The new year has begun and now it’s the perfect time to update your wardrobes ready for the year ahead. Shopping second-hand has become so popular in recent years. Our generation are realising the impact we have on the planet and how this can affect our future. We are becoming more aware of fast fashion and the dirty secrets that lurk beneath the industry such as poor treatment of garment workers to polluting rivers with toxic chemicals from clothing factories.
Second-hand shopping may seem hard when you first think about it. Maybe the thought of trailing through a charity shop and not finding something is what has put you off in the past – but that’s not the only way to shop second-hand these days. So many innovative apps and websites are being created to encourage second-hand shopping. Depop has grown in popularity recently and it is such an easy way to find second-hand pieces and sometimes you can even help out small businesses.
Shopping second-hand on these sites has so many perks. Not only are you not contributing to fast fashion, but things are cheaper AND you can find pieces that aren’t being sold in high street stores anymore. Seen some shoes you like but they don’t have your size? Check eBay or depop, you never know, someone could be selling them at a cheaper price. Using these sites makes second-hand shopping much easier, you can even refine your searches to find the size or colour you want.
If those aren’t for you and you want the more traditional way of secondhand shopping, then charity shops are the answer. As someone who shops second-hand most of the time, going through charity shops can be a very satisfying experience. Lower prices give an opportunity to try out something new and buy items you wouldn’t usually wear. You can find so many gems in charity shops, it’s like a treasure chest. It takes a while to pick up the tricks of thrifting through charity shops but once you start going to them more, you won’t want to pay full price for something new again. Since shopping in charity shops for the past 4-5 years, I really think about my purchases when I go into a normal high street store. Sometimes I have seen something new in a shop but have been put off by the price and then spot it in a charity shop a few weeks later (this is rare but it’s amazing when it happens). Designer items are often reasonably priced, some people don’t really check labels and just price them up, I once found a genuine Michael Kors bag for £2.50. Charity shops aren’t bad at all, just make sure to check over an item before you buy it and wash it before you wear it!
Vintage fairs have a great range of secondhand clothes and vintage pieces. Even though they are advertised as ‘vintage’ sales, I still recommend checking them out because there is always so much to choose from. These are so much fun to go to, especially with friends!
When you have a clear out of your wardrobe and there’s stuff you don’t want anymore, see if your friends would like anything before you donate it. If you do this to your friends then they’ll (hopefully) do the same when they clean out their wardrobes. I always ask my friends if they want any of my old clothes and most of the time they do. I love passing on my clothes and seeing my friends wear them in their own way. One of my favourite flannel shirts was given to me by my friend when she had a clear out!
Over the years I have found so many amazing pieces in charity shops and vintage fairs. My top tips would be to check every area of the shop. Sometimes things are put back on the wrong rails or put in the wrong place. If you are looking for band t-shirts or oversized shirts, check the men’s section. I have found many t-shirts in this section over the years including my favourite ever find: a genuine Harley Davidson shirt for £1. If you love flannel shirts then the men’s section usually has loads. Look in baskets and boxes of stuff, there could be some good stuff hidden in there. Going early in the week is another tip, new stuff is usually put out on Mondays!
Try out second-hand shopping, you never know what you will find!