Second-hand clothes stores seem to be sprouting everywhere, including the major cities and towns. This shows that people are warming up to the idea of buying used clothes.
As a person who has never walked into a second-hand clothes store, you may wonder why people seem to love these clothes.
Well, there are good reasons why you should wear used clothes, ranging from quality, style, cost and most importantly, environmental sustainability.
This article seeks to explore why you should proudly wear used clothes, where to buy them, and whether used clothes can be recycled instead of being dumped into a landfill.
Why should you wear used clothes?
It is more eco-friendly to wear used clothes
With the textile industry doing a lot more harm than good to our environment, buying used clothes is certainly more eco-friendly. The rate at which landfills are coming up due to disposing of clothes is worrying. Besides that, enormous amounts of resources in terms of water and energy are used when making a single piece of cloth.
Research has revealed that manufacturing a single kilogram of textile can release up to 20 kilograms of the harmful greenhouse gas into the environment.
The process of buying a second-hand piece of cloth is somewhat time- consuming. But, you will be saving the planet from pollution whenever you do so.
Used clothes are unique and stylish
Sometimes, you go out of your way to buy a brand new, stylish piece of clothing, only to walk into an event and find someone else wearing a similar outfit. Part of this can be attributed to the fast-fashion effect where people rush to buy trendy clothes’.
However, with secondhand clothes, you can easily find stylish, timeless clothes. These are rare gems and the chances to find someone else wearing a similar garment is almost nonexistent. If you want to always be unique, used clothes is the way to go.
Used clothes are pocket-friendly
Many are the times you walk into a top designer shop and covet an elegant looking dress, only to realize you can barely afford it. So, you either decide to break your bank and buy it, or move along.
The truth is that with a little time on your hands, you can get an equally stunning dress in the secondhand market at a cheaper price. Moreover, you may even get several at a fraction of the designer’s dress price.
With that being said, used clothes are way cheaper than brand new ones. You can save hundreds of dollars by buying clothes at second-hand clothes outlets. This is money that you could spend on other important needs.
Used clothes enhance your creativity and personal style
Certain looks are highly advertised and publicized. These create the new fashion trends that most people, especially the younger generation look up to. With used clothes, you can redefine, re-create and develop your own inspiring personal style.
For instance, if you want an authentic vintage look, you can go to a used clothing market and get some vintage pieces. This is something that you’ll probably not find in the high-end stores.
You can set an example to the people who obsess with fast fashion, thinking it is the only way to look good. Once they realize second-hand clothes are equally good, they might form a culture of wearing used clothes, which prevents wastage. This is a positive influence, mostly, to the young fashion-oriented generation.
Used clothes offer a guarantee
Normally, when buying a new piece of cloth you are not sure about the quality. You might find yourself grappling with the question of whether the garment will fade easily, or if the fabric is durable.
You will not have such concerns with used clothes as they have been worn and washed. If it’s been used before, and it still looks great, the chances are that it is durable. Additionally, you know that it will not fade as soon as you wash it.
Discourages poor working conditions
In the fast fashion industry, some people work round the clock to get new clothes in stores for sale. The demand for new clothes is so high that many apparel manufacturers subject their workforce to long working hours. These people have to work hard each day and are mostly underpaid. When you buy used clothes, you are reducing the demand for new clothes.
Consumers hold the power in the apparel industry. Though your efforts may seem like a drop in the ocean as more people result to buying second-hand clothes, the industry is getting the message and may at some point be forced to take better care of their workforce. You’ll be indisputably a part of a large moment that is doing something to make the world a better place.
Used clothes will make you feel good
There is no doubt that any item you buy is likely to make you feel good, including new clothes. Nonetheless, when you buy a tremendously good looking second-hand piece of cloth, it is almost unbelievable. This is
attributed to the fact that sometimes you get it at a good bargain, and it ends up feeling like the best deal you’ve ever gotten.
Nice, used clothes can be worn on a budget
At the various stages of life, like when paying your way through college, you might have to live on a budget. In such circumstances, every penny matters, and new clothes can eat up a significant amount of your hard-earned money.
Fortunately, you can get a good selection of clothes at your local second-hand market at friendly prices.
Where to buy used clothes
A few decades ago, people shied away from buying used clothes. For this reason, second-hand clothes stores and outlets were limited. As people continue to embrace buying used clothes, there have been some massive changes.
You can now easily access used clothes just like any other item.
Here are some of the places to buy used clothes
Several websites allow you to buy used clothes from the comfort of your house. You can do it from your smartphone so long as you’ve got a reliable internet connection. These are the likes of ThredUP, Poshmark,
eBay, Tradesy and so on. These websites offer convenience for anyone who barely has the time to go shopping.
If you like to buy clothes physically due to some reasons such as fitting, there is a wide array of used clothing stores. This depends on where you live. Given that the sale of second-hand clothes is a booming business that is even threatening retail stores that offer new clothes, you should easily find such a store within your locality. These include thrift shops, garage sales, vintage shops, city and country markets as well as second-hand consignment stores.
Things to consider when buying second-hand clothes
When you go to a new clothing store, the chances are that you finish your transaction in a few minutes. You get into the store, see what you like and ask for your size. Then, pay for it and leave.
Buying second-hand clothes is much different. It needs more time, especially used clothes stores tend to stock heavily. For this reason, it takes time to pick what you want. Therefore, it is important to set aside ample time for buying used clothes.
Number of used clothes outlets to visit
As you set out to purchase used clothing, the outlets you choose will matter. It helps to have several options in terms of where to buy. Just like any other market place, prices and quality differ. You don’t want to limit yourself to one outlet, only to find out that the quality is somewhat poor. Having a strategy that allows you to visit a few stores certainly helps.
If you could start by scanning a few places, then you’ll have a clear idea of where to find the gems.
Whether to buy from online or physical stores
Some secondhand clothes markets are crowded. If you are the kind of person who doesn’t like to wade through such places, all is not lost. There are wide arrays of online stores where you can buy your favorite used clothing items from your house.
The challenges with purchasing clothes online are that you don’t get the chance to try them on before paying. If you believe that you must try it on before you pay for it, then a physical store or market place is your best bet.
You also want to consider your budget. There is a misconception that all second-hand clothes are cheap.
This is far from the truth as some markets have some sort of high-end vintage wear that might cost a little bit more. While on a tight budget, and in need of some nice cheap clothes, you have to choose a store that offers great prices as well as discounts.
On the other hand, if you are looking for some exquisite used garments, you might want to check with the high-end second-hand clothes outlets.
Nonetheless, you can sometimes land some great clothes randomly in a market that you consider as a low end. What makes this even better is that you are likely to buy those items at an incredibly cheaper rate.
What to do with your clothes when you are done with them
Once you are done with your clothes, it is prudent to get rid of them responsibly. Given that most people just discard their clothes without any regard to the environment, you want to dispose of yours appropriately.
Here are some of the best ways to do that:
What is the condition of your clothes? If you consider them to be still wearable, then you can donate them for a good cause.
Some charities clothe a lot of needy people. Get online, see if you can find any and send your unwanted clothes to them.
Textile recycling bins
For clothes that are not wearable, don’t just throw them in your bin. Though textile recycling bins are not all over, put an extra effort to search for one. Companies such as The American Recycling Company are doing
a wonderful job collecting textile waste for recycling. Look for their collection points and drop off your old clothes there; it is free of charge.
Engage thrift shots and other second-hand clothes outlets
If you have been wondering who will take used clothes, thrift shops do. Engage your local thrift shops and see if they can take your unwanted clothes.
Drop them into relevant stores
There are numerous leading apparel stores that are trying to do good by collecting used clothes. This includes the likes of H&M, and Levi Strauss & Co. You can look for these stores, and drop off your clothes for recycling.
When you should buy new clothes vs. old clothes
Buying used clothes is an excellent choice when it comes to safeguarding our environment. This does not mean that new clothes have lost their place.
Some events will call for brand new clothes. For instance, you may prefer to buy a new suit for your wedding vs using a second-hand suit. Or a job interview where you really want to look your best.
The most important thing is to make sure you are buying quality clothes that will last a long time. Buying clothes you are only going to wear a few times generates lots of unnecessary waste.
If you find a new pair of pants or a dress that you really like, and you know you will wear it for a long time, go ahead and buy it. Don’t feel bad about it.
You need to do is strike a good balance between used and new clothes.
Gone are the days when buying used was embarrassing. The tides have turned end the used clothing business all over the world is growing at an exponential rate.
People are redefining fashion trends by having creative collections of used clothes. As this continues to happen, a better environment is being created. Anyone who likes to buy used clothes is doing something commendable for our planet.