I really feel like there continues to be a stigma about charity shop clothing. I still hear people use the line “they’re dead people’s clothes!” And whilst there may be an element of truth on occasion, because yeah, you might choose to have a clear out and donate to a charity shop after someone has passed away, the real truth is that the majority of clothes in a charity shop are just lightly worn and no longer fit/suit the owner.
So here’s my 13 reasons why you should buy second hand.
1. It will save you loads of money!
If you’re a fan of my blog, do you really need any more reasons other than you can pay A LOT LESS for second hand clothing that new stuff from the shops.
2. You get to help a charity
You choose which charity you want to support but lots of the major ones and some local charities, especially hospices, have their own charity shops. When you’re buying your next item there, think of the wider impact your money will have on the people or animals that the charity supports.
3. It is better for the environment
Saving clothes from landfill, reducing the amount of water and energy it takes to create new clothing are all amazing reasons why you should buy second hand, particularly if you have children. This is about their future more than ours.
4. The thrill of the find
You never know what you’re going to find in a charity shop. Some sort by size and gender, others sort by colour. Others don’t sort at all!! Depending on your nature this could be fun or frustrate you but either way, when you find something that’s “just right”, you’ll feel a bigger buzz that picking something “off the peg”.
5. You won’t be matching anyone else at the party
There’s always a risk buying something from a high street chain, that someone you know will buy exactly the same item and as luck will have it, they’ll turn up on the same day matching you. Buying secondhand reduces this significantly as everything is donated at different times so the age of each item in a charity shop varies. You’ll look as unique as you really are.
6. Delayed gratification is a lesson for us all
Sometimes we can fall into the habit of “I want it now, so I’ll have it now” and with online shopping, its never been easier to literally type in exactly what you want and get it. But isn’t this the total opposite of what our parents taught us?? I was always told “I want never gets!” So instead, shop mindfully and that way you’ll continue to teach the next generation to slow down their wants so they realise what’s actually important to them.
7. You can refresh your wardrobe more frequently
Because you’re saving so much money on second hand clothes, you can donate back more frequently and keep the re-use cycle going! If you want to change your wardrobe for the season, this can be done for double digits, whereas a whole new collection from a hughstreet shop would cost three or four times as much.
8. Everything you need in one place
There’s not many high street shops where you can buy clothes, shoes, accessories, homeware, luggage, a wedding dress AND toys all in one room. Charity shops really do cater for so many needs in one go so could save you time and effort from trawling round lots of places.
9. Hidden treasures
Because you never know what you’re going to find, this can include one off pieces of vintage or designer wear. Even if they’re priced higher than the rest of the charity shop items, you could be getting a steal.
10. Sell it on to make money
Lots of re-sellers trawl charity shops to sell the items on to new people via sites like Pre-Loved and Ebay. There’s mixed feelings on this topic. Some will say its making money from charity but most charities have online stores and Ebay shops of their own, so I think if they’ve not managed to sell something for what its worth then why not let someone else have a go.
11. Wear it once without the guilt
If you’ve got a special event, party or fancy dress to take part in, the chances are you might only want to wear the outfit once. To buy something from a regular shop and only wear it once, you might feel the guilt about the expense you’ve gone to. Instead, buy second hand and see your payment just as a donation to charity so if you do only wear it once, you can still feel altruistic.
12. Customise without fear
Being open minded is key when shopping second hand. Just because something isn’t exactly your size shouldn’t put you off purchasing if you have a few basic sewing skills. Being able to customise a piece, knowing that if it goes wrong, a hem comes undone or the dye doesn’t completely take, then its not cost you a lot to learn the lesson.
13. Express yourself, not someone else
Finally, fashion is whatever you want to make of it. By buying “off the peg” items, you’re buying what a designer and fashion editor is influencing you to buy on that day in that season for that year. Buying from second hand shops gives you the freedom to express yourself by choosing what you want from potentially decades of examples of clothing all in one shop. You have more control over who you are and how you present yourself.