The story begins with an email from Zara that I received on a dark night telling me about their new autumn collection.
To go back even further, during this terrible pandemic, I have been going through a sort of new quarantine, new me situation. I have learnt new skills, how to sew, tried embroidery, failed at crochet and with no shops open and nowhere to go, I took a deeper look at my consumption and how I could do better.
The first step was stopping my ASOS free delivery subscription and unfollowing all fast fashion brands on social media. Then I promised to myself that by next year my wardrobe would be 40% handmade (go big or go home), 50% second hand and I gave myself a 10% margin of error…
So here I was thinking that I had unsubscribed from all the tempting websites during my quarantine cleanse, but it seems like I either had a technical glitch or I just don’t know how to do it… Anyway of course I scrolled, I am human. Furthermore, I clicked on “add to my basket”. What had tempted me? I had found a very lovely pair of dark denim, straight cut, high waisted jeans that I would really enjoy…
I paid for them and went to bed. Side note, did you know that it takes 3625L of water to make just one pair of jeans? This water then gets mixed with approximatively 3kg of toxic dyes and finally the dirty water gets thrown in the sea and the jeans get sold to us, poor souls.
If this topic interests you, you can read more about it on “Dress with senses” from Redress or “How to break up with fast fashion” by Lauren Bravo.
Obviously, this made me think, do I really, really need a brand new pair of jeans? NOPE!! Therefore, once my parcel arrived, I sent it straight back. I didn’t even try them on.
But I am still left wanting another pair of jeans. I have skinnies (not sure I need several but the damage has already been done), I have a vintage cut pair which I love and wear very often, but I feel the need for a nice pair of straight jeans, and that’s OK. There are ways to get a cute ‘new’ pair of jeans. Your clothes do not need to be new from the shop to be new to you!! I always feel excited when I order something ‘new’, even if it has been pre loved. I’m not jealous?, as long as it’s in good condition…
My favourite app is Vinted. It’s easy to use and you can find very nice things for very low prices, you can even make offers to the seller to bring the price down even further, it’s thrilling and makes me feel like a trader! Try to do that at an H&M till, I promise you will not get the same response!
Another popular similar app is Depop. I’ve heard that this is where the Love Island Starlets sell their clothes once they have been seen in them, so you could get a lot of fancy stuff!
Something a bit different but still a great concept is the Big Sister Swap, you may have seen me talk about this previously on my Instagram grid. As part of this program you send a kg of your own clothes that you don’t want and the Big Sister Swap ladies (I assume they are ladies) send you a selection of brand new second hand clothes that they have selected for you in return. The added benefit of this is that you can also avoid overwhelming the charity shops because what do you think they do to the clothes they can’t sell here in the UK? They send them to Africa for a very low price, which is cool, but it makes it very hard for the little independent clothes shops to make a living, because they can’t really match the prices. If you want to know more about this feel free to watch this amazing movie called “The True Cost”. From this swap I got a lovely pair of Lacoste pink trainers that I love and am actually wearing right now…
A couple of online options include the Oxfam (Charity shop) website, where the clothes are modelled by the gorgeous Michaela Coel and obviously the good old Ebay which reminds me of my old Auntie who used to use the site to buy my cousins and I Hermes scarfs for Christmas when we were around the age of 12. I see it as a place where you can get very fancy brands, real or not!
There are so many second hand options, we really don’t have any excuses. We have to make the change if we want something to happen. Second hand is good for the planet but also for our wallet. It is also fun and thrilling when you find a pre loved goodie for a quarter of its original price.
I hope these little tips will help you but also make you think, of how maybe you can do better.
There isn’t a right or wrong, all we have to do Is try!