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Second Hand September

Second hand September

It’s been two years since I gave up ‘fast fashion’.

What is fast fashion?

Fast fashion typically refers to the sale of inexpensive/affordable clothing that is mass produced to keep up with the latest trends. Fast fashion and poor working conditions sadly go hand in hand. Many fast fashion brands outsource their manufacturing to poorer countries, and employ mostly women – to whom they often fail to provide safe working conditions, fair pay, and often includes forced labour.

I used to love shopping fast fashion – but I was not at that time aware of the underlying issues.

Since I gave up fast fashion two years ago – I have shopped on the high street less than 5 times. I still enjoy to shop for clothes. Clothes have often been a great form of self expression for me and I do enjoy watching the trends change – even if I don’t relate to them.

Now – I head to Vinted, Depop, kilo sales, charity shops and small businesses who can provide a trace on where their materials are sourced.

At first, it was an issue of the labour for me – but it’s since developed into climate crises concerns too.

It’s not always easy. There are things I struggle to find second hand, and I also gained weight during 2020 – meaning my options became more limited on sites like Vinted and Depop. It’s just not as easy to shop in a bigger body.

However, shopping the way I do now is a lot of fun. I find unique pieces, I shop for things I know I want and not just things I’ve walked past in a shop window. I am free in the supermarket when I wander through the clothing section as I know I won’t buy it.

I made a video about a year ago about how I gave it up – you can watch it here if you want:

I’m not suggesting there are no issues with shopping second hand – but it’s something I’ve found easy, fun, saved me money and feels like a step in the direction.

It’s not that I don’t think fast fashion should exist, but it needs to look different. Garment workers need safe working conditions with fair pay. Waste needs to be disposed of responsibly. What doesn’t get sold doesn’t need to end up in landfill.

Do you like shopping second hand? What has been the best bargain you’ve found while shopping thriftily?

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