September is not just the official beginning of Autumn (the Autumn equinox took place on Friday 23 September this year), it is also the month in which Sustainable Fashion Week takes place. If you’ve been following our journey as a sustainable retailer/blogger/champion, then you’ll know how important eco-conscious fashion is to us.
But why should you shop secondhand? And how? Are some places better than others? In this blog post we’re going to provide our top tips for secondhand and vintage shopping. Whether you’re ready to quit fast fashion for good, or you’re just not sure where to begin, we’ve got you!
So, why is secondhand shopping good for the environment?
Earlier in the year Bloomberg wrote an article about The Global Glut of Clothing Is an Environmental Crisis, which heartbreakingly counts how many pieces of clothing have been thrown away or destroyed since you opened the article.
It highlights the fact that unsustainability in the fashion industry isn’t just about clothes being thrown away. It’s also about the amount of plastic that is produced per year to support this habit, either through packaging or the actual clothing (think polyester) and the emissions that are created during manufacturing and transporting clothing.
Are you aware that fashion accounts for between 8-10% of global carbon emissions?
Fast fashion has led to a throwaway culture whereby the latest celebrity looks are disposal. They are quickly photographed and uploaded to social media before being returned or discarded, along with a pile of unwanted clothes.
Are there any changes happening within the fashion industry?
Yes, is the short answer. The longer answer is…
The BBC asked: Can fashion ever be sustainable? And that was two years ago. It said that a sustainable approach to fashion required changes across the board. It isn’t just about the manufacturing processes, but the materials that are used, and how clothing is distributed.
One thing we champion at Paguro Upcycle is the quality over quantity approach, which is echoed in the article. Purchasing quality items and looking after them can extend the life of clothes. But so too can reducing consumerist tendencies, whereby we buy more than we need, which fuels capitalism.
But it hasn’t been all bad this year. For instance, Love Island partnered with eBay for the first time and according to Euronews, since then, pre-loved fashion has seen a boost. What this tells us is that consumers are interested in making changes that make a difference and big brands need to adapt their offering to support environmentally conscious consumers.
How can you embrace secondhand shopping?
There are lots of ways you can embrace secondhand shopping. As we’ve already mentioned, eBay is an option. It’s a secondhand marketplace that sells everything from clothes to cars. There are also some buyer protections if items don’t arrive, but you don’t get the chance to return things if they don’t fit or you change your mind, so it’s good to know what you might do with these items if you don’t use them. Will you sell them, donate to charity, give them to a friend or family member?
Since eBay has grown in popularity, other online marketplaces have been developed. Etsy sells only vintage or handmade items, for example. Vinted sells clothing, shoes, accessories, etc., via its app. Besides online marketplaces, there are many physical shops selling secondhand items. From charity shops to vintage shops and more.
These are our favourite secondhand shops:
We’re especially lucky in the East Midlands, as we have lots of great shops to choose from and will share some of them below. Our focus here is on unique shops that offer affordable high-quality pre-loved fashion and handpicked vintage items that make a statement and prove that fashion doesn’t have to cost the earth.
A super cute shop, Second Love of Duffield, focuses on pre-owned designer and high-quality luxury brands for customers. It stocks ladies’ and men’s clothing, footwear, and accessories. This is just one example of the shops that are changing the image surrounding pre-loved clothing. There are lots of shops now that specialise in designer, luxury, and vintage fashion. So, you can create unique outfits for less while helping the environment.
White Rose is extremely popular in Nottingham. At last count there were six or seven separate White Rose shops in Nottingham City Centre with more in the surrounding areas (Newark, Beeston) and some further afield in Sheffield and Leicester. They also sell online. The ethos of White Rose is to carefully choose high-quality men’s, women’s, and kids’ recycled fashion. There are often popular and luxury brands in stock and many bargains.
So, charity shops might seem like an obvious place to pick up secondhand or pre-loved clothing, but what if you’re looking for a particular item or something a bit different? The BHF has recently opened a vintage shop in Nottingham City Centre. The handpicked items can help shoppers transform their wardrobes for less.
Sells online and in-store across the UK offering vintage clothing and accessories for women and men. There’s also a rework section which provides a place for everything upcycled. Cow prides itself on offering ethically sourced clothing from around the world at affordable prices.
These are just a few of our favourites. There’s also Wild Clothing, Braderie, and many charity and vintage shops across Nottingham, Derby, and the rest of the East Midlands. Next time you fancy getting a new outfit or need to replace an item of clothing, why not look for a pre-loved item instead of buying something new?