It’s Secondhand September again in a few days so I’m having a little post about just how much better is to choose secondhand clothes whenever possible. (By which I mean the moaning “but I never find my size/style/what I want” is just an excuse.) I do buy certain things newly like underwear, but the rest I do try to look for second hand options first.
I also use multiple places online and offline to buy what I want. I’m normally not only able to get as close as possible to my idea but often able to get the very same dress in the right size by looking at Vinted, EBay and other online and offline charity shops.
But let’s see, what are the advantages of secondhand clothing if you are still on the fence of jumping in and taking part in Secondhand September. Secondhand September is a campaign to encourage people to buy only second hand items for 30 days in the month of September.
1 Reduce the carbon footprint of the fashion industry
This is the biggest reason for me.
It is increasing demand for the textile industry, which accounts for approximately 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. More than aviation. Avoiding buying new garments saves precious resources, clean water, shipping emissions and energy just to mention the important ones. But it also helps to save animals, lands and habitats and finally because a lot of fast fashion clothes are made of virgin plastic and plastic is made of fossil – avoiding buying those helps to keep that in the ground where it belongs to.
2 Help the fashion industry become more ethical
Like I always say, it is not possible to be sustainable without paying attention to the ethical issues as well. Most fast fashion companies are relentlessly abusing human rights throughout their production stages involving problems with child labour, modern slavery and not providing a safe working environment. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Just like with slaughter houses: if people would really see what’s going on, they would stop eating meat. Same applies for the factories of fast fashion giants. If people were really aware what are they supporting with their money, they would stop buying the cheap clothes. Just imagine how much money a garment maker gets when a £3.99 t-shirt sells at H&M… well, a few cents only.
3 You save them going to landfill
That’s right. As bonkers as it sounds, 13 million items of used clothing ends up in UK landfill every week? Some of them are pretty much new, hardly worn. Some of them are brand new. (Much of the returned clothes are being sent straight to landfill. This is because many companies (especially big, fast fashion brands) don’t have the resources to handle returned goods. It’s literally cheaper to throw them away. How crazy is that? But not just in the UK, a mountain of unsold clothing from fast-fashion retailers is piling up in the Chilean desert, reportedly.
4 So much money to save
Buying second hand is so much cheaper! It will save you a LOT of money! I’ve no idea just how much I saved since I decided to shop second hand, but I reckon thousands!
5 So many to choose from since more and more people chose to shop second hand
This also defeats the main excuses as per above. There are more and more online and offline second hand shops to choose from. The more people treat fashion consciously, buy second hand, choose to rewear, rehome and upycle items – the more there is to choose from. Like I said I have no problem finding what I want for myself or for the kids. Whatever I don’t like anymore or bought wrong size/fit I just resell it or donate it. I’ve never spend that much money on a garment, so I never lost money on accidentally buying the wrong thing.
Will you give Secondhand September a go?