So what’s wrong with second-hand? I’ve noticed that there is a stigma about buying second-hand clothes and how wearing second-hand clothes may be degrading as you are supposedly reusing ‘trash’ that other people have thrown out. But honestly, who will know whether or not your shirt is second-hand? I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with buying second-hand clothes, but if you care so much, you don’t need to tell anyone where your shirt came from!
“Hey, I love your shirt! Where’d you get it from?”
“Thanks! It’s from Zimmerman!”
It’s true that my shirt is from Zimmerman, however, I just bought it from a market for a tenth of the original price! There have been so many times where I have found amazing pieces at second-hand markets and stores. I once found the most beautiful pair of Jimmy Choos at my local Vinnies, but was devastated when they weren’t my size.
People often associate second-hand things with words like dirty, old, out-dated, uncool, and sometimes even trash. But really, how often do you buy new clothes from a store and is guaranteed they are actually ‘new’? Unless you physically see the salesperson take the piece of clothing out of the packaging, it is very likely that several others would have already tried the same piece of clothing on. Ever seen a white shirt with makeup stains still hanging up in a store? Would you still buy that shirt? Some retailers would try to get the stains off with a baby wipe, and if that doesn’t work some even send it to the drycleaners and put it back on the rack like its brand new. So how is that really different from buying second-hand clothes? Yes, people have worn the clothes before, but then what are washing machines for?
Any big lover of fashion would know that the vintage trend has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Even several well-known fashion labels have been adopting the vintage look for their latest collections. One example would be famous American Retailer Nasty Gal, where their whole brand is inspired by vintage fashion. But there’s no better place to find amazing vintage pieces than op shops or second-hand markets. Not only do they have a wide range for you to choose from, but things are usually at a reasonable and relatively cheaper price!
Not a fan of wearing the same thing as others? Buying things from second-hand stores and markets will lower the chances of anyone else owning and wearing that same piece. As a person who loves fashion, I often see people wearing the same pieces, maybe even in a different colour, and I can immediately say, ‘Yep, that’s from H&M’, ‘Look, her skirt is from Top Shop’.
Also, what’s wrong with re-using and recycling? We often recycle glass, plastic, paper and metal, but we can’t recycle clothes? You can go to the most expensive and high-class restaurant, but do you expect them to serve you with brand new and unused plates and cutlery? You go to a bowling alley with friends, but do you buy a new pair of bowling shoes every time you go? Or in general, have you ever done activities that require special attire or equipment? Like snorkelling where you need goggles or scuba diving where you need a wetsuit, snowboarding or skiing where you need shoes and a board or skis, or went biking or go-karting where you need a helmet? Would you buy all this equipment new?
But ultimately, I want to go back to the first point I mentioned. Do you really care where your shirt came from? If you do, have you considered where your new shirt came from when buying it from a store? As mentioned in my previous blog post, did you know that it takes 2,700 litres of water just to make a SINGLE T-shirt? Think of the negative effects this has on the environment. We are only talking about water here, what about the other pollutants used when manufacturing clothing such as pesticides and toxic dyes?
You think second-hand clothes are dirty? Well the fashion industry is actually the second largest industrial polluter in the world. So technically, it’s the second dirtiest thing in the world, and you’re wearing it.
So that was my opinion on second-hand clothes. What do you guys think? I would love to hear your opinions!
I’m going to write a post dedicated to the negative effects the fashion industry is having on the environment. So stay tuned!