Reuse your fashion – 2nd-hand shopping

Reuse, Rework, Restyle

Fashion is full of fads. We call them trends, we read about them online or in magazines, we watch them on countless Insta stories, Tik Tok’s, Youtube videos… For those in the fashion industry, we try and get ahead of them using trend forecasting sites or expos.

However, following these trends is a large part of what is currently making fashion so unsustainable. It’s a massive cause of the current lean towards almost disposable clothing. And dare I say it’s creating an army of clones!

So we wanted to think about and celebrate some of the ways we can be more sustainable in our clothing choices not just by buying from sustainable brands but by thinking differently about what we buy and where we buy it from.

Vintage shopping, charity shopping and online reselling are great ways to take part in the circular economy. There’s a whole second-hand wonderland out there waiting to be reused.

We spoke to savvy vintage shopper Tara about some of her best finds and the places she finds them.
“One of my best finds has been a genuine Aquascutum skirt I found at a vintage fair in Milton Keynes. It was on sale for £12 from £18.” It can often be worth really looking through at fairs like this as it’s possible to find these amazing bargains. “After pointing out to them what a bargain it was the next time at the fair they had priced them up to around £100.”

“Another vintage item I love is a 101 Dalmatians jumper I got from a vintage market in Birmingham over 10 years ago. I have worn it so many times on different occasions, including to Euro Disney where it was much admired.”

Vintage shopping offers a wide range of styles that can make a unique outfit or add interest to your existing look.

Another shrewd second-hand shopper Ellie, prefers seeking out unique pieces in charity shops and online on eBay.

“I’m very good at knowing what I like, and when I find something I like that doesn’t change hence why there are items in my wardrobe I’ve had for years and years that I only resell or give to a charity shop when it no longer fits”.

Knowing what you like and what suits your style can really help when it comes to second-hand shopping.

Ellie’s top picks include Levi’s as you know they are a quality item that will last. Headscarves are a fun item you can find in charity shops in different patterns and designs which are a cheap addition to liven up an outfit and hide messy hair.

Dr. Martens. “When I have brought new pairs before I have had to wear them in for months which can be very painful! But buying on eBay second hand not only saves money but also saves the pain of wearing in a new pair.”

Some of my own favourite pieces are from different second-hand retailers. A jacket from an army surplus store which is still going strong after 13 years in my wardrobe and countless years before. Every summer I pull out my royal blue silk all in one I found in a charity shop that is made for the sun.

Talking to Tara about why second-hand shopping is a positive choice for her she said sustainability is an important part of why she buys vintage. “The process of making clothes is bad for the environment, so when I can reuse an older item and give it a second chance to shine, that’s always positive.”

The options for shopping second-hand online are growing all the time with sites like Vinted and Depop focusing on pre-loved fashion.

Although during the lockdowns high street vintage and charity shops have been closed it hasn’t stopped rises in sales of pre-loved fashion. When charity shops re-open make sure to drop off your old clothes so they can be re-loved and get a chance to be reused, or why not sell on your old clothes and make a few pounds?

If you want to find a way to be more sustainable and are on a budget this is a great route to take. We will be putting the spotlight on different cities’ hotspots for amazing Pre loved finds in future articles. So go for it share your favourite places in the comments section below.

This article was written by Fay Bryant

If you found this interesting have a look at our article Vintage Shopping For The Win.

Photo by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash

Jon Mitchell
Originally from Brighton, UK. Jon graduated with a BA (Hons) Menswear Fashion Design Degree. He's worked as a Senior Sportswear Designer for Puma, Football Kit Designer at Umbro, Streetwear designer at Bench, Technical Outdoorwear Designer at Regatta Outdoors, and Denim designer at Next. Freelance clients in his portfolio include Adidas, Ellesse, Timberland and Ecko Unltd. Now residing in the beautiful village of Marsden, in the West Yorkshire countryside. Jon set up J Mitchell Design in 2017 which quickly gained a reputation as one of the UK's leading fashion design studios winning the award for Best Men's Fashion Design Studio UK 2019. JMitchellDesign has helped create and launch multi-product fashion start-up brands across sportswear, activewear, equestrian, lifestyle, and performance sectors. Along with his team of sustainable sourcing experts, Jon is working on sustainable projects to help change the destructive nature of the fashion industry. Visit his website or email him at to find out more.

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