‘Insta-thrifting’ introduces a new way to shop

Insta-thrifting allows people to find second-hand clothing online. This is an example of a post by @julesjemms, a popular Instagram store.

Vintage clothing is a growing fashion trend and with social media becoming more popular “Insta-thrifting” is a booming business.

A Google search of “Insta-thrifting” will bring up pages of articles and blogs about successful Instagram thrift stores owned by people around the world.

Julia Burgess of Oshawa, the owner of Nifty Thrifty Page, an Instagram-based store, said thrifting saves the environment by reducing and recycling.

“Rather than people going out and wasting money on a shirt they may only wear once,” she said.

If you like vintage clothes but hate the hunt “Insta-thrifting” is an easy way to get your hands on some pieces. It allows people to find second-hand vintage clothing from local buyers online.

She said she started thrifting at a young age with her aunt. Since then, she’s turned her passion for thrifting into a business.

“My aunt got me into thrifting when I was younger,” she said. “I began going myself when I got my licence.”

Before opening the online store, she posted her finds on what she calls her personal Instagram.

“So many people were replying to my highlights [Instagram posts] asking if the items were for sale,” she said, adding that’s what inspired her to start a thrifting business.

She posts everything that’s for sale on her Instagram page @julesjemss. Her posts include a picture of the item, a description, including size and price, with most of her items ranging from $25-$50.

This untraditional way of selling clothes allows Burgess to connect with all her customers she calls “babes.” She said she’s been able to meet a lot of new people since starting.

When she posts an item for sale it works as a first-come, first-served basis. This means whoever is first to comment and direct message her gets the piece.

Typically, most of the clothing pick-ups are done from her house and paid for using online banking.

Although it’s a local thrifting business, Burgess says she’s willing to ship to her clients.

“I have mailed stuff out before,” she said. “Everyone just has to pay for the shipping on their side.”

Looking for what’s “on-trend” is something Burgess always keeps in mind when she’s thrifting. She said most of her inspiration comes from what she sees on Instagram and in stores.

On Nifty Thrifty Page she mainly sells brand-name vintage clothing, such as old-school Adidas or Nike athletic wear and Dolce & Gabbana sweaters.

“More name brand stuff is what I tend to go for,” Burgess said. “It’s what sells the best.”

Burgess said she does most of her thrifting by herself on what she calls “thrifty Thursdays.”

She said her favourite place to thrift clothing is Toronto, but thrifts from Oshawa to Mississauga.

Each item that she finds is marked up by the same percentage, a figure she doesn’t disclose publicly, based on how much it cost.

On top of running a business she also works a full-time job in sales. By using Instagram as a platform to sell her clothes, she says she can control when she works, how often she posts and what she sells.

Due to COVID-19, Burgess has currently put sales on hold but said she will be back with a giveaway when it is safe to do so again.