Secondhand September

5 Reasons why we should be shopping preloved

It’s here! Secondhand September is upon us, and whilst I’m a firm believer that we can all benefit from shopping preloved all year round, a month dedicated to the cause is a great opportunity to talk about why. The term’ second hand’ also known as thrift, preloved or vintage clothing, has gained popularity in recent years as a sustainable and affordable alternative to fast fashion. Gone are the years where we were unaware of the devastation fast fashion brands are causing this planet. It only takes a simple google search to see the piles and piles of clothing that are going into landfill or be made aware of the shocking conditions people are expected to work in to produce these garments we buy, wear, and throw away so easily.

This blog aims to boost the many benefits of second hand clothing, including not just the positive impact on the environment but on the economy and individual style too! You only have to browse the reasons below to see that second hand is not just an option, but a very attractive choice too. 

1 Environmental Impact

Whilst this blog is not dedicated to the benefits to the planet alone, it is, of course one of the most compelling reasons to choose second hand clothing and not just for secondhand September. The fashion industry is notorious for its high levels of pollution and waste. By opting for second hand clothing, we reduce the demand for new garments, thereby decreasing the need for production and its associated environmental costs. Can you imagine the power this creates if we all dedicated even just 50% of our wardrobe purchases to preloved items? There are fantastic apps dedicated to this now such as Vinted and Depop which means you can search for exactly what you are looking for and 9 times out of 10 find it for a fraction of the price (all whilst taking care of our planet too.) Buying second hand clothing prevents items from ending up in landfills, extending their lifespan and reducing textile waste. To put this into perspective, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average person throws away around 70 pounds of clothing per year. By purchasing second hand clothing, we can help divert these items from landfills and minimise the carbon emissions and water usage associated with their production.

2 Economic Benefits

Buying from thrift stores or online platforms allows individuals to find unique and high-quality items at a fraction of their original cost. This affordability is particularly beneficial for those on a tight budget or looking to save money. We are all living through a cost-of-living crisis right now, and everything is costing us more so being able to buy second hand means we keep more money in our pockets, manage to keep money circulating and get ourselves into less financial difficulty. Moreover, purchasing second hand clothing supports local businesses, such as thrift stores (like us!), which often contribute to the local economy and provide employment opportunities. If we really don’t want large corporations to take over entirely, it is absolute key that we continue to support small local independents.

A study conducted by ThredUp, an online second-hand clothing retailer, estimated that the resale market is projected to reach £51 billion by 2024. This growth not only benefits consumers but also stimulates economic activity and job creation within the secondhand clothing industry. Supporting secondhand September, means supporting your local charity shops and businesses too, as well as your own pocket.

3 Individual Style and Expression

Onto more personal and fun reasons to support secondhand September! One advantage of secondhand clothing is the opportunity it provides for individual style and self-expression. Unlike fast fashion, which often promotes mass-produced trends, second hand clothing offers a wide range of unique and vintage pieces. By exploring thrift stores or online platforms, you can discover more one-of-a-kind items that reflect your personality and allow you to stand out from the crowd.

Fashion icons Alexa Chung, Sienna Miller and Kate Moss are known for incorporating vintage pieces into their wardrobes, creating their distinctive styles. Even in the online world, more content creators are stepping away from large fashion hauls with fast fashion brands in favour of promoting the likes of Vinted and Depop as well as other independent secondhand retailers online to promote the wide range of secondhand goods people can find. Secondhand clothing allows us to experiment with different eras, styles, and aesthetics, fostering creativity and personal expression. There’s so much to love about this one!

4 Keeps Items in Circulation

With all the above in mind, what’s wonderful about buying preloved is we can also sell preloved. It’s a wonderful way to not only save money, but to make money too. At a time where extra income and more flexible working is desirable, selling your clothes once you are finished with them is a wonderful way to keep items in circulation. It’s less waste, and a little extra pocket money for you too! 

A seller’s income can vary from a bit of extra money each month to a sizeable amount with many taking up buy and resale as a hobby when finding bits and pieces buried away in charity shops, the depths of their wardrobes or in online stores. Whether it’s your own clothes or finds you come across in your search, keeping clothes in circulation is of great benefit all round. So this secondhand September, it might be worthwhile seeing what’s in your wardrobe!

5 The Feel Good Factor

We live in a world that is fast paced. Our capacity to ‘do good’ is limited greatly. For most, it’s not that we don’t want to do better, it’s that we lack the resources or the time. But the great thing about shopping preloved, with the vast range of stores doing this online now, means that it is no more time consuming or complex than shopping in a fast fashion store.

So in addition to wearing preloved items, we get to wear our clothes with an added bit of feel good that what we are doing is going to have a sizeable impact for good. Here at Eco-Able we are big fans of doing a little often, rather than taking it all on and it not being sustainable (excuse the pun!). So perhaps set yourself a challenge this Secondhand September. It could be to spend the next year shifting your purchases to 75% new and 25% preloved. Perhaps you might aim to browse preloved before you hit a fast fashion store. Or you might simply try to pop into the local charity shop or thrift store next time you are in town. Whatever it is, remember, big changes start small.

secondhand September
secondhand September
secondhand September

For all our Thrifty McThrifties we will be part the The Rewear Revolution as part of Sustainable Fashion Week 25th Sept-8th Oct. We will be holding a sustainable fashion show on 7th Oct 2pm-4pm. To find out more about all of the events taking place please visit https://www.sustainablefashionweek.uk where you will find a huge programme of brilliant events to enjoy too!

Plus don’t forget to check out our weekly online selection of preloved pieces in our Money Saving section.

Happy Thrifting friends

Dani x

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