Via Hannah Klose – Never Ever Pay Retail
The perspective of a second-hand shopper
Buying items that already exist and have been used before, is the most responsible way to consume clothes.
The benefits include:
- Resources that have already been extracted from the earth are used to their full potential
- Less energy required
- The garment has not travelled far to get to your wardrobe
- You know that the garment is good quality because it has already been tested by previous wearers
- Second hand fashion is cheaper
- The profits from second hand clothes often go to local charities
- Plastic swing tags and packaging is avoided
- Clothing doesn’t go to landfill
- No chance of supporting seamstress exploitation
- Community building is encouraged through interaction with second hand shop volunteers and previous owners
The extra benefits of shopping second hand include the uniqueness of the garments, and the joy that comes from ‘the hunt’. Enough clothes currently exist on the planet for us all to be clothed, so let’s wear them rather than create anything new.
Jumping out of my role play, you can see that both arguments add up
If you have a heart for preserving precious resources and love a thrift hunt, second-hand shopping may be for you. If you cannot ignore the brilliant effects of the ethical fashion industry on people (both makers and wearers), then buy that ethically made dress.
Second hand versus ethical fashion will always quietly divide the sustainable fashion world. If it’s up to me, I would tell you to buy your basics from ethical fashion companies, and find unique vintage pieces from second-hand shops.
What type of shopper are YOU?