The Goodwill Makeover: A Lesson In Secondhand Fashion:

Jun 6, 2018


In "From Goodwill to Grunge," author Jennifer Le Zotte explores the intersection of culture and commerce in America, and how they have changed over time.
Credit Courtesy of Jennifer Le Zotte

  Remember when people were ashamed to wear hand-me-downs and shop at Goodwill? Or when used clothing was thought to be dirty and infested with bugs? How did things evolve from that to groups like Nirvana proudly sporting their used gear and setting a new fashion trend?

Long before Kurt Cobain and the grunge movement, second hand fashion trends were making their way through American culture. Jennifer Le Zotte is author of “From Goodwill to Grunge: A History of Secondhand Styles and Alternative Economies” (The University of North Carolina Press/ 2017). She joins host Frank Stasio to discuss the distinctly American trend of voluntarily embracing secondhand clothing. Le Zotte takes readers from the early days when used clothes were taboo to grunge.

Whether it is done to protect the environment, fight capitalism or just to be cool, the movement continues to grow with national chains like Buffalo Exchange and Urban Outfitters reaping the rewards.