I first got into shopping secondhand at around the age of 15 when I was becoming more experimental with my personal style. I discovered vintage and charity shops in Leeds when I started going shopping more with friends, although none of my friends back then were really into it so I mainly did it alone.
It soon became clear that this was the cheapest way to get one-off pieces that nobody else had. I would feel unique when I wore something I was sure none of my peers had, feel good for giving my money to a good cause or independent business rather than to Topshop or Urban Outfitters – which I could only really afford when there were sales on anyway – and it gave me a confidence boost when someone complimented my outfit and were shocked to find out it was from a charity shop.
This was around the time I started immersing myself in the online fashion community of YouTube and Blogger and occasionally I shared what I’d found rummaging through charity shops in a video myself and it seemed to go down pretty well and I now make these kinds of videos regularly – here!
I love the feeling of finding a dreamy dress for £2.99 that I know I can wear out and won’t be wearing the same thing as the girl across the street. It also saves you a lot of money that can be used to be more creative with your style – rather than splurging £30 on a t-shirt from Topshop, you could have bought an entire outfit and accessories. Yeah sure, you won’t always find what you’re looking for but the hunt is part of the experience and the buzz you’ll get with scoring an amazing piece for super cheap makes it all pretty exciting.
Not only does this way of shopping give you a huge ego boost, it’s also much greener to shop secondhand. In doing this, you’re not part of the harsh reality of underpaid workers in factories but also think of all of the clothes already in the world, being thrown out and ending up in landfill – there really is no need to buy brand new mass produced clothing every time you shop. Discover hidden gems, recycle and reinvent them to build your own personal style that you will then be known for, rather than simply blending into the background.
Vintage is also so much more sustainable than the fast fashion of today. The groovy garments you find in these shops have lived such a long life because they were made to last, unlike that Primark jacket you bought last year that is already wearing away and torn under the arm. This past life of the clothing also gives the piece a sense of history and wonder about it that fast fashion doesn’t have – imagine who was wearing this pair of jeans back in the early 80s…
I hope these points have inspired you to become a more conscious shopper for the sake of the environment and your inner narcissist in having the most eclectic wardrobe out of your circle of friends. Have fun treasure hunting!