5 Reasons To Shop Secondhand



Here’s why you should quit fast fashion and shop preloved.

Four years on a student budget trained me to spot a bargain. To keep my wardrobe inspiring, spending habits had to change. I was living in Leeds with no shortage of charity shops on my doorstep. Week after week I would head into Oxfam and turn the fiver in my pocket into Friday night’s outfit. 

This is now my regular shopping routine. Incredible looks for the price of a morning coffee and Sainsbury’s meal deal. In case you’re not already sold, here’s five extra incentives to start a secondhand wardrobe. 

1. Help out this planet of ours 

We all know fast fashion is bad. Really bad. It’s one of the world’s biggest polluters. You only have to open Google to read the extreme amounts of clothing waste that our country produces every year. Anyone who saw Stacey Dooley’s BBC documentary ‘Fashion's Dirty Secrets’ is already questioning their shopping habits. Buying preloved is a way to change your routine when you can’t afford to splash out on ethical brands. Checkout www.wrap.org.uk to read up on the cost of wasted clothes and the new methods aiming to tackle the problem. 

2. There are rails of designer clothes out there 

Unlike fast fashion, charity shopping doesn’t mean compromising on the quality of your clothes. Stocking donations from anywhere and everywhere means you often come across luxury brands hidden between high street names. This year alone I’ve picked up attire by Tommy Hilfiger, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Ghost, Burberry, Champion, Levis, Diesel and Armani. Designer items are apparently placed in charity shops deliberately to raise the profile of the stores and encourage returning customers. This could just be an old wives tale but if it means I might find a Prada handbag then I am willing to believe what I hear.

3. Who wants to dress like everyone else?

No one wants to step into a party and see the jumpsuit they are wearing is staring back at them. Shopping second hand is a surefire way to eliminate this embarrassment. There’s nothing worse than spending £50 on an outfit only to see it everywhere. Use a little imagination. You’ll be hard pushed to find someone else wearing a 1994 Etam Mini dress that you found in the back of 


4. Don’t be the last one to the party 

The time is now. The demand for vintage and second hand items is rising faster than ever before. Platforms like Depop, Etsy, Vinted and Asos Marketplace are driving the fashion revolution and establishing secondhand style in the mainstream. Preloved clothing is a trend that is only going to grow, like the switch to reusable shopping bags and the demand for recyclable packaging. You wouldn’t dare sip your gin and tonic with a plastic straw nowadays would you? Environmental trends are catching on fast so don’t let yourself be left behind. 

5. Some days feel like winning the lottery 

Stumbling upon the perfect item is like finding a tenner in the back pocket of your jeans. Just last week I found a genuine late 90s Gianni Versace glittery vest top priced at £3.50. My excitement led me to trip over a bucket of sunglasses… I’d struck gold.

Now think again before you type ‘denim’ into BooHoo or tackle the relentless queues of Primark. There’s an alternative way to shop and you might just hit the jackpot.


The outfits pictured are 100% secondhand. Everything from the jewellery to the sunglasses have been handpicked from charity shops in Essex.