I love second-hand shops. And in this article I would like to show you why. Get ready… steady… go! Here are the reasons:
- It’s good for the environment. I have never minded buying clothes in a second-hand shops but I didn’t do it that much, I must admit. I prefered fast fashion (I didn’t even know this term existed in that time) so I was buying most of my clothes in shops like Primark (god, how much I loved going to Germany just because of Primark), New Yorker, H&M, Gate and so on. But then, I think it was one year ago, I saw a documentary which is called THE TRUE COST.
I absolutely recommend this documentary, it changed the way I live and the way I decide what to buy and where to buy it. Today, most of the cotton is being grown with the help of chemicals and sadly, these chemicals pollute our environment on a huge scale. Especially in the areas where this cotton is grown, the water is poisoned, the air is poisoned, these chemicals have a massive impact on the nature. Also, today we buy so much more clothes than a few decades ago and because of consumerism, a good deal of clothes ends up on dumps. We buy clothes in such a fast speed that we can’t keep up with all the clothes that is being made and then most of it goes to waste. But what if we recycled it instead? What if we could take all of that clothes that nobody wants and wear it again? Well, here comes the positive news – we can. Buying clothes in a second-hand shop helps to protect our environment and it doesn’t support fast fashion in any way.
2. People who work for fast fashion live and work in terrible conditions. Your clothes is not made in America or Europe – it’s made in Asia. These women sometimes don’t earn even a dollar a day, they have to leave their children for example at their parents’ place for months and years so they can work and support them financially but it’s still not enough. The buildings in which they work have fallen down many times because the big organisations don’t care about their employees and many people have died during these accidents. The skirt you buy at H&M might not be made by a child but it’s probably made by a mother who sometimes doesn’t even eat and can’t be with her children for months because she needs to make your clothes. And that is why your t-shirt from Primark is so cheap – because the employees don’t get enough money and so the selling price is even bigger than the price for which it was made.
I’ll give you a hint – if you see something at a massive sale, for example a shirt that has been reduced from 20 euros to 5 euros, well, then maybe this is the right price for which they should be selling it from the begginning. Because they can’t go below the original price and so the smaller the price is after the sale, the lower the true cost is. And so those jeans that originally cost 35 euros and now are 8, well, they prove how shoddy they actually are. The true cost is very low. But in terms of humanity, the cost is uncountable times higher.
Also, lots of second-hand shops support various charities, especially in the UK. So by buying their clothes, you not only don’t contribute to this inhumane treatment, but you also send money to charities.
3. It makes your clothes more original! If you go to Primark and buy a beautiful dress, there are so many women or men who wear the exact same thing. But in a second-hand shop there is only one piece. And if it fits you, I believe it’s your destiny to wear it! (Yes, I’m a weirdo.) So in terms of variety and authenticity, a second-hand shop is so much better than fast fashion. It also takes more work to get through all of that clothes you do not want until you find the true piece of clothing. It’s not as easy as going to Bershka and having everything in front of you, but sometimes easier doesn’t mean better. And if you find a great skirt after all that searching, you’ll feel soo great!
4. The prices are amaaazing. Seriously. Especially in the Czech Republic, you buy 10 pieces of clothing in a second-hand shop for a price of one sweater in fast fashion. And if you like to save money for things as travelling or education (I really do), this is one of the ways to save it wisely. Every pound, dollar or anything else counts. It always makes me so happy when I buy something awesome for such a cheap price!
5. The last reason is… I love things with history. Books, furniture, clothes, everything. I love having something that belonged to somebody before me, I love wondering who it was, what they looked like, what they liked and disliked, why they gave this thing away. I feel like sharing things with strangers kind of makes us more human – because everything is linked and we are all the same, after all. I know many people who don’t want to shop at second-hand shops because they are squeamish of strangers. “You never know who wore it before you, maybe it was someone dirty and ugly.” Well, I don’t care. Maybe the person was messy, maybe clean, maybe ugly (what do the terms ugly and pretty even mean, really?), I just don’t care. I love the clothes they used to wear and that makes me believe they had an amazing fashion style! What else do I need to know? The clothes doesn’t smell bad, it’s not dirty or anything, so what is the big deal? We should love and embrace others more and hate and despise less.
Yes, I love Oxfam. ❤