||This article may contain original research. (July 2012)|
A larger philosophy permeates the act of thrifting which celebrates the recycling of formerly-owned items, finding new use and new love for vintage material goods which had been thrown out, and the thrill of imagining what the former life of the item was like.
A zine called "Thrift Score", published in the 1990s by Ms. Al Hoff, celebrated this lifestyle. Many "resale" shops pull their more interesting items from thrift stores and sell them at higher prices - the premium is because the "digging for gold" has already been done.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, thrift came to the English language from an Old Norse verb meaning grasp or get hold of. Among several definitions, Merriam-Webster defines thrift as: careful management especially of money and claims its origins are Middle English, from Old Norse meaning prosperity, from thrīfask to thrive from the 13th century.
It is interesting that thrift, with roots as a verb, formally remains a noun by today's English standards. Though it is not a proper verb, thrifting or to thrift has found place in modern American language out of necessity. There seems to be no other verb that fits the term to shop for re-purposed/re-used products.
Thrifty is an adjective describing someone who spends carefully and saves money.
Thrifting lures a variety of different audiences. Two most commonly come to mind: 1) People who have no economic choice but to buy secondhand, 2) Bargain or treasure hunters. There is an emerging third audience and chances are it far outnumbers the first two. Simply put, this is an audience of smart shoppers consisting largely of families with a stay at home parent and young professionals. Their reasons for thrifting are a combination of the first two. Overall, these three groups thrift to save money because they have to or want to.
There are thrifters who prefer high quality secondhand items manufactured of natural materials due to its superiority over new mass-produced items with short life span. This group might also consider environmental aspects of purchasing items which withstand the test of time and by lasting long do not burden environment.
There is also a large population of people who thrift comprising members of alternative lifestyle and alternative fashion communities. This is sometimes due to related social issues associated with non-mainstream ideologies related to clothing(like as the anti-consumer movement) and/or due to the uniqueness and variety of product being offered versus common shopping centers.
With heightened environmental awareness, a new audience has come to thrift. The Eco-thrifter shops thrift stores because it is a finely tuned way to reduce one's carbon footprint with shopping behavior. The Eco-thrifter not only seeks to save money, but also to reduce their carbon footprint; even though this is one of the easiest ways to recycle, this form of supporting the environment has received little media attention.
Reasons for thrifting 
There are many reasons:
- Thrifting is a green practice involving the reuse, recycle, or re-style of a product and allows that product a longer life in its use thus diverting the product from a landfill.
- More often than not, thrifting supports charity.
- By definition of the noun, thrift, thrifting is a frugal practice that can bring significant savings to the thrifter.
- Thrifting diverts mass market spending into a market of one-of-a-kinds and originals.
- Socially speaking, thrifting is a lesson in the treasures a culture tosses and the junk people keep.
- Thrifting provides cheap, local access to a variety of styles from many eras and trends related to alternative dress styles that are not widely available in certain areas or are only found at more expensive specialty shops.
See also 
- Conspicuous consumption
- Simple living
- Seven Reasons to Be A Thrifter
- Thrift Jam Project & Wiki