Guest blog written by social media volunteer and millennial Melissa.
A while back I read a BuzzFeed article about the top items millennials (aka my generation) aren’t buying. It stated that millennials, born early 80s to early 00s, often don’t have much money and are putting off buying bigger ticket items such as homes, diamonds, and life insurance. As a millennial myself, I can say I have yet to purchase any of these things.
After reading this, I got to thinking, if my generation isn’t buying these investment/spendier items, then what are we supposedly buying? According to a Money.com article, my generation appreciates convenience, craftsmanship, and speed. We don’t make big purchases, but are willing to spend freely on smaller budget and “necessity” items. From athletileisure to same-day delivery and grab-and-go foods to craft beers, my constantly on-the-move generation insists on comfort, skill, and ease around our schedules.
So why is this? Social demands and lifestyles of our generation have changed drastically over the past few decades and has influenced how millennials, and everyone else, make purchases.
A Forbes.com article states that advertisers are no longer the buying influencers that once molded previous generations. Instead millennials rely heavily on our peer networks, reviews, blogs, and authentic content before making purchases. But once we find a brand we love, we stick with it, and often value brands that give back or have an aspect of social good.
Thinking this over, I realized that I fall squarely into most of these statements about millennials. I appreciate convenience, stick with brands I like, and buy from companies that give back. Which is part of the reason why I love shopping and volunteering with ECA. Not only do I feel good about donating my time, but ECA gives back to non-profits in my community, so I can see their contributions in action.
“Thrifting” (short for “thrift shopping”) is a hot topic. Take a look at this “Luann” comic by Greg Evans, which appeared in the Seattle Times on February 21 of this year.
To me, it sends the message, in a fun way, that thrift shops are a great place to find treasures. And, inevitably, what one person doesn’t like, someone else will love. That’s cool.
Even the hip hop recording artist, Macklemore, has something to say about this subject. I recently watched his hit video, “Thrift Shop,” where he and his crew romped through thrift shops in the Seattle area dressed in some unusual “outfits,” presumably purchased from thrift shops. I recognized the Goodwill Outlet Store down in Sodo (a great shop to visit!) and the old Value Village store on Capitol Hill (no longer there). Although Macklemore’s musical style or lyrics might not suit everyone, I think he does a great job in this video getting across two messages in an entertaining way: 1) Don’t spend all your money on new clothes when you can “thrift,” and 2) Don’t look like everyone else – go “thrifting” and look unique. That’s most definitely cool.
Speaking of messages, ECA has some we’d like to share:
Your donation to ECA can make a difference in the life of a child or family who lives down the street from you. Just one more reason why… “thrifting” is cool!
Susan is a frequent volunteer at Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop, where she sorts, prices, and stocks merchandise to her heart's content. Before retirement, she owned and operated a consignment shop for women's plus size clothing in Seattle. Through trial and error and talking with customers, she learned a thing or two. An avid "thrift shopper," Susan loves to buy clothing, especially when she gets good quality and value for her money.
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Eastside Community Aid
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