The topic of this article is going to be very informative as it might change your style, taste and mindset when shopping for clothes. You might be wondering what Frip means and what it has to do with shopping. No worries, you will find out everything while reading. As an avid fashion lover, I dedicate this article to talk about 10 reasons why thrifting or frip shopping, as it is called in Tunisia is better than fast fashion shops.
Before diving into the reasons why you should thrift your clothes from second-hand shops instead of purchasing them from boutiques, let us define the word frip and explore its origin.
Basically, frip is a short form of the French word “friperie” which literally means, according to the Urban dictionary, “used clothes”. Thus, it might be a verb so you can say I went fripping. Frip can also be used as a noun and it means someone who wears used clothes. Accordingly, the word also has several meanings including Marijuana; or the act of taking drugs; which is funny because Frip shopping is as addictive as drugs.
Rihab Boukhayatia, a Tunisian specialist in law and and a journalist points out that thrift shopping emerged in Tunisia after World War II. This means that, it is rooted in the consumption habits of our fellow citizens. According to her survey, 94% of Tunisians are thrifting consumers.
Thrift shopping is good for the environment because it keeps clothes out of landfills, reduces carbon and chemical pollution caused by clothing production, and lowers water consumption.
Carina Woudenberg tackles this topic as she states that making secondhand purchases is naturally eco-friendly: You’re giving new life to something ordinarily destined for the landfill and likely saving some money and supporting a good cause.
Most thrift shops also support local charities, which some could be for environmental causes.Lana Teramae
Price VS worth
Thrift or frip shopping never fails to surprise you. You can find authentic and limited edition pieces that would have cost a fortune if you were to purchase them at brand stores. You can get a dress for 100 TND from fast fashion shops but with a very poor quality. However, with the same price, you can not only get 4 or 5 dresses with a unique style and a better quality but also you will be able to buy a sandwich for you and your friend on your way back home, with a smile on your face. This is actually a rewarding habit that Tunisians do after a whole morning of thrifting. Makes sense, right?
Frip shopping can be a huge motivation for you to walk around and train your muscles. Going from a corner to another, bending sometimes to try on shoes and using your arms to get the best out of each pile you find, can be an effective workout routine for your body. Especially if you are someone who works from your desk and rarely finds the time to stretch. Thrifting once a week for some hours can do you good mentally and physically.
On the days that I want to do a fun activity that I enjoy, and that will help me get my body moving and keep me active, shopping is the way to go!Doctor Vero
93% of garment workers suffer from rights violation. Brands do not provide them with proper equipments, insurance nor a decent wage. That’s why, by adopting the habit of buying second hand clothes, you won’t further encourage exploitation of workers.
A research conducted by Globus blog finds that growing consumer awareness around fast fashion increases when consumers start thinking about the need for change; after all, it is hard to remain passive when faced with the shocking facts about the industry’s impact on climate change, environmental degradation (three out of five fast fashion items end up in landfill).The most straightforward action to address these awful facts is boycotting – simply resisting the temptation to buy more and more of the latest trends.
In a world full of copycats, be an original! Dressing like everyone else will not bring you any added value. Our originality of thought is reflected in the way we dress. Thrifting nowadays isn’t considered only for the poor who cannot afford clothes for their kids. Talking about Tunisia, you can find all social categories making an effort to look good with a cheaper price. Just look at how Tunisian Instagrammers and Tiktokers are doing frip hauls. More often than not, the pieces you find at thrift stores are authentic designer clothes. Let’s make clear that frip clothes in Tunisia are basically brought from Europe especially Italy and the UK. This makes the chance of copying your style, in Tunisia, lowkey impossible. So girl, dig into that pile of bags and get yourself a PRADA gem!
Have you ever heard about thrifting buddies? Those are the people you meet when frip shopping. You might be looking for a pair of shoes and asking the one in front of you to help you find it. There, a friendship bond emerges and you become thrifting buddies. Fripping with a friend can be a real pleasure but doing it with someone you don’t know by just exchanging smiles or fashion advice is something that doesn’t happen in regular shops. You might fight at first in case both of you are looking for the same pair of shoes but you will get over it and make up in minutes. Eventually, you can really enjoy conversations with people you meet at thrifting shops who can share important things with you like a natural human connection that is rare to happen in fancy shops.
Thrifting in Tunisia isn’t only about clothes, you can find other things that might be of a huge interest to you.
Finding expensive books while thrifting is really something to be considered special. Personally, as a fan of American movies, I always end up finding books of movies I watch. The last book I found was “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. I really cried my eyes out reading pure sadness and tragedy. Once you feel like stories are better read than watched, you will be addicted to books thrifting. You can also find expensive books sold for a very cheap price. It is common to buy GOT books with just 1 TND. Dm me to get the exact location if you happen to be in town and interested in this offer!
If you are moving out or thinking about changing your house decoration, frip shops are your go-to shops when looking for home appliances, decoration, furniture and even curtains. I once found a LED strip light and it lasted longer than expected.
Musical instruments can be really out of budget nowadays. So before you head out to your local music store, check your local thrift shop. They may have what you are looking for at a great bargain.
Just in case you are feeling down after a long week of hard work and dull convesations, wandering in thrift shops can be therapeutic. Nothing beats a morning spent at frip seaching in piles of clothes to find what you want. In Tunisia, frip can be found everywhere: on the street, under plastic tents, in tunnels and garages, in rooms made of wood and zinc sheets, under trees and even in abandoned buildings. They might look as if they are in disastrous conditions, but the fact that you won’t find them in clean, and modern stores with perfect lighting and air conditioning gives them a certain charm. The activity itself is an adventure that boosts your mood in no time.
Thrift merchants VS shopkeepers
There is a difference between thrift merchants and shopkeepers, you will find that thrift shop owners are funneir and more cheerful. They welcome you wholeheartedly and even smile at your face when passing by. They don’t actually do this to sell you what they have. However, it is just a way to show how down to earth they are. They also appreciate their clients especially if you become a regular. By becoming a returning customer, you become privileged in the sense that you get great discounts and and a phone call when new pieces arrive. This is in stark contrast to shopkeepers who keep following you wherever you step a foot and give you colors and sizes you never ask for. Needless to mention the fake smile they wear to encourage you to buy just to sell their goods even if you look like a potato trying on their clothes.
Thrifting in Tunisia is coming to an end
Soulaymane Loum in his article on The Tunisian magazine “Tunisie Numerique” highlights the fact that thrifting is coming to an end in just 2 years. He explains that the Coronavirus pandemic has affected the pace of trade with Europe, a major supplier of used clothing. Successive confinements and restrictions over the past 2 years have had a major impact on European travel. The pandemic and the resulting economic crisis have accentuated changes in living habits in Europe. Moreover, in France, there are now a multitude of companies and electronic platforms that live solely on recycled articles and used clothing. With the emergence of the current economic crisis, instead of donating their clothes, Europeans are now trading their things directly on their smartphones to sell and earn money instead of handing over their old stuff to charities as they used to do.
Bottom line is, as long as you have time, for a better, cheeper and more sustainable way of clothes shopping, go fripping!
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