Claire Griffin, Photography
Artist Statement: Second Hand Heros
In the United States, there are currently 25,000 resale thrift stores in operation. Annually, about 1 in 5 Americans will shop at a thrift store. Much like any successful business, the customers are what keep thrift stores in business. Positive aspects like environmental repurposing and community outreach that these stores support, are an integral mission of thrift stores. This project aims to honor both the individuals who run the stores, and the stores that serve as a foster home of discarded objects.
These individuals take in donations, sometimes thought of as trash and curate them into a museum of time-tested tokens, materialized memories, and secondhand steals. They work tirelessly and with incredible patience both guiding their staff and assisting customers in need. These ministers of mementos have every class of society come through their doors in search of a great find. Many expressed that they love what they do, and feel blessed to be able to give back to their communities, help our environment, and provide opportunities to community members that otherwise would not be available to them.
With this exhibition, I hope you will be inspired to join in this mission of repurposing your own goods by donating them in the boxes below, and become part of this greater good in serving your neighbors and helping your environment.