I've been thinking a lot about this lately - fashion and its effect on our environment. It's not something I've discovered yesterday or something, but I never gave such a huge thought about it like I do now. Re-using plastic bags, returning empty bottles, not dropping garbage on the ground (including cigarette endings :D ) and many other things I can't recall right now, it's part of my everyday life. Even when I'm flying on an airplane I'm like, for that amount of CO2 waste I could “spend it” driving by a car instead. You know, like in my country or something, driving is fun, although I don't have a license yet!
I remember when I was in the high school, I used to browse secondhand shops a lot. My classmates sometimes asked me, if I ever wear anything more than once. I liked mixing, matching and combining my clothes, I guess this left the impression that I'm wearing everything once. Of course I was wearing my stuff until there was no space for new hole!
A while ago I had a weird block against second hand shops, I didn't want to spend my time digging in the crap to find something that I liked but didn't fit me or wear something that is already worn out. I used to visit that kind of shops twice a year max.
All this is true, your hands will get dirty, you may leave without anything and clothes already have been worn by someone. Just like in a regular fashion store. If you think you're the first to try those jeans on, guess again? Hundreds of dirty people jump in to the clothes before you buy them. Some even buy and return the stuff.
Second hand shopping is more like digging for treasure: you can find high quality clothes, expensive brands for cheap price and natural materials. Although real vintage close can be made from synthetic fabrics, which feel terrible on the skin and are very heavy waste for the environment. Because the garment is already used, you don't have to wonder how many wears and washes will it last. If it made that far, it will last even longer.
When I see young people, who's hobby is shopping in unethical fashion stores, which care only for they're profit, not for workers, who work in the manufactures with poor conditions, extremely low wages and long working days, my hearts starts to bleed. Many low price new clothes are made partly from synthetic fiber to cut the costs of the production. Which is toxic to produce and to wear, not mentioning its pollution quantity to the nature. Shopping online doesn't make much difference because you are buying the same crap, just adding extra pollution with the logistics.
Here is a trailer of “China Blue” which is about downside of fashion manufactures, that we, buyers, don't get to see. Probably it's the same scenario in other low cost manufactures.
Now you know, how your 9,95€ jeans are made.
Second hand shops are amazing source of “raw” materials for clothing customization. That's the reason that got me so crazy about shopping in these stores, again. Recently I bought so many clothes that are in such a good shape and which I can customize to very unique pieces, that look great on me too. And oh my god how much you save money shopping there! I am personally looking for high quality materials, preferably natural like wool, leather, cotton. I am also looking for textiles for my sewing hobby like curtains etc. Buying jeans and pants has been always a sort of problem for me, because usually they look kind of ugly on me, not the right fit or too tight from above and just awkward from the bottom. Making me look fat or whatever. Not that used clothes look like they were made for me, absolutely not! But it's more okay to buy those used pants and re-construct them to fit me better. Especially if they are high quality garments , it's totally worth the effort! And you get something unique as well.
Here are some clothes I bought during last two weeks. This is what you get for 30€.
What are your thoughts on second hand shops and wearing used clothes? Would you buy rather used Hugo Boss for 5€ or new 9,95€ jeans from H&M that are made in China?