The Perils & Potentials Of Shopping Someone Else’s Closet

This excerpt was written by Julia Gessler (VIVA Article 12/04/2023) 

When Rosie Carroll was a child, her mother took her and her brothers to SaveMart to shop for mufti day. Rosie took the plunge on a Lisa Simpson baby tee, a black skater skirt and a pair of chunky Pulp wedges, a fine, calculated choice for a day that occupies a place in young lives not unlike that of social media posting: where uniforms subsume a sense of individuality, mufti offers the infinite potential of communicating it.

As a teenager, Rosie worked one shift a week at her local Amazon Surf store, unable to afford the clothes she was selling but wanting them, or clothes like them. She spent hours on Trade Me searching, honing her keywords like woodwork. Later, she would pack her two-door Nissan Lucino to “the brim” with clothes and take them to community markets to sell on a Sunday.

Last October, Rosie opened her own consignment store, Nifty, a pink beacon in Christchurch. The store’s name reads on the front of the building in loopy red cursive, a love heart in place of a tittle.

For many, thrifting is a gateway to fashion, as much a means of finding relatively inexpensive clothing as it is something that appeals morally and attitudinally. To engage in “the hunt” for a price (more affordable), a purpose (a new coat), a promise (the gain of warmth) is to also recognise that you are someone that shops consciously and confers an aura that has progressively grown over the past decade: that it’s “cool”, by any conceivable metric, to buy secondhand.

Read the full article here.