Second Hand Shopping- Ideas To Shop Sustainably

Environmental sustainability has been a hot topic in the media forever now, opinions and actions are slowly changing for the better. We recycle on scale and turn off our lights when we leave a room, but there’s a frontier that has yet to be explored to its full potential.

The fashion industry. Fast fashion is still thriving and although many a movement has launched to start the trend change we are in an age of possibility concerning renewable or slow fashion.

Slow fashion is a concept created in the face of fast fashion, so, instead of buying a new £3 jumper from a high street chain you buy a handmade wool jumper for £30. You then keep it for as many years as it still fits and do whatever it takes to maintain its integrity and appearance.

In essence we are looking at the “buy less, buy quality, pay for the privilege” model of shopping, of course not everyone is able to stock a wardrobe with all their essentials using this. The opportunity that is under exploited and still stigmatised is the idea of second-hand clothes shopping.

Sarah Dooley recently released a documentary about the environmental impacts of fast fashion “Are your Clothes Wrecking the Planet”, I recommend the watch if this is something that you care about.

The wonderful thing is that we have so many opportunities powered by technology to rectify this. What can we do?

1.Buy clothes from charity shops.

This one is not a surprise but I have a trick for it. Go to charity shops in well known “affluent” areas because you’re more likely to bag an absolute corker. I recently bought a waterproof Barbour jacket for £30. Alternatively go to areas of high student population in June time.

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2.Buy and sell clothes on Vinted/Mercari.

Using the technology that you hold in your hand everyday you can leave items in your wardrobe, take a photo and host it for sale. You pick the price you would like for the item and post it.

The price shown to the customer will include the shipping price of the size package you indicated that it would be. I recently sold a night out dress for £15 on Vinted, it was fuss-free and got a lovely review from the buyer.

3.Speak to your friends who are a similar size to you.

I always ignored this option when I read magazines, but I’ve discovered the easiest way of sorting this out without feeling a bit cringey. Show them the documentary and discuss slow fashion options. Then organise a clothes swap  (the ones you’re willing to part with) and have a shop!

It’s a great way of making new friends, having a fun and cheap night in while doing your part for the planet.

I really encourage you to look into the slow fashion trend and see how beneficial some of the principles could be for you. It’s an exciting way to save money and resources while ensuring that you’re doing your bit for the environment- with a much bigger impact that you may first have thought.

Fancy holding your own clothes swap with new friends? Find your nearest Network here..

Written by Fiona Edwards.