Thrift shopping existed way before it inspired Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' 2012 hit "Thrift Shop." In the song, Macklemore boasts, "Only got 20 dollars in my pocket/I'm, I'm, I'm hunting, looking for a come-up/This is fucking awesome." Because thrift shopping was, at one time, considered a fact of life for the underprivileged, the song can seem a bit myopic and crass, especially coming from a middle-class white guy.
Still, the song perhaps helped draw attention to the humble thrift store, which, beyond selling secondhand items at affordable prices, spits in the face of fast-fashion consumerism. Yes, thrifting is sustainable because shoppers are keeping clothing out of landfills and cutting down on textile production, a problematic industry behind much of the world's water pollution.
So it was only a matter of time before an event such as ThriftCon came along. The self-proclaimed premier vintage clothing convention is a testament to thrifting's growing popularity.
Initially taking place in Denver and expanding with pop-ups in Los Angeles, the event is making its East Coast debut in Miami, where it will take over the Magic City Innovation District this Sunday, March 8. Attendees can expect to see more than 100 vendors displaying upward of 10,000 budget-priced items.
"ThriftCon, essentially, is vendors from around the country coming together for a celebration of all things vintage," ThriftCon cofounder Mario Conte says.
At the Miami event, visitors can shop at roughly 75 booths offering goods for people of all ages, identities, and clothing styles. Among the vendors will be South Florida shops such as Broward Vintage, Full Court Classics, Cake N Bake, Prio, Rad Rare, and Feta Vintage.
"Miami has an emerging vintage scene, and some of our favorite thrifters are based in Florida, so we decided on Miami as our first East Coast location," Conte explains. "You can find cheap outfits if you do the digging, and you can also find one-of-a-kind grail pieces that you may never see again in person. There is something for everyone at ThriftCon."
ThriftCon's Miami edition will also offer music, food trucks, and a so-called trading pit where guests can bypass merchants to buy, sell, and barter classic goods themselves.
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Presale tickets for the event cost $8 to $25. The pricier option allows streetwear lovers and vintage collectors to access the convention an hour earlier than the general public. Attendees are also encouraged to bring items from their own wardrobe to donate to Miami Rescue Mission.
"People have been buying vintage long before it got popular on Instagram and Etsy the past few years," Conte notes. "Trends constantly go out and come back into style. I think people are also starting to understand the true value of buying vintage clothing. Shopping vintage is a much more sustainable option as the fashion industry is one of the most wasteful industries in the world."
If you're trying to look fresh yet consume mindfully, there are far worse ways to spend your Sunday than visiting ThriftCon.