WHAT: “Vintage.” “Recycled.” “Loosely dressed.” All of these terms are ways of describing second-hand clothing. Tough economic times and growing concern for the environment have encouraged people to shop second-hand or donate used clothing. Used clothing can be found online at various second-hand shops, consignment stores, garage sales, and auction websites such as eBay. Many used clothes in good condition today are waiting in stores for someone to notice them. For the budget-conscious and environmentally conscious, shopping for second-hand clothes can be fun and challenging – you never know what surprises you’ll find! You may not find something you like about your body, but if you’re lucky, you can definitely find the perfect item for you, or better yet, a real treasure! In fact, a friend of mine bought what he thought was a cute little bag at a garage sale for $15. Little did he know that there was a designer brand whose bags often sold for several thousand dollars, and secondhand treasure with an appraised value of close to a thousand dollars!
WHY: Used is cheaper, less likely to shrink, and is environmentally friendly. By buying second-hand clothing, you give second-hand clothing a second life and keep it out of landfills. In this day and age of eco-friendly options, buying second hand is a great idea and can be especially beneficial for families on a tight budget. Some charities may run secondhand clothing stores and make money from selling clothing to help others. Buying used clothing also gives you the opportunity to discover great clothes for a very low price, not to mention that there are different styles and sizes for everyone! You will experience the thrill of the hunt, find unique items that no one else can own, and help reduce textile waste in landfills.
• Browse garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment stores for second-hand clothing and other everyday items. Courtyard sales are great for finding cheap used clothing, and you can negotiate the price.
• When sifting through second-hand stores, look for labels you know and trust. Prices may be slightly higher, especially if the garment is well-groomed, but the manufacturer’s quality and reputation warrant longer wearing.
• Luxury clothing for both adults and children is sometimes donated to second-hand stores. You can browse the shops near upscale neighborhoods for new donations.
• Be sure to thoroughly check all items. Make sure all seams are tight and secure, especially collars, underarms, buttons and zippers. Check for moth holes, loose seams and stretched necks, armholes, and belt bands.
• Don’t waste time with piles of clothes – this is time consuming and can be frustrating. Choose stores that organize clothes well enough so that you can find what you need quickly and easily.
• Bring clothing that is too worn, torn or stained to be sold or donated to recycling centres.
TIP: Make sure to wash all your newly bought second-hand clothes before wearing them. When buying toys, you should definitely disinfect them before giving them to your children. Blankets, sheets, towels should also be thoroughly washed.