Liam Bennett rejuvenates his closet through thrifting


Liam Bennett

Liam Bennett at the thrift store adding new items to his closet.

Junior Liam Bennett goes thrift shopping almost every day.

After dropping off his little brother at the YMCA on Burton, he promptly makes his way over to the Goodwill that’s not even a minute away. If he happens upon any piece of clothing that he could see himself sporting, he purchases it without hesitation.

However, not every item of clothing Liam buys goes straight to his closet. He has also discovered a way to make a few extra dollars by reselling clothes that he personally wouldn’t wear but knows others would die for.

Upcycling clothing can give [them] a second life. And also, you’re getting a lot more bang for your buck.

— Liam Bennett

“I like looking for older clothes and stuff that I think would be popular,” Liam said. “Workwear is really popular right now, so if there’s anything that’s Carhartt or Dickies, then I know I like wearing that stuff.”

Thrifting at Goodwill provides a wide variety of options. From vintage windbreakers to tacky floral dresses, there is a wide array of pieces that fit a wide range of personalities. Within the chaos of clothing, Liam has found a sense of placidness while searching for the items that fit his persona the best.

Thrifting can sometimes be like gambling: you win some, and you lose some. There are days when Liam returns from shopping with heaps of new clothing, and there are also days when he returns empty-handed. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially for novice thrifters who still expect to be successful each time, but Liam has learned that patience is the best way to persevere through the tough days.

Check out Liam’s Depop! @ememby

“Sometimes [thrifting] can be boring if there’s nothing there,” Liam said, “but it’s all worth it when you find something super cool that you’ve always wanted or even something that you didn’t know you wanted, but then you see it. And the risk is so low. It’s not like you’re spending a ton of money on something. So, if there’s something you [like but] don’t know if you’re going to wear it, you can always still buy it because it [doesn’t cost] that much.”

Thanks to the inexpensive costs of thrifting, Liam has been able to reinvent his closet without leaving his pockets empty. Along with that, by reselling some extra clothes, he’s even making a little bit of a profit.

The financial aspect is not the sole benefit that Liam takes out of thrifting. Ecologically, there are many environmental factors that go into clothing production that many blow past. Thrifting clothes allows for there to be less waste of nonrenewable materials.

“If I’m going to an H&M or a PACSUN, [I] think a lot more about where those clothes come from because a lot of the time, it’s from child labor,” Liam said, “but upcycling clothing can give [them] a second life. And also, you’re getting a lot more bang for your buck. So now, I look for good deals on stuff [at stores] because I know I could just find something like that while I was thrifting.”

Liam does not strictly have his own closet in mind while thrifting. Sometimes, he will find an item of clothing that he thinks will fit one of his friends perfectly. When that happens, Liam normally sends them a photo of what he found and asks them if they would like him to buy it for them.

While he relishes shopping for his friends, he also enjoys shopping with friends and family as well. Specifically, Liam enjoys going to the Goodwill Bins in Grandville with his cousin who lives in Lansing. It is a great way for the two of them to bond, and like at every family function, things can even get a little heated.

“[My cousin’s] dad found this really cool, old vintage Carhartt jacket,” Liam said. “He brought it over and was about to give it to my cousin, but then, he was like, ‘Hey, I know your Christmas present wasn’t really good, but do you want this first?’ I snagged it before [my cousin] had, and [he has been mad at] me ever since.”

As he shops both in solitude and with loved ones, Liam has been able to find items of clothing that are like a lost treasure. One of his best finds was a pair of Carhartt pants that he fell in love with. They were in near-perfect condition, so there was no denying that purchase.

Liam has been able to discover a new part of himself in the thrifting world. He has learned what clothes look best on him, on his friend, and how, as Liam so eloquently puts it, to get the most “bang for your buck.”

“When I started [thrifting, I] felt like I needed to get everything because it was so cheap,” Liam said. “But now, I’m more selective with what I want, and even though it’s a low risk, I still think a lot more if I’m going to wear something whenever I see it. And, I just think that’s the best way to do it.”