Second hand shopping for a sustainable future

Now Feature Sustainable
Photo by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash.

Your wardrobe is a reflection of yourself; a statement of who you are and what you represent. Our clothes are extended parts of us, and that’s why it is important to find your favourite pieces as you will then find your confidence. There is no better place to do this than university. You have left home and are now able to enjoy the freedom that shapes the young adult you are to become. Clothes are a part of knowing who you are.

The more we add to our wardrobe, the more conscious we must become of our effect on the environment. Although we all care for our planet, there are steps we can take to live a more sustainable lifestyle. It is simple to get caught up on the ever-changing fashion trends in our society, rather than the consequences that they bring. However, small changes to our lifestyle can be invigorating.

64% of all fabrics are made up of plastics, and it doesn’t seem that our planet needs any more plastic added to it.

The effect of fast fashion...

‘Fast fashion’ was first coined when fashion retailers would transfer the designs seen on the catwalk and replicate in store or online quickly. Everyone wants to be on trend but how quickly are these same clothes ending up in landfill? Fast fashion has shaken the fashion industry but at the cost of our beautiful environment.

As seen in the news recently, water companies have been allowed to continue dumping contaminated water and sewage into our waters. Of course we could never imagine ourselves contributing to something like this, but sadly, according to the World Resource Institute, garment manufacturing contributes to 20% of water pollution.

A new way of shopping...

It is becoming more common for fashionistas and trend setters to be dressed head to toe in vintage and second-hand clothing, rather than fast fashion. So, although this may disappoint some readers, our recommendations will not be coming from Pretty little thing, Boohoo, SHEIN or Missguided. Instead, the staple pieces recommended will be found in your local charity shops, Depop or any second-hand clothing site. Do not feel too lost right now, it’s a revolutionary way of shopping that is waiting for you.  

Timeless classics...

We are entering a day and age where we need to think more sustainably, and the way to do that is to find pieces that can be worn again and again. We need to evolve and adapt.

Cargo trousers are the most versatile leg wear there is. From day-to-day outings, dinners or even a night out, this item is a staple. Y2K fashion is a recycled trend and what’s more fitting than a pair of low waisted, wide leg cargo pants with a pretty little crop top. Plenty of charity shops are filled with cargo style bottoms (linen trousers also a great alternative) as this is an item that is reused throughout the generations of many families. Instead of collecting dust in one persons wardrobe, they could be finding a new life in yours.

One of my personal favourite finds has been a tanned crop jacket from Oxfam. A piece of clothing that gives Bridget Jones vibes. Not bad Jones vibes! The kind of 2000s feel of being a headstrong female. Who doesn’t want that? A jacket that’s not heavy to carry on a night out but keeps you warm for the walk around the bars or after clubbing.

Depop is a platform where you’ll find endless options for a jacket, many second-hand designer items are waiting to be snapped up. Great quality clothing for an affordable price as well as a great environmentally conscious choice.

Long time wear over landfill...

Another must-have staple in your wardrobe is an oversized hoodie. This is Depop’s holy ground of finds and they never run short of them. Reebok, Adidas, Nike, Ralph Lauren and the list goes on. The quality from these brands is unmatched. 20 to 30 years later and the jumpers are still being resold and worn every day.

A £40 buy for a student may seem a lot, however you will be making a long-term investment. The £8 jumper you would have found from a fast fashion brand, would most probably have had seams ripping from a couple wears. Oversized hoodies and sweatshirts are a timeless classic to suit all informal occasion wear. A jumper that you’ll find yourself living in, a second skin almost.

Shop till you drop (sustainably) ...

There are so many alternatives to fast fashion brands, and there are numerous benefits to charity shop hunting. Second-hand shopping gets you up and out the house for an afternoon, instead of mindlessly scrolling for an outfit online. Geting you out the door walking around your local high street will also be bringing down your carbon footprint, since you’ll be out getting these pieces for yourself instead of having multiple deliveries a week being shipped in vans all around the country.

So, grab your tote bags, get out, and start shopping more eco-conscious. We only have one planet earth, treat it with love and respect. You can make small individual changes to make a big impact on the environment. Get stuck in at your local charity shop, it will revolutionise the way you dress and make a better planet for our future.




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