This article comes with a disclaimer. There is no shame in second hand, it’s bloody brilliant in fact. There’s no shame in shopping small and supporting local designers either. There is no shame in buying nothing at all.
Our second-hand habit is a growing trend that shows no signs of stopping. According to the recent Thread up report, the resale market is set to be worth over 51 billion pounds by 2023. As the interest in the lifespan of our garments rises and sustainability becomes a necessity, not a perk when we shop; how could resale ever be considered bad?
We’ve broken it down a little to help you make the most of 21st-century thrifting.
Someone is still profiting
We’ve all had the clothing de-clutter phase. The nation embraced the craze after Marie Kondo sadly had us throwing out more joyless items than we’ve had hot dinners.
So what about the seller’s market for our unwanted items?
Selling clothes on for a second life is a good thing, in small doses. When the part-time becomes professional resale for savvy gen Z seller, we could be lining the pockets of those who are now being paid to keep the fast fashion wheels turning.
Have a look for the smaller sellers and slightly less busy grids on your favourite apps. If they offer an impressive turn around time with all brand new, ‘tags on’ thoroughfare, it’s probably worth a swerve. There is some good news. Some companies and ethical hustles do sample sales or discounts through resellers too, hidden amongst the 90’s grunge tees and retro levis. So you might be able to scoop a bargain and get assurance your money is supporting small, all in one go.
Resale is a cautionary tale but it can have a happy ending.
Slowing down is still key
Don’t get me wrong, finding a Depop designer bargain would give anyone an air of Miranda Priestly smugness that is truly satisfying. The temptation to keep adding to cart is where our downfall lies. Second hand slows the cycle of fast fashion down and gives new life to clothes destined for the landfill but a slower fashion lifestyle is the real key to sustainable style.
Pre-loved clothes are wonderful, provided they’re not looking worse for wear but so are the clothes already hanging in our wardrobes. There’s no requirement to quit fashion all together but when you’re a little overspent on second hand and your wardrobe begins to fill to the brim again, often the landfill beckons.
Our tip for mastering the wardrobe balancing act is to bring out 5 outfits you couldn’t live without. Have a look at what colours you’re drawn to, how you mix and match your favourite clothes for all occasions. Getting to know you’re wardrobe means you’ll pick something that blends into your current clothing cycle much better and you’ll avoid the dreaded back to the drawer clothing build up.