Thiftshop Throwdown: Clare Josten

Clare Josten competes to find the best bargain for clothes.



Michelle Abbott


Clare Josten arrived to a plethora of clothing choices and $25 at her venue of choice – Value Village in downtown Puyallup.

Josten thumbed through the shirt section, and then darted to the shorts aisle.

Afterward, she made a dash to the dresses and discovered a pair of petite red heels. Although encouraged by onlookers to buy those snappy heels, she decided they just didn’t fit. The heels weren’t her style, but she purchased a pair of snazzy shorts, tank top, a jean jacket and a purse, all of which came to the grand total of $22.93.

When Josten arrived at Value Village with her photographer, spectators were charmed.

“Honey! This is a picture moment!” said an older gentleman in the “shorts” aisle.

The gentleman explained that a young person shopping in the thrift store is unheard of. He said kids these days are much more likely to shop at the mall.

That may have been the case, until Macklemore released his independent single “Thrift Shop,” which made it to the number one spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. The Seattle-based rapper has taken the young hipster subculture by storm.

As an independent, he’s had the rare success of selling 2.2 million copies of the single.

Now, the younger generation is more willing to go against the grain and purchase clothing that costs up to 90 percent less than at a department store.

Proceeds from places like Goodwill and Value Village go back to local communities and provide jobs. Shopping there is less expensive for consumers, and it helps the environment through reducing waste going into local landfills.

Josten circled the store several times before deciding on her final choices because so many options were available.

Although it turned out to be a tough decision, Josten left with a satisfied smile and a bag full of “new” clothes.


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Thiftshop Throwdown: Clare Josten

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