It’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed when embarking on your second-hand shopping journey - it can be a minefield of ‘almost perfect’ pieces and doesn’t have the ease of traditional off-the-peg shopping.
Maybe you’ve decided to make a change and don’t know where to start…or maybe you’ve tried going secondhand before but ended up feeling lost and overwhelmed and eventually fell back into old shopping habits…?
I’ve pulled together nine easy ways you can start shopping secondhand. As the market grows there are more and more opportunities to give secondhand shopping a go…so pick what works for you and give it a whirl!
1. Wander through your local charity shops
An absolute favourite of mine - but not for the fainthearted. Why not set aside a day, or an afternoon, to do a tour of your local charity shops? Make it fun and don’t rush. Give yourself time to really hunt for pieces you love and don’t be disheartened if you come away empty-handed this time.
2. Head to Vinted and eBay
Online shopping more your thing…? Download the Vinted app or set up an eBay account. Re-sale apps and websites make it SO easy to find what you’re looking for and take some of the rummaging away. I would suggest seeking out brands and fibres that you know you love - this way you can avoid low quality or ill-fitting garments.
3. Seek out a local swap shop event
Swap shops are a great way to get some new pieces on a low budget and move on the clothes you no longer wear or want too. Often, organisations ask for small donations to be involved in the swap - then all you have to do is take along your old clothes and swap them for ‘new-to-you’. What’s not to love? Have a search for an event near you.
4. Order from an upcycled fashion brand
Want something a bit more special - or that feels a bit more new? Make a small business smile and order something from an upcycled fashion brand. That way, you have a brand new piece; but it’s been created using secondhand materials too!
If you’re on the hunt for a new favourite fashion brand - Wild Strings by Eleanor offers a beautiful range all made from secondhand textiles; transformed into luxury, long-lasting pieces.
5. Swap with friends
We’ve all done it - spied that piece in a friend’s (or sibling’s) wardrobe and wished it was ours. Why not arrange with friends to swap from each others wardrobe’s from time to time? That way - you’ve basically doubled your wardrobe without buying anything at all!
6. Spend a morning at a local car boot sale
Another great way to do some in-person secondhand shopping - car boot sales are so much fun! Take your time and enjoy rummaging through what’s on offer. I can’t promise you won’t go away with more than you went for though…
7. Check out an independent vintage store
An easy way to support independent businesses and shop secondhand. Vintage shopping is great when you want to invest in high-quality staple pieces or are going secondhand for a special occasion. Remember to ignore the size on the label though - sizing has changed through the years so don’t rely on them to get the perfect piece.
8. Check out Thrift+
Looking for a ‘cleaner’ second-hand shopping experience? Thrift+ is a certified B-Corp, offering a smooth and sophisticated option for pre-loved fashionistas. Every piece ordered comes from their warehouse where it has been looked over and looked after - so you can feel like a brand new item is arriving at your door.
9. Give renting a go
Although not specifically secondhand, I do like to bunch renting in with secondhand shopping - simply because the item is shared around and re-used, much like other pre-loved pieces. A great option if you want something to wear something ‘new’ for a wedding or party - I can recommend Hurr if you’re thinking of giving it a go.
Basically…there’s a secondhand shopping option for everyone! It can feel overwhelming sometimes, but buying pre-loved can bring so much freedom and fun with it. You’ll find yourself developing a style and bagging the bargains in no time.
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