How to Shop Second Hand

It is estimated that keeping an item in circulation for an extra 9 months reduces its carbon footprint by 20%. With new repair, rental and resale options, circular fashion has grown in popularity over the past few years. Indeed, second-hand listings on eBay have increased by 31% since 2017, and the secondhand clothing market is expected to be twice the size of fast fashion by 2030.

As another Second Hand September comes to an end, we have enlisted the help of sustainable fashion experts to share tips to help your second-hand habit last beyond September. Explore our advice before your next second hand shopping spree!

1.Set alerts online

Websites like Vestiaire Collective, eBay and Depop mean buying second-hand has never been easier. Charlie Collins, Sustainable Wardrobe Expert and Author, swears by setting alerts for items that she’s looking for on Vestiaire Collective: “Search relentlessly and set up alerts for the pieces you are hunting for. Both of these tips have served me very well in the great plains of pre-loved treasure hunting!”.

2. Prioritise quality

When buying items that have already been loved and worn, you need to consider the amount of life they have left in them. Natural materials like cotton, wool, silk, leather and suede age better and are more hard-wearing than synthetic alternatives like vegan or faux leather, polyester, rayon, acrylic and others.

3. Repair and alter

If you come across great pieces, don’t be put off by the need for cleaning, alterations or repairs. Rosanna Falconer, co-founder of FashMash, always considers repairs and tailoring: “don’t discount an item on fit or condition if you truly love it”. Scuffed leather, lost buttons, worn soles and moth holes can be simple to repair.

4. Be open minded

You may have to be more imaginative and open-minded when shopping pre-loved. You may come across items from past seasons or collections that aren’t part of current styles or trends. Think about the different ways you could style an item with pieces in your wardrobe that you already own.

5. Don’t give up

Searching for that beautiful dress you saw on a stranger in the street? The beauty of circular fashion is that you never know when you’ll find your perfect piece. The hunt may take a little longer than fast fashion, but that makes the reward so much sweeter!

Do your second-hand purchases need some love and attention? Get a quote, book your collection or drop in-store today.

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