For many, clothes are but tenants to our closets and wardrobes, staying for some time before being sent away because they no longer abide by our individual fashion rules. When kicked out, they usually end up at a secondhand shop if not thrown away. But one Auburn student has sought to sift through and thrift these outfits adrift, giving them a facelift through social media.
Tucker Brant, sophomore in management of information systems, sells T-shirts, jackets, sweatshirts and other appealing articles of clothing he rediscovers at thrift stores through his Instagram page, known as “Continental Thrift.” The personal side business of Brant’s began after he became interested in sharing his thrifted fashion finds with others so standout clothing wouldn’t become submerged in a sea of clothing racks.
“I started the page my junior year of high school, but before that I had kind of thrifted for a while,” Brant said. “It’s always been a little bit of a hobby of mine; that’s where I get the majority of my clothes because it’s cheap and what a lot of people don’t know is you can find a lot of really good stuff.”
Brant was inspired by other, similar pages he found on Instagram and decided to pursue the idea himself of giving clothing a new chance to be worn. As with any new business, Brant said he had to start small with his initial listing, but the page has become more lucrative over time.
“The first clothes I posted were actually some stuff from my closet that I hadn’t really worn in a while,” he said. “It’s been my main source of income for a little while.”
Brant mostly maintains a consistent theme of Auburn apparel, easy to find as a current student hunting through clothes in secondhand shops in and around the University. His most beloved Tigers find was one he couldn’t part with for the page that he said he wears to this day.
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“I found an ‘80s Auburn crewneck that was purple, which you don’t normally see,” Brant said. “It’s been faded so much that it’s almost purple, and I wear that a lot.”
As for his most valuable find, Brant said he once happened upon a T-shirt purchased at the 1985 benefit concert Live Aid featuring artists such as Queen, which he did sell to the tune of $250.
“I got that for 50 cents at a Salvation Army in Birmingham,” he recalled. “It’s really just how often you go and what to look for. Some T-shirts can go for a lot; there’s a pretty big market for [them].”
Brant’s thrifts have come from a variety of stores around Alabama and west Georgia, depending on what time of year it is. The local area can be more challenging though, Brant said, as he isn’t the only student in on thrifting.
“During the summers I live in Birmingham, so I offer a majority around Birmingham,” he said. “I go to a lot of places there. When I’m in Auburn, there are about three thrift stores here. All of them are kind of picked over most of the time. A lot of college kids like to go thrifting; it’s an easy way to get cheap clothes.”
Because of this, he sometimes makes weekend drives to Columbus, Georgia, where there’s greater inventory available.
“They have something called a Goodwill Outlet Store where they sell clothes by the pound,” Brant said. “I’ll drive down there on Saturday mornings, sit there from 8 [a.m.] to 2 [p.m.], sifting and digging.”
Brant said his ideal items are more often vintage clothes rather than modern branded offerings, as outfits of a 1980s aesthetic are on trend, but sometimes the two converge.
“I try not to focus on brands – I like vintage stuff — but [brands] like Nike, Adidas, Reebok ... that most people wear, they’ve got some older designs that a lot of people haven’t seen I think are really cool,” he said. “Whenever I find an old Nike jacket or windbreaker, I get pretty excited.”
Most of Brant’s followers up to this point have been gained through word-of-mouth promotion, but he said the page isn’t his attempt at becoming a social media influencer; it’s about extending his passion for valuable thrifted threads to others.
“I really strive and focus to not just have a ton of followers,” Brant said. “I want everyone who follows me to have bought something or have considered buying something. I focus a lot on quality over quantity, ... stuff that I like, stuff that I know other people have bought before like. I like seeing people enjoy what they buy.”
Brant’s Instagram page can be found at @continental__thrift, where he publishes new sales when they appear in his occasional searches.
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