Thrifting in Singapore is no new phenomenon, having been on the up and up for the past few years. But it has now gone beyond shopping secondhand: more youth-led thrift stores are cropping up on the scene.
Armed with social media-savvy and entrepreneurial ambitions, these businesses advocate for a sustainable way to shop and express personal style. They sit both on online platforms like TikTok and Instagram and brick-and-mortar stores — Queensway Shopping Centre alone is now home to at least five of them.
Junior college student Tan Han Yang checked out the Lucky Plaza bazaar after seeing it on TikTok and scored a Tommy Hilfiger sweater for $7. “My friends and I saw videos of people in other countries buying cool and unique pieces at thrift stores. We wanted to see if Singapore also had them,” says the 18-year-old, who started thrifting in 2020.
Globally, this subsection of the recommerce market has been booming, thanks largely to a new generation of shoppers who feel it is their duty to address the environmental crisis. It has turned thrifting and resale into a US$36 billion (S$49 billion) industry in 2021 that is projected to double by 2025, according to findings by ThredUp, the world’s largest fashion resale platform. Second-hand fashion is also expected to be twice as big as fast fashion by 2030, added the report.
Ahead, three thrift businesses that run on heart.