Thrifting. Charity Shopping. Second Hand. Hand-Me-Downs.
Just a small selection of terms for items bought or received secondary (or tertiary..) from someone else. It’s on topic right now with Oxfam’s #secondhandseptember and is something that the people of the sustainable living community often get excited about.
When I was a kid, I was given clothes from cousins or family friends who’s kids had outgrown them. I was brought up in the early 90’s and quite frankly some of the outfits my mum dressed me in were far from cool. However, I was aware that these items were second hand and I used to feel a great deal of embarrassment about them. As a child, I was convinced that my friends would ‘know’ and other kids might have thought we were poor. As an adult, I am saddened that I felt like that as a child because now it’s hard to pull me away from a charity shop or thrifting opportunity.
New clothing items are being churned out daily in their masses and often use more water than you can imagine to manufacture. For the sake of a couple of wears, fast fashion is damaging to the environment. Last year (2018) it was estimated that 300,000 tonnes of unwanted clothing went to landfill in the UK, with a further £140 billion left sitting unworn in wardrobes.
Second hand shopping isn’t for everyone, some people really can’t get their little pea brains around the idea of wearing something that another human has owned. That’s ok, I’ll just judge you from here. For those who do get it, I’m sure you experience the same buzz that I get when I find an absolute gem in a charity shop and it’s perfect and it’s cheap. When we spend our money on second hand items we are supporting charities, or people looking to clear some space in their homes. We are saving items from landfill, reducing the demand for ‘new’ and ultimately saving our own pennies.
These days you don’t necessarily have to leave your home to shop second hand. There are so many platforms available to us now online and on mobile. I’ve been using eBay for years and years, but recently took a shine to Depop and Preloved. Beyond Retro is a great website (especially if you’re in the market for ahem *tacky* Christmas sweaters) or American sports jerseys.
All in all, I’ve grown up and opened my mind to a better shopping experience, and if you haven’t thought about it before, I would strongly encourage you to think about it now. For the planet.
If you’re on Instagram, these accounts have been a firm favourite lately with their thrifty finds and styling: