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Posted under: Culture

Thrifting Is Becoming Part Of North Carolina A&T University's Culture

Students at NC A&T have found keys to individuality through thrift shopping.

There’s a multitude of factors for why the popularity of thrifting has surged recently at North Carolina A&T University. Some of these reasons include the pandemic, the rising cost of living in the U.S., social media influencers, music, and environmental issues within the fashion industry. Specifically for us here at North Carolina A&T’s campus, thrifting has recently dominated campus fashion.

“I see more students now wearing the varsity jackets, all-white Nikes, and the bootcut jeans. I’ve seen the transition,” says  Akeya Garrett, NCAT alum and Greensboro photographer. 

Thrifting is more than just visiting a local Goodwill or Salvation Army. Mahogany Ford, Miss Fashion X-Cetera at NCAT and Senior Fashion Merchandising student at NCAT, says, “During the pandemic, thrifting was more than just saving money. It was a creative outlet.“

“Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen a lot of people who have gotten into thrifting and I’ve met friends through thrifting,” added Arial Robinson, a senior journalism student at NCAT.  

More than a just trend to Aggies, thrifting has also become a unique way to express one’s self through fashion and a unique bonding experience to meet and make new friends. The thrifting community has blossomed so much in the collegiate world of NCAT that NCAT students Dawoud Evans, Briya Miller, and Ramel Lee, partnered with local Greensboro thrift shop owners Carlito RossDyson Pender, and Ephraim Udofia to create a flea market event series called Pay It Forward: Pop-up Flea Market 

The mission of this event series was to provide more affordable vintage and collectible items to the collegiate community and educate students on what to look for when thrifting such as stitch count, pricing, and tags. Evans says, “We see all the time sellers from really big cities like Atlanta or Charlotte hold vintage events in their area. We didn’t have anything like that in Greensboro.”  

While thrifting can be a creative, fun, bonding experience, some business owners engage in unethical business practices where they set unreasonable prices on items claiming it’s “rare” or a collector’s item”.   The flea market encourages students to research brands they thrift for to avoid being taken advantage of.  Despite the dangers of predatory practices that can be associated with thrifting, it has become a flourishing business venture that Generation Z has dominated at HBCUs. I personally look forward to seeing thrift shopping continue to grow at NCAT and other HBCU campuses at large.


Kaylah Kelty is a Senior at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University from Charlotte, NC. Currently, she is pursuing her B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. She focuses her craft in PR on the entertainment and travel sector.

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