Second-hand doesn’t at all mean second best, in fact it’s the most sustainable and charitable way of shopping!
I love looking through the ecelectic rails, not knowing what gem I may come across. At just 14 I bagged a real Louis Vuitton backpack for just £2.50! My mum has always bought me beautiful clothes from charity shops, but as a young girl from a broken, moderately poor background, I was sometimes embarrassed to promote secondhand items – I’d only shop for myself at Topshop. Now I embrace and embellish charity shops and wish to encourage people to do the same, no matter your income. When my income increases I will still proudly shop and promote charity shops over places like Topshop, as it’s not about money and status anymore it’s about what is right, for customers, manufactures, farmers, designers and most importantly; the future of life and our planet.
Investing in the high street has been a conscious decision of mine to avoid, here’s why:
1. I currently can’t afford clothing above £5, due to being an unemployed, just graduated entrepreneur in the making. Like I said above, this won’t change when I can afford more expensive pieces. I’ll continue to proudly style my designer bags and sunglasses with my £2 top from Cancer Research
2. The fast fashion industry that trickels onto the high street is out of hand due to Insta/online shopping and promotions. I feel we should be getting less items for a tad more money, eliminating the pointless penny we see on labels such as Zara and H&M, Y’know the £29.99 crap, that no conventional westerner cares about. DID YOU KNOW!: That extra penny could feed a family, whom made the clothing for a week in Bangladesh. Thanks to The True Cost for this reference
3. Why would I want to look the same as everyone else? When Missguided put ‘500 people purchased this item in the last minute’ it doesn’t make me want to buy it, if anything it puts me off the item! I certainly don’t invest in Missguided as a brand anymore anyway but i’ll save that for another post – another rant for another day. I say invest as I have programmed my brain into treating every item as an investment piece based on what I can get out of it, i.e how many events/places, if I can upcycle it easily and various ways to wear, rather than the price.
4. You can still buy the latest high street products, sometimes with the labels still on! People are frequently buying and not returning what doesn’t work for them, instead they take them to charity. As we all know ones trash is another ones treasure
5. Charity shops are ethical and are the way forward. You are investing in a cause, whether it be for research on disease, or raising money for poverty or for animals and the old – all goes towards creating a stronger society. Anything can be washed so don’t worry about ‘ewww someones worn that’ however I would encourage people to get their underwear else where 😉
This outfit cost just £5! minus the prada glasses in my hand and the converse on my feet which I’ve had since I was 15 – absolute investment piece.
Useful Info: Charity shops aren’t vintage shops. It may be an old item but that doesn’t necessarily not make it vintage, there are many steps and levels that make an item truly vintage; for example 90s items aren’t vintage, they are retro, in 20/30 it will most likely be vintage. I learnt this in college, but not 100% sure on the order of it all, i’ll back to this topic on what is retro & vintage on another post. To me 1950s is still retro but I could be wrong.
So please, when you are roaming around town and spot a charity shop, pop in and take sometime to look and try on, you never know what you’ll come across.