For some, receiving secondhand clothes and wearing them is a loud proclamation of what you lack, but for the Caribbean women who immigrate to the city, these clothes are a proclamation of all that they have — namely, their rich community. When Camryn Bruno, of Afro-Trinidadian descent, was growing up, she knew that before she went shopping at clothing stores like Rainbow and Dresses for Less on Merrick Boulevard and Jamaica Ave in Queens, her first destination for a new outfit would be her step-cousin’s closet. “It’s really a joy to repurpose clothes back into our communities so we can reduce waste. Thrifting is becoming the cool thing to do nowadays.” Barrel children
like Bruno are also equipped to tap into the skill inherent in reusing clothes: “[It’s provided] youth with an option to create small businesses and get revenue,” she says. In her eyes, seeing Gen Z take an active part in this cultural experience is a big step in the direction of financial literacy and building community.