This year, I’ve been talking about secondhand fashion a lot, and have even started an entire blog series about it. I’ve really been enjoying it, and I want to start going a bit deeper than just showcasing my secondhand finds. So today, I’m giving you five reasons to buy secondhand wardrobe staples. While also showing off this bird-print jumper I picked up in Barnardo’s a few weeks ago, because, you know, fashionblogger4lyfe.
1. It’s a seriously thrifty way to clean up your shopping habits
Let’s address the elephant in the room first: a lot of clothing is produced really, REALLY unethically. By buying clothes from fast-fashion retailers firsthand, we support the cheap and unethical production of garments. By buying secondhand, we’re not really supporting the original retailer and their substandard production methods, but we’re also not really making a stand FOR ethically produced fashion. There are a lot of amazing brands out there that put ethical production at the heart of their business, but they often come with price tags that I personally (and many others) just can’t afford at present. £120 for a pair of jeans? I’d love to, but I just don’t have the spare cash. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and have come to the conclusion that buying secondhand is the next-most ethical option, as it doesn’t directly support unethical manufacturing. Plus, it’s kind of like recycling – but more on that in a moment.
2. It cuts the end off the fast-fashion cycle
Here’s how fashion retailers would like the cycle to go: you buy new clothes – they’re out of fashion in three months – you ditch what you bought – you go back the shop to buy more. It keeps them in business, and it keeps you spending. If you’re buying a significant portion of your clothes secondhand, you’re altering your part in that cycle significantly. Instead of dumping your clothes and running back to the shop, you’re picking up what someone else has dumped. For a fraction of the price, I might add. Win-win.
3. You can support a charity
Buy donating your own unwanted clothes and choosing to buy secondhand from charity shops, you’re obviously supporting charity. If you’re selling on eBay, you also have an option to donate a percentage of your earnings to a charity of choice – I always go for Amnesty International!
4. You’ll find unique styles
Because everything sold on the secondhand market is probably at least one season out of date, you’ll be buying bits that not everyone else is wearing. Also, sometimes you can come across some real vintage gems – pieces that have been sitting in someone’s attic for a decade or two, but fit your style perfectly!
5. It keeps perfectly good clothing out of landfill
There is research showing that we throw away £140 million in garments every single year (WRAP UK). That is so wasteful in every way – wasted money, wasted clothing, wasted trash. Donating unwanted clothes keeps your own items out of landfill (and you can even donate ruined clothes for recycling), while opting to buy secondhand contributes to extending a piece of clothing’s life. What’s not to love?