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Fort Myers Thrifting Culture

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In the heart of the Sunshine State lies a city that holds more than vibrant palm trees and sandy beaches—Fort Myers, Florida boasts of its thrifting culture. Consignment shops and secondhand stores line the city, and residents and vacationers alike are all for it.

While mass consumption dominates the market, Fort Myers’ thrifting culture sets the city apart in its sustainability. Fort Myers holds over 10 donation centers, most of which are attributed to Goodwill. These can be found anywhere from Island Park Road to First Street. From vintage leather jackets to Levi’s, people donate their timeless pieces for others to enjoy. Donating and thrifting slowly turn your closet from a maximalist collection of basic wear into a capsule wardrobe, one oversized graphic tee at a time. Not only are you revamping your closet, but you’re also making a difference in your community.

 Thrift shops also foster a sense of community. Friends gather together at Kiwanis on Fort Myers Beach or their corner Goodwill with iced lattes and empty carts, ready to share in each other’s joy of finding hidden treasures on aisle two.

 I remember thrifting with my family every time we vacationed in Fort Myers. Coming from Chicago where a bathing suit or tank top was necessary approximately three days out of the year, we decided to search the racks for a bargain. My mom, older sister and I would cram together into one fitting room, excitedly trying on our finds and complementing one another on having a good eye. My dad would wait impatiently outside the fitting room with one pair of jeans and a button-down slung over his shoulder. We’d have to remind him that the purpose of the shopping trip was for light vacation clothing, but who goes into a thrift shop and only buys what they were originally looking for anyway?

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 My favorite part of thrifting is the search. I swiftly sift through hangers until an item catches my eye and makes it into my squeaky shopping cart. Some of the most worn items in my closet are secondhand. There’s something about the time and effort it takes to find a gem that makes it worth more than any new item I could get for retail.

 However, the rising popularity of thrifting is not without its challenges. Growth in demand poses a danger to the affordability and authenticity of thrift shops. Lower-income households who depended on the bargains thrifting had to offer may no longer find them. It is important to have a balance and restrain over-consumption so that everyone can enjoy secondhand finds.

 Next time you’re in need of new additions to your wardrobe, ditch the mall and visit your local Fort Myers thrift store for your next favorite piece.



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Cristina Pop
Cristina Pop, Eagle News Assistant Opinion Editor
Cristina Pop is majoring in journalism. She is a new addition to our team of editors, which has been her dream since she started grading papers with her English teacher in 7th grade and writing for her personal Christian blog. Aside from writing, Cristina enjoys volleyball and sunset swimming at the beach.

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