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The fad about secondhand clothes

By: Troy Jacobs

7 November 2019

What’s the fad about secondhand clothes?By Troy Jacobs

In today’s fashion scene — old is new. Retro brands such as Kappa, Champion and Fila are becoming popular again, especially if they are secondhand.

Along the hustle and bustle of South Beretania Street lies a secondhand clothing store called Harbors Vintage. Arik Ma, who owns Harbors Vintage, sells, buys and trades used clothes dating from the ‘80s and ‘90s. He also sells secondhand modern-day streetwear.

Ma also says vintage clothes carries a unique story. “This item is special because of this reason. Maybe you could only have got it like at that one concert,” he said. Even the old distressed style of used clothes has its distinctive look.


Shopping for vintage clothes is also sustainable. Buying secondhand items can lower the number of resources that are used when manufacturing clothes.

“It’s kind of like recycling and finding new life in things that would be thrown away or wasted,” said Ma.


Fashion enthusiast Nhi Quach recently bought three shirts for $10 each at Harbors Vintage.

When Quach shops for vintage clothes, she looks for good quality and affordable prices.

“Because when you go to stores like Forever 21 nowadays, they have cheap clothes, but it’s really low quality.” said Quach. “But if you get used clothes, they’re cheap, but they are also very good quality.”

Ma hopes to see the fashion scene in Hawaiʻi grow as he encourages everyone to shop for secondhand clothes.

The thrill of looking through a clothing rack and stumbling upon a used, cheap shirt you remember from your childhood is what draws people into buying old clothes. This form of shopping is known as thrifting.

According to Ma, everyone wants to be different nowadays. “It’s like things that you can’t necessarily find in the mall like readily,” says Ma. “You never want to see anyone wearing the same thing as you.”

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Photo by Troy Jacobs: Many customers visit the store everyday to buy vintage clothes

Many of the shoes, clothes and accessories are secondhand but still wearable. 

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