I don’t know about you, but something really shifted in my mindset back in December. Where I would normally be thrilled at buying lots of lovely items for friends and family, I was actually more in the mood to buy for myself than anyone else. This doesn’t happen to me often, but there’s a reason I wanted to share this with you all…
Contrary to what you may think, I don’t buy a lot of clothing but when I do, I search for the items I want on preloved sites before buying new.
In 2021, I decided to take part in the “No New Clothes” challenge – you essentially pledge to not buy anything new for the length of the campaign which normally runs from June to the end of August.
To really put myself to the test, I decided to do the challenge for the first 6 months of the year. That meant buying nothing new except PJ’s, socks and underwear. I was still quite early on in my journey with ethical consumption and I found it so useful as a) it showed me how many items of clothing I don’t really wear; and b) how great shopping for second-hand clothing actually is!
One of the things I learned by only being able to shop preloved is that there are a few things that are actually better to buy as second hand clothing.
Leather + suede
Leather brings up a lot of controversy in the eco space. As leather is an animal product, many people choose not to wear it, however, vegan alternatives are normally plastic-based which is also harmful to the environment. I personally don’t mind leather (I’m a meat eater after all), but where I can, I prefer to buy pre-loved leather products.
Here are a few of the best pre-loved leather pieces I’ve seen lately.
Now shopping for luxury bags online is like an Olympic sport to me. I think there has often been some doubt as to the authenticity of pieces but more and more platforms have in-house authentication teams so buyers can rest assured what they’re buying is a true investment.
My best purchase to date was a Gucci bag that I had wanted for around 3 years. It wasn’t available in Europe and I saw that someone was selling it on Vestiaire for less than half price. When I eventually received the bag, I realised that it was brand new, with tags and all the protective wrapping still intact. Absolute bargain!
I personally haven’t bought denim second-hand but I know a lot of people that do and they all say the same thing. Certain classic styles (think Levi’s 501’s) are way better when they’re a little worn in. People often outgrow denim and tend to have a stack of it in their wardrobes so you will always be able to get your hands on good quality pieces.
As with denim, people tend to have loads of coats in their wardrobe that go unworn. Styles come back around so maybe try searching for recurring trends to see what crops up. Save the styles you love to a Pinterest mood board so you can always refer back to them when you are ready to add second-hand clothing to your wardrobe.
More on sustainable fashion + shopping second-hand clothing:
- How to shop and sell second hand according to the experts
- The hassle-free, sustainable way to donate unwanted clothes and start afresh for 2023
- I’m a sustainable fashion queen but I still shop at these high street stores. Here’s why
- Sustainable, eco, greenwashing, slow fashion: what does it all mean?
You wouldn’t believe me if I told you that I managed to nab the sold-out COS bag of the season second-hand, would you? The thing about cult pieces is they’re often available after a short time on second-hand sites because people move on to the next trend.
Now this bag was only about £10 cheaper than buying it brand new, BUT I felt better knowing that I got one already in circulation and was removing an item from going to landfill.