Second-hand shopping is on the rise

By Hannah Karpel

Second-hand shopping is on the rise and we are all for it.
Young people are ditching fast fashion and choosing to shop second hand. Hannah Karpel finds out why.

Investigations on TV, news reports and through social media have shone a light on poor practices and how damaging our throwaway society really is. This has helped to create a consumer who is more environmentally conscious. Throughout the year the sales of second-hand clothing have seen a substantial increase. This is shown through the growth of Depop an online platform for second hand clothing which essentially fuses together Instagram with Ebay, who according to Drapers Online have grown from 3 million users last year to 10 million today. Young people are monopolising on these changes by buying and selling online, building ‘bedroom empires’.

Harry Stevens, a Fashion Journalism student at Central Saint Martins has a new found love for shopping second-hand, “it’s the chase of finding something that is unique.” This excitement of discovering your clothes contrasts to the popularised consumerism whereby any item you might want is handed to you instantly. The gratification felt when you eventually pick out a garment after delving amongst a jumble of others is individual and long lasting. Harry explains how, “these discoveries are a talking point” because you can tell those around you of how you came across and discovered that particular item. There becomes a sentimentality and appreciation for your clothes which is otherwise lost through shopping with fast fashion brands.

In a Channel 4 documentary led by Mary Portas titled, ‘What Britain bought in the year’ it was revealed that ‘2/3rds of ‘millennials’ are more likely to spend more money on a garment which has been sustainably and ethically sourced as opposed to a cheaper fast fashion item. This consideration and understanding of our clothes is important to the lives of those manufacturing them and the environment being damaged through their production. Perhaps shopping second-hand alongside other factors will help to shift the mentality of the fast fashion consumer. It is time we fell back in love with our clothes.

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