themselves, to buy what they liked for cheaper prices, where they had the possibility to build their personalities.

Thrift store meaning developed, really fast providing hope and fun to a lot of generations for so many decades.

Nothing really changed till the advent of the new millennium, where the internet invaded our lives, where everything started to became digital or on digital pages.

What used to be a thrift store for the local people of the area, in few years, with the help of marketing, became an online thrift store with the ability to reach people from all over the planet.

Moving from real, physical thrift stores to an online thrift store has been revolutionary: styles, trends, colors, and shapes mixed completely, the generations started to share the same tastes all over the globe.


To be a good online thrift store you need few elements:


Every online thrift store has a lot of visibility to work well, the website has to be easy and accessible to the majority of people, they could even use social networks!


Being an online thrift store means you have the possibility to be seen a lot by different people, it’s important to expose different kinds of products to be able to sell as much as possible to very different people.


If visibility help to increase the clients if the products will keep the clients “on the screen” a successful online thrift store will have also really good prices to involve the possible customers to buy there.



The Evolution Of Thrift Stores
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One of the most popular, famous, and old online thrift stores, you can find inside more or less everything, from the simple t-shirt to the weirdest object from a little hidden village!

eBay was created at the end of the ’90s but started to be famous and used all over the planet only after the beginning of the new millennium.

A peculiar aspect is the connection with an other important company, PayPal.

What is interesting about eBay is the fact you can find more or less everything inside, along with the web you can find pages of descriptions about all the weird things that people have sold, it seems also that scientists have found two new species thanks to the website!

Website Link:


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If you are looking for used objects but also a lot of handcrafted products this is the best place where to have a look!

Old more or less like eBay, since the beginning took a different part of the e-commerce/online thrift store section, dedicated mostly to the segment of the homemade, small productions and craft supplies.

You can mostly find garments, handcrafted jewelry, art, tools to work and make any hobby but also accessories or furniture. For the vintage/second-hand selection all the products, as internal policy, should have at least twenty years of life.

The company decided to invest in AI softwares and in 2016 they decided to buy the famous Backbird Technologies, a startup that creates softwares dedicated to increasing/develop clients’ shopping/search algorithms.

Website Link:


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If you are looking for an online thrift store that looks like a social network, this one is the perfect one! 

It almost looks like Instagram so for the majority of people who use it it’s really easy to understand; algorithms calculated that the majority of users are Millennials and GenZ people.

In not a casa that they are the majority of the users considering their passion for social networks.

It is mostly used to sell specific objects like garments but also cameras or other creative products.

Depop is mostly used in USA, UK and Italy.

Website Link:



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Probably one of the biggest and most known thrift stores in India, Amalfi is specialized in sustainable fashion, accessories, and anything else that takes into consideration the lifestyle of Indian people.

All the products are always certificated and in a really good condition; one of the main goals is also trying to promote and sell national products as garments but also international ones, mixing styles and trends, trying to promote different ideas and visions. 

Few of the brands they own pieces of could be the Inditex ones, like Zara, Mango or Bershka, some of the Scandinavian ones like for example the really famous H&M and many others.

Website Link:


The Evolution Of Thrift Stores
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Another name that should be familiar, if you like thrift stores in India is Kiabza. A really famous and big marketplace where articles from all over the world are sold and bought.

It sells a lot of locals used items but also international, you can find from the simpler and fewer know brands to the more known and luxurious ones like Burberry or Hugo Boss.

Kiabza with a part of the income, partnering with Vidya and Teach for India, work trying to help children, women, and youth people from the fewer privileges communities of India.

Website Link:


A new trend that exploded a few years ago, more or less everywhere has been the creation of another form of online thrift stores, the ones that used social networks as platforms to sell.

These profiles are more or less real shops, where everyday people post new garments or objects.

It’s a really modern idea and way to provide via the social network a new form of thrifting, there are a lot of profiles, in India as everywhere else, I’m going to present you with just a few of the most interesting ones I have found!


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Let’s start with the first one on our list, Aims Vintage!

If you are a fan of the colors, especially the ones that have covered the 60’s and 70’s decades, this page could be yours!

An incredible selection of really beautiful shirts, pants will enchant your eyes as soon as you enter inside.

Lightwell worked, focus on the product where each of them is full of history and details!

This project could be considered a really eco-friendly one, from the thrifting point of view of course but also because they make really nice and eco-sustainable packagings.

Instagram Store Link:


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One of the most followed Indian Instagram thrift stores you can find online! Really well-curated page where you can see not just a selection of the local thrift treasures but also one of the garments they have found traveling around.

For any of them, a special outfit is created to present the garment at its best, helping the viewer to have an idea of a possible use / a possible style. Mostly casual with a touch of elegance.

Instagram Store Link:


The Evolution Of Thrift Stores
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Mirinwon opened at the beginning of 2019. It has arrived to have almost 9000 followers and they ship all over India.

They sell different kinds of selected products but for all of them a really nice selection.

Mostly garments but in the last months they also started to sell bags; you can find inside unknown brand as pieces of really famous brand or luxurious ones like Vans, Sisley or Luis Vuitton.

Instagram Store Link:

Which of these thrift stores did you already know about? Tell us in the comments below!


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