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Lani says: Walk a Mile in My Shoes

2020 Editions February Lani Tunzi

By Lani Tunzi

A mini economy of resold goods – mostly clothing – is flourishing on the campus of Eagle Rock High School.

I recently partnered with my friend and fellow ERHS senior, Rainier Palisoc, to get in on the action. We created an account on Instagram, “@ranirags,” where we’ve been selling unisex clothing we’ve each collected over the years.

We have our friends model the clothes, determine prices for each piece (usually $5 to $10), advertise to our peers and deliver the goods during the school day.

I co-founded the business with the intention of making some pocket change to accommodate my teenage lifestyle and clear up some space before I go off to college.

But there’s more to resale these days than just de-cluttering for dollars. Some people have built businesses by scavenging for trendy finds at local resale shops and rummage sales and then using social media to sell them to a broader audience for a profit.

The mogul in this dynamic is essentially getting paid for putting in the time to sift through racks and stacks of clothes and accessories to discover name-brand, vintage or one-of-a-kind articles to buy on the cheap.

It’s a new twist on an old practice. There have always been avid secondhand shoppers, looking to save a few bucks or chasing the thrill of unearthing a unique vintage piece. Institutions like Goodwill, Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul have become well known as essentially department stores for donated goods. Social media has made it easier to create and connect sellers and buyers.

Every stage of the resale process, from finding items to sell to final sale, is unexpected and exciting, but the practical benefits are enormous as well. Thrifted clothing is more affordable than clothes bought new from commercial retail stores.

Buying secondhand is also an effective way to recycle, because the clothing gets used rather than tossed into a landfill. Being thrifty, it turns out, is environmentally sustainable.

Lani Tunzi is a senior at Eagle Rock High School.