Thrift Shopping in Platteville Area


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

Is paying full price for clothes out of style? Gen Z and millennials in the Platteville area and beyond are beginning to thrift shop more than ever and this has a collectively positive impact on the environment. 

Across America, teens and young adults are starting to buy from thrift stores for different reasons. These reasons range anywhere from benefiting the environment to saving some money while shopping. According to an article by, “Millennials (25-37 years) account for 33% of all secondhand shoppers.” 

According to Kaylee Smith, a three-and-a-half-year employee of Goodwill, “College kids will come in to get stuff for their dorms … but definitely clothes for sure” when asked what younger people are buying from that particular Goodwill store. 

Another reason people thrift is to stop the waste of clothes that litter our landfills. Studies have found that “85% of textiles end up in landfills as waste.” These numbers are what make many buyers rethink their purchase when buying from retail stores. 

Many millennials are still attempting to find a style they enjoy, and influencers such as Emma Chamberlin have been popularizing thrift shopping as a new aesthetic. An Instagram poll run by asked teens why they secondhand shop and “68% voted for both cheap and unique.”

Some people have been able to make a living from thrift shopping in the resell industry. Apps like Depop and eBay allow for thrift shoppers to sell things that may not fit their style or size. Popular creator Paul Cantu, who have amassed over 650,000 subscribers on YouTube and has become a frontrunner for a growing niche community of thrift store resellers, is making a living from reselling alone.

 An argument that some people make against thrift shopping is that many stores are for profit and some things that get put out on the shelves could be dangerous, for example, recalled items. Another argument against thrift shopping is that people who can afford higher-end clothes and are thrift shopping are taking away items from those who really need them.

With the cost of room and board at UWP being $7,470 per academic year, many students will be hard pressed for money to spend on things to improve their room and their wardrobe. This is where thrift stores are able to give students an option of buying cheaper, possibly lower quality items, for a better fit for dorm living. 

Audrey Diem, a Platteville area resident, stated that “Thrift stores are a place for me to find unique items that I usually wouldn’t think of buying. Things like books and random silly shirts are examples for me,” when asked why she enjoys thrift shopping. 

In the Platteville area, there are four thrift stores: Platteville Thrift, Goodwill, Bargain Nook and Change of Season. This selection allows for younger people to have access to many different thrift stores in the small city of Platteville.