National Thrift Shop Day

Young woman browsing through racks of clothing, finding a trendy vintage item in a thrift shop, surrounded by colorful and eclectic fashion pieces..
National thrift shop day illustration

Ever walked into a store, gasped in delight at the price tag on that vintage Levi's jacket, and thought 'Why am I not shopping here more often'? Well, allow us to introduce to you the holiday of your dreams — National Thrift Shop Day! Yes, folks, there's an entire day dedicated to thrifting, and we dive into all its second-hand glory in this article.

When is Thrift Shop Day?

It's national thrift shop day on the 17th August.

A Brief History

Who would have thought that being thrifty could spark off such celebrations? But the internet never forgets, and our records indicate 2985 mentions of this second-hand wonderland day. The peak of this frenzy? 17th August 2015 — a red-letter day for thrifters! Wading through the annals of the internet, little pops up about the origins of this fantastic day. We suspect it was picked up by smart shoppers who understood that second-had didn't mean second-best.

Why Thrift?

There are great reasons to get on this bandwagon. Environmentally friendly? Check. Wallet-friendly? Double-check! Thrifting is a fantastic way to save some dough while doing your bit for the environment. There's nothing thriftier (and greener) than reusing. Each garment saved is one less in the landfill. Plus, the treasure hunt like excitement could give Indiana Jones a run for his money.

The Thrift Shop Revolution

No more are thrift stores the location of last resort; they are the hottest destination now! With popular influencers and even big celebs shopping second-hand, the thrift shop stigma is long gone. So, put on your comfy shoes, and get ready to find the diamond in the rough, because there's no telling what unique products lay in wait for you!

History behind the term 'Thrift Shop'


The Birth of Secondhand Trade

The practice of buying and selling used goods began to emerge in Europe during the early 17th century. These goods were typically traded in small shops or market stalls and were known as secondhand or thrift items. In these early days, thrift shops primarily catered to individuals seeking inexpensive clothing and household items.


The Rise of Charitable Thrift Shops

By the end of the 19th century, the concept of thrift shops took on a new dimension with the establishment of charitable thrift shops. In 1899, the Salvation Army opened its first charity shop in London, England. These shops aimed to provide affordable clothing to the less fortunate while simultaneously generating funds for charitable causes. This marked the beginning of the association between thrift shops and philanthropy.


The Roaring Twenties and Thriftiness

During the 1920s, thrift shops gained popularity due to the economic and social changes brought about by the post-World War I era. The newfound wealth and consumerism of the period inspired a countercultural movement promoting thriftiness and frugality. As a result, thrift shops became sought-after destinations for both the economically disadvantaged and those embracing the ideals of simplicity and practicality.


Rise of Thrift Shops as Fashion Statements

In the 1950s, thrift shops transformed from simply catering to financial needs to becoming fashionable destinations. Young people, particularly the Beat Generation, sought unique and inexpensive clothing options that deviated from mainstream fashion trends. Thrift shops provided a treasure trove of vintage and eclectic garments, allowing individuals to create their own individual style statements. This shift in perception elevated the status of thrift shops within popular culture.


The Thrift Shop Pop Culture Phenomenon

The year 2005 witnessed the release of the popular song 'Thrift Shop' by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The song's catchy tune and lyrics celebrated the experience of shopping at thrift stores, effectively introducing thrift shops into mainstream pop culture. The song's success sparked a surge in interest and curiosity about thrift shopping, encouraging people to explore these stores for their unique and affordable finds, ultimately leading to a global resurgence in thrift shopping.

Did you know?

Did you know that the term 'thrift shop' originates from the Scottish 'thrift', meaning 'prosperous'? So, in essence, each time you thrift, you're on your way to prosperity!


awareness fun finance

First identified

13th August 2015

Most mentioned on

17th August 2015

Total mentions


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