Fashion / Shopping

Houston’s Thrifting Craze Reaches New Heights With Mega ThriftCon Shopping Bonanza

When Thrifters Take Over an NFL Football Stadium Complex

BY Jenna Baer // 07.03.24

Thousands of attendees browsed through tartan micro skirts the size of belts and groovy jumpsuits galore during ThriftCon Houston at NRG Center, the convention space next to the NFL football stadium that’s home to the Houston Texans. Complete with the musical stylings of a live mariachi band and more than 100 vintage and resale vendors, the thrifting market created a communal atmosphere.

This traveling thrifting convention was created in 2019 by co-founders and entrepreneurs Mars Conte, David Bywater and Ken Meade in Denver, Colorado. The clothing collaborative has since expanded to include Atlanta, Portland, Oregon, and of course Houston.

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the high heels at ThriftCon.
Everything is bigger in Texas, including the high heels at ThriftCon.

Devotees of Houston’s thrifting scene showed up in droves for bargain deals and one-of-a-kind pieces. Rows of resale vendors dotted the center of the industrial space. Carts filled to the brim with clothes, which were sold by the pound, lined the walls. 

The clothes and shoppers spanned across the decades. Tweens and those who might have once sported bell bottoms in their younger years browsed the racks for unique items side by side. Though there were plenty of decades to select from, the Y2K aesthetic was the most plentiful. Millennials can rejoice (or recoil) that their childhood outfits are making the biggest comeback to date.

Bell bottom pants make a splash at ThriftCon Houston.
Bell bottom pants make a splash at ThriftCon Houston.

Thrifting For a Cause

In addition to selling everything from high end sneakers to antique tables, ThriftCon organizers arranged a clothing drive to benefit Fort Bend Women’s Center. Attendees simply dropped off their bags of pre-worn clothes before shopping for new additions to their own wardrobes.

More than 12,000 people attended ThriftCon in Houston over the course of two days. Brian Frederick, ThriftCon’s vendor manager, reveals that the organization plans to return to Houston again next year after having such a successful turnout.

“We always look for places with a strong vintage scene already, and anyone there knows Houston has it,” Frederick says. “The venue, the people, the vibe, they’re always a perfect fit for what we’re trying to do.”

To learn more about ThriftCon and find out when it will be making its return to Houston, go here. In the meantime, there are plenty of thrift stores in Houston with fabulous finds to fill your closets with.

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