Dressing the future through the past

Houston-based thrift owner brings affordable picks for vintage-loving Aggies
Dressing the future through the past
Photo by Fayobami Taiwo

Thrifted Threads dresses the future of Aggieland through its past.

Located in the heart of Aggieland, Thrifted Threads opened its second location in August 2023 at 815 Texas Avenue. Despite less than a year of business, Aggies were confident in choosing Thrifted Threads as their favorite vintage clothing shop of 2024.

Shortly after opening its first location in Houston, owner Laith Awad capitalized on the community Bryan-College Station offered by opening the second location here.

“What drew me into College Station [was] just noticing that there’s a high demand out here with not much for students to pick from,” Awad said. “It was something I always had my eye on for years. But [first], it was me developing the brand in Houston and then expanding out to College Station and hopefully other cities.”

Before starting Thrifted Threads in Houston, Awad sold clothes to friends and family as a senior in high school.

“I was fortunate enough to understand how the supply chain of actually acquiring these clothes out of the textile recycling facilities works because my family’s into the wholesale and the textile recycling industry,” Awad said.

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Awad’s family highlighted the importance of recycling throughout his childhood, allowing him to appreciate the recycling process, Awad said.

“My dad’s been recycling textiles since [19]98,” Awad said. “He knows nothing about vintage, though, that was kind of when [I], as a younger generation, [came] into the game … My family probably recycles around 10 to 15 million pounds a year of clothing. I definitely have always realized the impact on the environment that we make.”

Awad said he viewed each store as a canvas to create art and memories for the customers. While both locations cater to different communities, each prioritizes the experience of the customer.

“For me, it’s more than just selling clothes,” Awad said. “It’s building out the whole brand image and just showing what the brand is about and give people that feeling of just somewhere cool to be, somewhere nice to shop. You [can] take photos outside, hang out and stuff like that.”

Not only does Thrifted Threads go through several rounds of curation to dress Aggies in the past, but internationally as well.

“I have a team of pickers [that] I train them [on] what we could resell,” Awad said. “They’ll start sourcing from there and then it’s me curating. After that, it’ll go through three levels of curation before it actually gets to College Station. We ship all around the world. We do over 100 packages a month to Japan or over 500 packages a month to Canada so we’re definitely a nation worldwide. Australia is also a big player for us.”

Customer experience is a priority for everyone who is a part of the Thrifted Threads staff, as employee and education junior Ashtyn Poth said that’s what makes them unique.

“I love seeing students especially be able to de-stress come here,” Poth said. “Lots of them will just grab ice cream, come sit here, play some games and chill, which is really cool. And then they can shop up. Prices are very, very affordable for college students, which I love. And that it’s sometimes really hard to find.”

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Poth said thrifting has always been a hobby of hers, and, being from Houston, she frequented Awad’s first location.

“I loved going with my friends in high school, we would go all the time,” Poth said. “It’s just the uniqueness of it that I love and knowing that if I buy a shirt here, it’s very unlikely that anyone will have anything similar.”

Thrifted Threads keeps Texas A&M gear stocked to provide Aggies with unique school-wear. Poth said her favorite find from the shop is a T-shirt from the late 1980s, when A&M’s defense earned the title “Wrecking Crew” due to its success in Southwest Conference football.

“Back then, we used to call the defense the ‘wrecking crew’ because it was a really good defense for the past couple years,” Poth said. “That’s my favorite shirt. A big vintage football player with a wrecking crew on it from A&M. I’ve never seen it anywhere.”

Thrifted Threads has created an environment where people are not only welcome to shop, but also hang out in a unique shop. Aggies have seen the impact Thrifted Threads has had on the community, hosting events every month to further show its commitment to providing students with a fun atmosphere.

“It’s so positive here,” Poth said. “I never have a bad day at work, which I’ve never experienced before.”

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