#SecondHandSeptember and how to shop pre-loved clothes successfully

This month the world celebrates pre-loved clothes with #SecondHandSeptember. With this hashtag and a whole month dedicated to Second-Hand clothes, Oxfam encourages shoppers to rethink their shopping habits and not buy new clothes for 30 days. I want to share my tips on how to shop pre-loved clothes successfully and making it an enjoyable experience.

Did you know that it is predicted that by 2030, that second-hand clothes will comprise around 18% of the average wardrobe? That’s good news! The new shift will help to keep more clothes in circulation and out of the landfill.

Many people use this sustainable way to update their wardrobes. It is less expensive and makes you feel good. The increase of the second-hand market also means we will come across more shops and online shops for pre-loved garments.  When I started shopping for pre-loved clothes, I was quickly overwhelmed by the choice and the number of clothes. I realised I needed an approach/ a system I can follow to make second-hand shopping easier. 

Btw, Michele from Reloved Wardrobe, a women’s pre-loved clothing store, interviewed me about my beliefs in pre-loved clothing. We also talked about my favoured second-hand garments in my wardrobe, plus I shared some tips on organising your wardrobe. Read the interview over at Reloved Wardrobe.

1. Go with a shopping list

Second-hand and charity shops are usually full of stuff. It can feel very overwhelming to go into a shop and to look through all the racks. Knowing what you need gives you the ability to focus only on a couple of racks, rather than the whole shop. An alternative is online shops for pre-loved clothes. When you look for second-hand garments online, it also helps to have a shopping list. The filter functions in these online shops are pretty good, and you quickly can check if the shop has what you are looking for.


2. Look for Staff’s pics rack

Most of the shops have a rack marked as “Staff choices”. The rack could include some designer or vintage pieces. Sometimes it has clothes on with still the price tag on them. It has excellent by shop staff preselected clothes you could choose from without looking for too long. 


3. Try everything on

When you find garments you like, I highly recommend trying everything on. The sizing is often inconsistent, so you can’t trust the size on the label. Some clothes don’t even have a size, and by eye, it’s hard to judge whether it fits. Don’t immediately go away from garments you like but are a little bit too big. Consider alterations. Sometimes it’s worth it to invest a little bit more money into a piece and give it away to a tailor.


4. Inspect the garment

When you are in the dressing room, it is also time to inspect the item closer. Is the fabric in good condition (no yellow stains around the neckline or underarms?)? How are the seams? Does it have holes in it? If so, can you easily repair it? It is better to inspect the garment closely at the shop before taking it home and discovering some unpleasant surprises later. 


If you follow these tips, second-hand shopping is not so hard and is a fun activity. Online or in shops. It is a great way to extend your wardrobe, beat wardrobe boredom and do good for the environment because the most sustainable clothes are already made and exist in this world.

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