It’s been over 8 years since I’ve bought any new clothes, and yet, my wardrobe is everything I’ve ever wanted it to be. With such an abundance of clothing in our world, we are living in the golden age of secondhand fashion. Although there are a million reasons to shop secondhand, here are 10 of my favorite:
1. You’re generating less pollution.
The fashion industry is that the most pollutive industry on the earth, only second to grease (and we all skills bad the refining industry is). Throwaway culture and fast fashion have made synthetic and non-degradable materials like nylon and polyester very fashionable, resulting in the discharge of over 50 million tonnes of plastic micro-fabrics into the ocean each year. That’s like throwing about 50 billion plastic bottles within the ocean for the turtles to choke on!
Buying second-hand reduces the carbon, waste, and water footprint of a garment by 82%, and therefore, is one of the most fun and impactful ways to contribute to sustainability. If you’re interested in better understanding how your shopping habits affect our environment, you can calculate your fashion footprint here!
2. The “hunt” is SO satisfying.
You never know what amazing and unique pieces you may find when you go thrifting. Though initially, the sheer number of clothes in a second-hand store may be overwhelming to your senses, with just a little practice you can train your eye to spot the pieces which will cause you to jump for joy!
And once you find these stunning garments, you’ll get this overwhelming sense of satisfaction that courses through your veins, because across time, continents, and full communities, fate has brought this incredible piece of clothing to you!
3. You can afford brands that are normally out of your price range.
If you weren’t already aware, brands sell clothes for much much higher prices than what they are worth. This is especially true for exclusive high end brands like Gucci and Prada which sell items with almost a 1200% markup. Yes, it’s true that they do use better quality materials and labour than other brands, but it’s still not enough to warrant such a ridiculously high price.
Second hand stores very often strip these products of their brand mark-ups and sell them for what they are actually worth (or less)!
4. You’re decreasing the demand for fast fashion.
Fast fashion is not cheap, someone somewhere is paying for it; most likely, it’s a woman or child in a Bangladeshi factory or Vietnamese textile mill that pays for it with their sweat, efforts, and sometimes even their lives. According to a study by Huffington post, less that 2% of these women who produce clothes sold in western countries are paid living wages enough to even afford the $2 t-shirts they make.
By shopping secondhand, you’re helping reduce the demand for fast fashion companies who disregard the safety and wellbeing of their employees. You can click here to learn more about these shameful practices and why a revolution of the fashion industry is desperately needed.
5. New trends are just old trends making a comeback.
You don’t need to entirely abandon trendy and current fashion just because you’re buying second hand. It pays to remember that the large majority of new trends are just recycled and upgraded versions of trends that were popular in previous decades. Bell bottoms, duster coats, head scarves, mother jeans, corsets- these are just a couple of trends that were started by your mom or grandma’s generation and have recently made an enormous comeback!
Keeping an eye out for modern trends in second hand stores can lead you to some awesome vintage pieces that will make you stand out even while being current.
6. You can support good causes and your local economy.
Many secondhand stores are either travel by hard-working entrepreneurs, moms and pops, local charity organizations, or national charity organizations. Often when shopping secondhand you’re also contributing to a worthy cause, fuelling somebody’s passion, or directly supporting the family who owns the shop .
Goodwill, a secondhand franchise with over 3,300 stores, has special programs for hiring and training those with barriers to employment. The ESRA shops in Israel fund Education and Welfare Projects in their communities through the proceeds of the shops, and one among my favorite second-hand stores in Tel Aviv , Ani Shlishi, empowers at-risk youth by employing and training them at the shop .
9. You can experiment with and develop your style.
Yves Saint Laurent once said, “Fashion fades, style is eternal”. A truly fashionable woman features a strong individual style that’s intensely personal and constantly developing. Your style may be a major sort of your self expression.
A thrift store, and its infinite sort of clothes from different decades and makes , enables you to seem beyond whatever style large corporations are promoting as “trendy” for subsequent few weeks, and explore whatyou like, instead of what you’re advertised to love .
8. You can find higher quality clothing.
Up until a couple of decades ago, clothing was created to be long-lasting and robust. This is very different from the fast fashion produced today, which is designed to be worn out and discarded after just a few wears. As the pace of fashion increases and trends come and go within a matter of weeks, clothing manufacturers pay less and fewer attention to the standard of their products.
What you can find in thrift stores, despite being older, is often much better quality and will last you longer.
9. Every item has a story.
Secondhand simply means pre-loved. Every item that you simply buy secondhand comes with its own beautiful story and history. You may find a handcrafted sweater someone’s grandmother knitted their love into, or a shocking pendant someone bought for his or her lover a few years ago.
Each item has had a life before you and holds within it an endless mystery of memories. Buying these treasured pieces and breathing new life into them, connects you to a beautiful web of people, communities, and relationships that constitute the very essence of being human.
10. We already have more than enough clothes.
Everyone is always so surprised at the number of clothes I resell with the tag still on it. Sadly, less than 5% of unwanted clothes globally enter the second hand market, while the rest is sent to landfills. There is absolutely no need to buy new clothes when there are so many already produced and are in danger of being forgotten and discarded.
At Dressed by Danielle, you’ll even trade clothes that you simply not want in exchange for credit to shop! That jacket you liked at the shop but realistically will never wear might be swapped with a dress that becomes your new go-to!