What’s wrong with pre-loved clothing?
Absolutely nothing; but then why is there a stigma or shame in buying clothes that have been worn before?
This could be a ‘generation’ thing as years ago it meant that you couldn’t afford new clothes if you bought from a thrift store, charity shop or second-hand sale; but those with older siblings will have all worn their hand me down clothes so what’s the difference? Jump forward to now and I think we all realise or are starting to realise the value of pre-loved clothing and the importance it plays for our environment. There are many advantages to buying second hand clothing besides the obvious of saving money lets look at some of them and see if we can start adding a few items of preloved into our wardrobes.
- Saving money – over a period of time buying good quality second-hand clothing will save you money. Depending on where you buy the items you may be able to find top quality even luxury branded items for a fraction of the cost you would buy them at full price. Fast fashion means that there are people that wear something only once before the next trend comes along, you could be finding something that is very new and hardly worn.
- Give another life to an outfit – buying pre-loved extends the life of an item of clothing, keeps them in circulation longer. I literally have clothes that I have had for years and still wear them, favourite t-shirts and tops that I will probably wear till they fall off. The more we wear clothes they longer they stay out of landfill, there is approximately £140 million worth of clothes added to landfill every year in the UK alone, we have to do something to reduce this amount.
- Helps the environment – yes buying second-hand stops clothing being dumped in ever increasing landfill but there are other environmental impacts to consider. Most clothing industries are very resource intensive using vast amounts of materials to create fabric and turn it into something that we purchase. Polyester and nylon are produced using petroleum and according to the Council of Fashion Designers America over 346 million barrels are used each year to produce them. Makes me shiver thinking of all those nasty chemicals in the clothing that we all wear but that’s really another topic. To make one cotton t-shirt it can take up to 2700 litres of water, yes that’s a natural resource but one we certainly shouldn’t be taking for granted. Wearing organic clothing can help to reduce the amounts of water as an example a t-shirt made of organic cotton takes only 243 litres of water to make; it’s a huge difference. So, buying a second-hand t-shirt makes it even better as zero water is wasted and you are helping to reduce the amount of fabric and clothing that is mass produced for the fast fashion markets.
- Where to buy second hand/pre-loved – within Mauritius there is a growing network of places that sell pre-loved items not just the obvious Facebook selling groups that we are all part of. There is an increase in Marche Aux Puces/ Vide Greniers around the island and we have charity shops that rely on donations of our clothing to sell; which in turn contributes to many different charities around the island. Take a look at some of the organic pre-loved items we have on our website idressorganic.com
- Developing a new style and having a bit of fun – looking through a rail of pre-loved clothing could find that hidden gem item of clothing that you have always longed for but never could justify spending out for, you could also find that designer jacket that you have lusted after for years. It’s a chance to try something new, look for something unique and different, update your wardrobe, reimagine your style and bring out your creative style.
Its also good to remember that making a second-hand or pre-loved purchase however you choose to call it you are also helping an individual or a charity; your environment or the area that you live in.
There is a sense of feel-good factor in this, you may feel it’s a small contribution but its your contribution and a start towards doing it more and more often. It’s been very brief but I’m hoping that some of these ideas and guidelines will help you to start looking more towards pre-loved and second-hand fashion for yourself and your family.