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City College Times

The shift to thrift store shopping

Students find value in national trend.

Reginald Lucious Webb, Times Staff

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Resale stores and thrift store shopping is on the rise in America. People from all income levels are using resale stores as an alternative to the traditional department store for savings, particularly, young people. Within a square mile from the campus there are 5 thrift stores, and this close proximity fosters even more shopping by consumers.

On San Carlos St. alone reside Moon Zoom, Black and Brown, Goodwill, and The Crossroads. Savers is on Parkmoor and Race.

The last two mentioned are the more traditional super stores with everything and an occasional kitchen sink. The others are smaller, boutique, and focus on clothing and shoes. They are in the business of buy, sell, and trade.

An afternoon in Moon Zoom and Black and Brown has made me realize I would be content if I did not shop anywhere else for clothes. The value received for the price cannot be beat.

Amongst millennials, summoning their inner James brown, “trying to be hip”, would agree with me and prefer retro-oriented fashion. I have been retro for longer than I care to admit so it’s great to see a resurgence in my direction as far as what is cool and stylish.

Moon Zoom is exclusively vintage clothing and the quality at which they obtain their clothing is impressive. Meanwhile prices are reasonable; several price tags for shirts and pants consistently between $16 and $25. Expensive for a thrift article of clothing at a Goodwill or Savers, but Moon Zoom offers vintage clothing that is hard to find in the condition they have it.

The store has been open for 26 years according to one of the owners, Reed Wetter. Moon Zoom has multiple owners and the business is actually co-opted; within the store different owners own sections. A customer looking for an outfit for a 1970’s or disco theme party will certainly find a stereotypical outfit for such an event, but the store offers vintage clothing anyone would wear for any occasion.

Conveniently Black and Brown is a few blocks away which makes for a good shopping experience. The store is a good alternative to Moon Zoom. The name represents the presence of both modern and vintage design, black representing the modern and browns the vintage, according to manager Kim Nguyen.

The shopping atmosphere is very cool; a helpful staff, cool 90s hip-hop, and a very organized room provides a very shopper-friendly environment.

One does not have to go through a bunch of uninteresting stuff to find something they want to buy.

The attention given to the aesthetics of the store, subtleties and hints of vintage design mixed with modern, is a theme throughout the store both with regard to the decor and merchandise. Again, prices are extremely reasonable despite the new clothing.

Claire Whitlock, an avid thrift shopper, says finding “that diamond in the rough” is the best feeling.

Shoppers will go through a ton of merchandise to find that article of clothing that has the value and savings they can brag about. As student Andy Barnes put it, “It’s all about bragging rights when you find something that’s still new and you paid nothing for it.”

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The student news site of San Jose City College
The shift to thrift store shopping