Why You Should Consider Participating in #SecondHandSeptember

    At the beginning of September, I was introduced to a movement called #SecondHandSeptember from Oxfam, via Instagram and some sustainable bloggers I follow from the U.K. Although the movement is primarily targeted for a U.K. audience, it didn’t stop me from reconsidering fashion purchases I made throughout the month, and even for the rest of the year.

    Fast-fashion is a large, negative contributor to the state of our environment, producing millions of pounds of toxic emissions every year. And, more often than not, when you shop these fast-fashion brands, you wear a dress, shirt, or skirt once before throwing it out, which ends up in a landfill. Currently, less than 1% of the material used to make clothes is being recylced into new garments when the clothes are no longer wanted or "out of style."

    I’ve been selling my no longer wanted clothes, shoes, and bags on Poshmark (a resale app for home items, clothes, shoes, and makeup), Mercari (an e-commerce app), and Depop (a resale “social shopping” app) for the past four years or so. Not only has it made me (and my mom, sister, and dad) a nice chunk of change, but it’s made me feel good about helping to save the environment; I provide people with something they’re looking for rather than them going out and buying it online, contributing to the fast-fashion industry. I’ve also noticed that within September, I’ve made a personal record number of sales, which I believe is due to the fact that people all around the world are participating in #SecondHandSeptember.

    With #SecondHandSeptember in mind, I made three purchases, which I easily could have made online, either on a resale app or in-person at a thrift/consignment store. I bought a top that was worn gently, as well as a dress and tote bag, both of which were new with tags! Buying these second-hand definitely saved me money, and a majority of my purchases you can’t even buy online anymore, so I guess you could call my closet *~unique~* now.

    Now, I know a lot of people have a stigma that second-hand clothes are “gross,” only for “people who are poor,” or not for people who like the current trends. But, did you know you can specifically only search for items that are new with tags? Grossness factor - gone; no one’s worn them! Also, The Real Real (a luxury consignment app and website), resells luxury designer bags, like Louis Vuitton, for well over $3,000. Definitely not in my price range! “For people who are poor” factor - check! Looking for current trends? Depop is a great place to look for something different, but still hand-picked and trendy. Poshmark and Mercari are the perfect apps to shop for brands like J. Crew, Tommy Hilfiger, and Levi’s.

    Okay so, maybe you’re saying to yourself, “But I need to seriously feed my online shopping addiction, Maria, I can’t just rely on these resale apps!” What to do? What I’d ask of you is to shop smart: don’t shop fast-fashion brands (a quick Google search will give you a list of them), consider brands that strongly consider the environment when designing packaging and products (brands like TOMS, Patagonia, LUSH, Everlane, and Anthropologie), and don’t impulse buy; take a few days to consider purchases. Ask yourself if you’ll get good use out of your purchase, and hey, maybe it’ll even go on sale while you ponder it!

 

If you’d like to shop my closet, you can find me at:

Poshmark & Depop - @optalt

Mercari - Maria Talty