How often do you go shopping? When you do, do you head straight for the high street and buy new? Do prices and queues stress you out? Perhaps you avoid the high street and sit behind your computer looking for the cheapest prices, comparing, scanning backwards and forwards? Would you ever consider that buying new is damaging your health, causing stress, financial worries, even back and eye strain? We have the cure: buying secondhand!
The second week of November is fashion reuse charity TRAID’s #secondhandfirst week. For the whole week, the charity runs events, workshops and initiatives championing all things secondhand and in the process teaching people about the value of using more and using better our existing resources, breaking free of the cycle of buying new as soon as a bobble appears or a spoke falls off, lowering your stress levels and giving you that wonderful feeling of doing something good for the world (and yourself).
Growing up there was a definite stigma attached to secondhand clothes and electricals. To be able to buy new meant you had money, and money gave status. Your parents worked all the hours the universe sent just to buy you those wallabies, those Chipie jeans and that new Megadrive. Now, we’re older and (some of us are) wiser, we’re beginning to realise that we don’t really need all those things. Aside from trying to save our environment, we also like saving money. And we can do this by not buying unnecessary things, or mending rather than buying new, even – shock, horror – buying things secondhand can actually do your savings a wealth of good. So that dream trip to Australia next year might not be such a dream, after all. And on top of this, buying secondhand can do your stress levels the world of good too. Stepping out of the fast fashion culture for five minutes can feel like stepping off the torrid wheel. When you find something your heart and tastes like, you’ll feel inspired and so darned creative too. Of course, that yellow scarf would look ah-maze-ing with that orange shirt!
It’s also quite cool to donate stuff knowing it will help others and is doing the environment good. And rummaging makes you feel as excited as being a kid on a treasure hunt. It’s uber cool now too, with certain stars openly shopping in charity shops (Madonna does it, so does Brangelina!). Some have even worked in them (Gail Porter worked in Mary Portas’s charity outlets, Living And Giving, in fashionable Primrose Hill, North London). There are many independent – fashionable – shops, like TRAID which are bright, airy, and not too dissimilar from your average high street clothing store helps too, so you don’t feel like you’re rummaging through someone else’s leftovers, but you do feel like you’ve bagged a bargain when you clap your eyes on that something special. And everyone loves to bag a bargain, don’t they? Jackpot!
photo credit: Ethical Fashion Blog