Call it what you will; vintage, second-hand, pre-loved or recycled fashion, when you choose to buy and wear clothes that are older than retail-shop-new, you will introduce a whole new level of joy to your closet.
Lets be honest, buying new clothes is a costly activity. Sure, you could fill your wardrobe with a assortment of badly made fashion on the cheap, which will probably pill, rip, tear, shrink or fall apart way before they should. On the other hand, buying higher-end fashion made using top quality fabrics will cost you big time, and that’s not good either.
Buying second-hand fashion is affordable and you can quite often get more bang for buck. You might not know your fashion labels, or maybe you do, but if you do happen upon a quality piece in a second-hand store, the likelihood is that wardrobe addition will be considerably cheaper than buying a similar piece new. Charity stores, market stalls, garage sales, clothes swaps, even online sites like Etsy can provide you with a range of fashion to fill your wardrobe starting from just a couple of dollars.
The Thrill of the Hunt
Those that shop second hand will agree that half the fun of finding a recycled fashion gem is in the thrill of the hunt. There is an element of luck when shopping for recycled wares; one day you could go home with nothing, and then next, leave with a number of fresh new threads for your wardrobe. For those with an appreciation for vintage fashion, there is nothing more satisfying going home with a classic vintage piece or a specific designer label in a style you’ve been lusting after for a long time.
Easier to Buy Quality Fashion
Even if you don’t know your labels or fabrics, it is easier to find quality clothing pieces than if you were to buy new. If you are to buy a brand new fashion piece, you might be disappointed with how it looks after that first wash or its appearance after a few wears. Whereas, when choosing second hand fashion (other than pieces that you find with a label still attached), it has been worn and washed by someone else, so if that garment still retains its condition when sold pre-loved, you could be on to a good thing.
It’s Better for the Planet
Exact figures for Australian waste is hard to come by, but according to Deakin University, the United States generates more than 11 billion kilograms of textile waste each year with only 15 per cent recycled* That is a lot of clothes. With so many decades of fashion behind us, it seems a bit silly to buy new fashion when there are years and years worth of clothes in circulation. Not only are you saving older clothes from potential landfill, you are also choosing not to buy new, which if done on a larger scale, would cut down the demand on the manufacturing processes associated producing new fashion, and therefore reduces the strain on our natural resources. (*source)
The joys of choosing recycled fashion, along with it being environmentally friendly and value for money, is the fun you can have with your outfits. Buying second hand fashion won’t cost you the earth, and because of that, you can afford to have a little fun with your recycled outfits. Experiment a little, buy colours or styles that might be out of your comfort zone – if you change your mind, you won’t loose much money, and you can always donate your ‘unwanteds’ back again if you wish.
If you’re the type that prefers a second opinion, why not dedicate a day of second hand shopping with your friends and hit up a few op shops, a market or a clothing swap event; not only will you potentially snag a bargain or two, but you can also laugh at some of the funny stuff you leave behind, too.PIN FOR LATER Guest Post by Erica Louise, images My Poppet
Erica is environmentally passionate, and believes that new style can be recreated from old. Rather than landfill our beautiful planet with fabric, she prefers to buy second hand clothing, refashion, and create her own outfits. Recycled outfits make fashion more sustainable, and fun.
Read Erica’s blog – Recycled Fashion
Updated – Originally published June 2015