Second-hand shopping, the brilliant concept. The mind-set behind it. The change we need to achieve.
When we think of second hand shopping, there is still the stigma of only being suitable for people who cannot afford buying new items. We need to, together, change this.
The main purpose of most charities that started this new way of selling, is to support local projects with the profit from these clothes that are donated. Another purpose of collectors of clothes that we don´t wear, is to donate them to people who don´t have access to them any other way. These are still the purposes. With something else added to it.
What? The purpose of avoiding buying new. To still provide the consumer with the excitement of acquiring a garment without contributing to the pollution, waste and exploitation that the industry represents. These reasons need to come out, need to be present in our minds, so we can push away the prejudice that buying second hand means: that we don´t have money to buy new. Buying second hand means that we care about people. That we worry about our planet, and that we want to contribute to make it a better and more sustainable place. And we need to spread the word.
And if we think about it, we often get bored of our clothes when we wear them for some months. So, it´s only logical that we pass the item on to the next person when this happens. And we get our hands on someone else´s item that we can then wear and feel as new. As it is new to us after all. Of course we know that, this model can only make sense if we are talking about clothes that are still in good shape to be worn. So, added to this, we should also make sure we take good care of our apparel.
What ideally would happen to all the clothes that are at the end of their lives, is a matter for a different post. The afterlife of our shirts is then the second part of the perfect circular model of what textile industry should (and I believe will) become. Also, buying new from brands that are 100% recycled is also not part of the “new” we mean on this post.
So, let´s all keep an open mind, and go in all the second hand stores that we come across with when we need to buy something. Remember that the difference between buying new, and buying second hand, represents the difference between contributing to the damage caused by the fashion industry, or contributing to a circular economy, where we close the loop in what we wear. And that we can still find great pieces and look fresh and cool.
We can do it!