Second-Hand Clothing Gains Popularity in Argentina Amidst Economic Hardship

In October, the country's statistics office reported an annualized inflation rate of 142.7%, as announced on Monday.

Second-Hand Clothing Gains Popularity in Argentina Amidst Economic Hardship

Many people are now shopping at second-hand stores.

In October, Argentina experienced its highest annual inflation rate in over 30 years, reaching 143%. This surge in inflation has resulted in widespread difficulties for the Argentine population as people grapple with the challenges of meeting basic needs. The escalating cost of living has compelled many individuals to adopt frugal measures and make tough decisions regarding their purchases.

One of the most common sacrifices that Argentines are making is clothing. Many people are now buying fewer new clothes and are instead shopping at secondhand stores or borrowing clothes from friends and family. Others are repairing old clothes or learning to sew so that they can extend the life of their wardrobe.

In addition to clothing, Argentines are also cutting back on their spending on food, entertainment, and other discretionary items. This has led to a decline in sales at many businesses, and some companies have been forced to lay off workers.

The South American nation, the region's No. 2 economy and a major grain exporter, is facing its worst crisis in decades. Two-fifths of people live in poverty, and a looming recession is shaking up Argentina's presidential election run-off next Sunday.

Rising voter anger is propelling a radical outsider, Javier Milei, the slight favorite in polls on the presidential election, to beat Economy Minister Sergio Massa, the candidate of the ruling Peronist coalition, whose bid has been hobbled by his failure to rein in rising prices.

"You can't just go to the mall and buy something you like, as you did before. Today, prices are unthinkable," said Aylen Chiclana, a 22-year-old student in Buenos Aires.

New jeans cost more than double the price a year ago, representing over one-third of Argentina's monthly minimum wage.

In October, the country's statistics office reported an annualized inflation rate of 142.7%, as announced on Monday. The monthly increase stood at 8.3%, showing a decline from the peak levels observed in August and September and falling below the predictions of analysts.

Argentina has for years battled high inflation, which economists blame on money printing and an entrenched lack of confidence in the local peso. Inflation has accelerated over the last year to its highest since 1991.

Beatriz Lauricio, a 62-year-old semi-retired teacher, told Reuters that she and her husband, a bus company employee, go on weekends to a clothing fair to sell old garments to make ends meet.

"We're middle class, lower middle class, I would say. We have our jobs, but we need to come to the fair," she said, adding that when it was canceled one weekend due to bad weather, the couple's finances "collapsed."

"We're not doing this as a little extra so we can go on vacation to Brazil; we do it out of daily necessity," Lauricio said.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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