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Preloved to loved: The benefits of thrifting

Do the words “discount”, “promotions” or “clearance sales” hanging off a storefront in bright red induce an adrenaline rush for you? With shopping being a national pastime1 , it’s no surprise that Singaporeans love a good deal!
But in recent years, a new and globally consistent shopping trend has started to emerge. Perhaps you have heard the term thrifting — used to describe the culture of shopping for and purchasing second-hand items. While not necessarily new, it’s been gaining popularity especially among the millennials and Gen-Zs2.
Growing culture of thrifting
This culture of thrifting is most prominently observed in fashion, but there has been an emerging trend in thrifting electronics and furniture too.
So why the growing interest?
Such a culture might have gained traction out of necessity in tough economic times. With the vast number of ways in which costs of living are rising, people are motivated to be more prudent on their spending in order to maintain as much of the lifestyle that they are used to.
The diminishing stigma of second-hand items
In looking for alternative platforms for their shopping, there’s been a gradual shift in mindset among Singaporeans to perceive second-hand items as aesthetic elegant items5. With more workplaces warming up to the concept of working from home, it might also be the best time to do some deep spring cleaning. It’s no wonder we’ve seen a rising popularity of resale platforms and e-commerce sites like Carousell, where people sell items, they no longer need for extra cash3 — it’s a win-win situation that benefits both the sellers and buyers to sell or get the items they want.
With this, there is also an increasing awareness of the major waste issues of fast fashion4. Socioeconomic status is no barrier either — even the more wealthy are turning to second-hand clothes and furniture stores5.
Allure of thrifting
Now that you know more about thrifting, you may be thinking — is thrifting for me? Here’s three reasons why you should give it a try!
1. Affordability
Buying new clothes all the time can be expensive and impractical. Parents of young children especially can attest to this — you would know how fast your little ones outgrow their clothes and you have to purchase a new set.
Needless to say, thrifting is extremely budget-friendly and staying true to our Singaporean spirit — not missing out on a good bargain! Clothes from a thrift store not only cost less than what you’d pay at a retail shop, but you can frequently find them in good condition, and at a fraction of the original retail price, if you know where to look and get a good deal (tip: check out Carousell, LuxCollate or The Watch Box for second hand luxury items6).
In high end fashion thrift stores like Déja Vu Vintage7 or Loop Garms8,9, it’s not uncommon to see exquisite and unique pieces of clothing going for way less than what you would buy an equivalent item for in a retail store. On the supply side of things, there are also platforms like Olio which allow people to trade or give away items for free within their community to prevent wastage10.
2. The novelty of owning something vintage
Since thrift shopping and vintage stores tend to have one-of-a-kind items, they are often seen as unique and special, unlike mass produced clothes in fast fashion. Fashion thrift shops like The Fashion Pulpit deliver on clothing, which is both vintage and luxurious, while fishing in furniture thrift shops like Noden or Carpenter and Cook often throws up timelessly cool antique pieces to put on display in your home.
3. Contribute to a more sustainable and circular economy
Contributing to a circular economy helps to take the pressure off our environment, and thrifting is an excellent way to engage in such sustainable living. While consumption may be inevitable at times, we can all do our part to move away from a take-make-waste system.
Did you know that on average, a piece of clothing is worn seven times before being thrown away? In some places like China where consumption of fast fashion is a bit more rampant, it’s only three times11!
Through thrifting, we can extend the life of clothes by an extra nine months, which would in turn reduce their carbon, water, and waste footprint by about 20 to 30 percent12. So why not thrift?
As people become more conscious about their choices, there is a growing trend to be more sustainable not just when it comes to consumption, but also in every aspect of our lives. In retirement especially, as we look at our lives in the long term, this means having to ensure that our savings are sustainable enough to live life as we want it, with our growing life expectancies bringing a slew of opportunities to achieve all our goals and dreams.
Whether it’s to supplement medical expenses or to celebrate new milestones after your retirement, PRUVantage RetireCare can help you make your savings sustainable, so you enjoy your golden years with a peace of mind! Want to find out more? Speak to a Prudential Financial Consultant today.
For more information on how Prudential is addressing sustainability challenges, please refer to our Sustainability Report 2021.
1Singaporean respondents' favorite hobbies as of May 2019
2Second-hand is first as more youth are drawn to thrift shopping
3 How Carousell, One Of The Largest Secondhand Marketplaces In South East Asia, Is Handling The Pandemic
4Commentary: We’re drowning in a fast fashion ocean of clothes
5Shop Quality Series: Rich People Shop Secondhand
6First-timer Guide on Why, Where and How to buy Secondhand Luxury in Singapore 2021
9Thrift Shops In Singapore For Secondhand Shopping Both Online & Offline
11The High Price of Fast Fashion
12Extending the life of clothes by an extra nine months of active use would reduce carbon, water, and waste footprints by around 20–30% each.

This article is for your information only and does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any persons. Please seek advice from a qualified Financial Consultant for a financial analysis before purchasing a policy suitable to meet your needs.
This policy is protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact your insurer or visit the GIA/LIA or SDIC web-sites ( www.gia.org.sg or www.lia.org.sg or www.sdic.org.sg ).
This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
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