8 Reasons to Give Shopping Second Hand a Chance

University is a trying time - for our bank accounts. The temptation of buying that new *everything* is constant, and quite frankly we can’t afford it all. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find a way to own luxurious things.

There is an underlying stigma surrounding the idea of buying clothes that have already been used. When you think of thrift shopping or shopping second hand, you may picture old, tattered, and visibly used items. Or perhaps you only imagine things that are vintage and alternative, which just simply isn’t your style. The reality is that there are actually so many benefits to shopping second hand - it betters your own life as well as the future of our planet.

  1. 1. Reducing Water Consumption

    “The Environment” can be a huge umbrella term in regards to ‘reasons to shop second hand’; more specifically, reducing water consumption is a serious benefit. It is a fact that it takes 7600 litres of water to produce a single pair of jeans, and nearly 2700 litres of water to produce one cotton T-shirt. So, by  buying those Levi’s 501s made in 1990, you’re directly saving the earth’s resources.

  2. 2. Recycling that Benefits Everyone

    In addition to reducing, buying clothes second hand (as well as donating your own clothes) is an excellent example of recycling that benefits everyone. Out with the old, and in with the new (to you).

  3. 3. Less Waste Produced

    If you are donating your clothes, or even re-selling them, it means they are not ending up in a landfill, which therefore reduces the amount of waste you’re producing.

  4. 4. SO Much Cheaper.

    An obvious benefit and the main reason for many people to shop second hand is that it is extremely cost effective - especially for students who, like me, want to buy everything but of course run on a tight budget. You could be paying half the price for something that has already been used. Sometimes even less, and it could be in excellent condition. Just might take a little bit more time to find.

  5. 5. Don’t Worry … You Can Still Shop Online

    If you’re thinking there’s no way you could commit to shopping second hand because shopping online is SO much more convenient, don’t sweat it. There are hundreds of online platforms that resell formerly used clothing. Facebook Marketplace is a remarkable site that I think many people overlook. People in your area sell their items, which makes it very easy to get them because you don’t have to make shipping arrangements. There are also other apps that resell clothes such as Carousel, Poshmark, Grailed or Depop, where you can either meet up to exchange items or pay for shipping.

  6. 6. Not *Directly* Supporting Brands That Use Sweatshops/Child Labour

    Many of the brands that sell new clothes for very low prices, such as Zara or Forever 21 (R.I.P.), do not pay their workers adequately for their time or provide them with any kind of benefits. Therefore, by purchasing things second hand you are not directly supporting the social injustice that is sweatshops.

  7. 7. The Potential to Slow Down Fast Fashion

    If more people are buying used clothing, perhaps industries will identify that there is no need to be producing such mass quantities of low-quality clothing at such a rapid pace. This will in turn reduce the amount of labour expected from underpaid employees (hopefully), and also reduce the amount of the earth’s resources used to make more things that people don’t need.

  8. 8. Find Totally Unique Styles

    Aside from issues regarding the environment or even money, buying used clothing is awesome because you get to find stuff that is completely one of a kind - if that’s what you’re in to. Taking the time to shop through used items may be slightly more time consuming, only because there are so many items to look through, but there is no doubt you will find things that you love, and definitely things that nobody else has.

References:

“The True Cost.”A Netflix Documentary, netflix.com/. Aug. 2016.

“Water Used to Make Clothes.” Curiosity Makes You Smarter, curiosity.com/.