Buying Secondhand Fast Fashion - is it okay?
I saw this question pop up on my Instagram via The Good Trade and subsequently read this article here. Which got me thinking it would be a good topic to discuss on the blog as I have bought fast fashion via secondhand places like Depop and eBay.
First things first I want to reiterate what the article said, that there is no black or white answer to this and it is not an easy yes or no answer but I just wanted to share my opinion as I think it is an important question.
For me, when I look through my wardrobe, have a clear out and decide what I’d like to add in, I look to instagram and Pinterest for style inspiration. I have always had a neutral colour palette but your fashion tastes do change as you grow and so it is natural and normal to change your wardrobe. Of course before I discovered sustainability I used to mindlessly buy pieces of fast fashion and throw fairly new item of clothing away at an alarming rate. However, now when I sort through my wardrobe I always do it consciously and not constantly! As a 22 year old girl who has always been into fashion, some items I’d like to add into my wardrobe are seen as ‘trendy’ and usually made through fast fashion.
My process when it comes to adding items into my wardrobe is to first decide what my ‘style’ and ‘vibe is. I do this by creating a mood board, which some of you have probably seen me do on here in the past. This is filled with outfits that I can create using pieces I already own in my wardrobe mainly. But then I look through to see if there are any items that pop up repeatedly that I might not own, this is when I decide whether I would like to add it to my wardrobe or not. If I do decide, the hunt is then on to find the perfect piece. Now that I shop more sustainably, my first step is to check out my favourite sustainable brands like Everlane or Reformation to see if they have a similar piece to what I’m after. If they do that’s great, but it totally depends on the price tag! As I’ve spoken about in the past, as much as I love sustainable brands, I can’t always afford the items. I can always save up for them, which gives me a good amount of time to decide whether I genuinely want to add the piece to my wardrobe or not.
But the other option I have is to head to secondhand shops or online versions like eBay and Depop to check out if they have anything on there going secondhand. 9 times out of 10 it is made by a fast fashion brand, but for me personally and although it is not my first choice, I think this is better than buying directly from fast fashion brands. Not only is the money not going directly to them, although you could argue if I’m buying from a person on Depop that I am just giving them the funds to spend more at fast fashion shops! But, in some instances the money is going to a charity shop or the like or just to help people have a little extra money in their pocket. Also, by purchasing the item I am prolonging its life rather than it heading straight for landfill. I know fast fashion is not known for it’s quality but if a piece is well looked after i do believe it can last longer, which is what I try to do with all my clothes secondhand or not, I make sure I look after them well!
So all in all I believe that buying secondhand fast fashion is at least a step in the right direction and is 100% better than buying new clothes directly from the shops. Using the clothes that are already created decreases the demand for new clothes to be made, so if more people buy what is already in circulation we will see a reduction in fast fashion demand. The next step would be a rise in the demand for more sustainable clothes and thus making a more sustainable fashion economy! So yes I think buy secondhand fast fashion but not always, look at other more sustainable options first. What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below