LOS ANGELES — Buying second-hand clothes or "thrifting" has become a trend for members of Gen Z. For some, it's the thrill of finding a unique article of clothing. For others, it's helping the environment.

For 18-year-old Vianey Cervantes, her love of thrifting is now helping her pay for college. The Los Angeles teenager has always loved fashion and finds going to thrift stores exciting.

"I think it's like super exciting to be there, one by one by one, and like find something super amazing, something that's really in and like, 'oh my god, I can't believe this is here,'" Cervantes said. 

When the pandemic hit, many thrift stores closed their doors and stopped taking donations. Cervantes saw this as an opportunity and started collecting bags of used clothes from relatives and friends.

"People would be like, 'This is so old like I don't even want it anymore,' and I'd be like, 'No, this is so new right now! This is what people want,'" she said. 

She started her own business, even targeting relatives and friends in their 40's and 50's encouraging them to do a little spring cleaning, hoping they had saved items they wore as teenagers.

She sells the items online and, twice a month, heads to the Los Feliz Flea Market with her cousins and sets up a booth. 

That's where she attracts shoppers like Jade Gardea, who says for her, the '70s, '80s and '90s "era of style was just iconic for a lot of people, and I think it's just coming back, and I think history repeats itself a lot."

Cervantes said she makes more money selling online than at the flea market but being at the flea market gives her an idea of what people are looking for and the latest trends. While Cervantes loves fashion, for now, this is something she does for fun. She's actually starting her sophomore year at Cal State Fullerton and hopes to become a therapist.

"It definitely helps for college, for my textbooks because those are a little pricey," Cervantes said.

While it's helping her pay for college, it's also her way of helping the environment and making sure fashion doesn't go to waste.