My love of secondhand everything began as soon as I moved out of home. I was eighteen and living in a new city that was bursting with funky markets and quirky charity shops.
And I had a very tight budget to burn.
Over time, my funds began to increase, and so too did the number of people in my care that I needed to clothe! When pregnant with my first child, I was thrilled to discover a couple of local baby and kids markets, and when stuck at home with an unsettled newborn, eBay provided a good backup.
After all these years, I still have a passion for hunting through market racks. And my reasons for continuing to buy secondhand clothing have always remained the same.
Obviously, one of the main reasons for buying secondhand clothes is affordability. Regardless of what sources you use, secondhand clothes are considerably cheaper than brand new items, allowing for either greater savings or a more expansive wardrobe!
The environmental cost of manufacturing clothing is considerable. So buying secondhand clothes not only reduces demand on clothing manufacturers, it also cuts down the amount of clothing ending up in landfill.
Kids’ clothing stores follow the seasonal trends just as adult fashions do. But if you’re buying mostly secondhand clothing, your children will have a more diverse wardrobe to chose from rather than wearing the same leggings, the same tee-shirt print, or the same dress as their friends.
4. Recognising Quality
On a secondhand rack, it’s easy to spot the quality brands that wash and wear well amongst the cheaper clothing labels that lose their shape, pill and fade quickly. Clothing that is well-made from quality fabrics will continue to look great for many more seasons.
5. More Wear
Ironically, we tend to keep aside our child’s expensive clothing for “special events”, resulting in a very high cost-per-use. When paying secondhand prices for their “good” clothes, we are more inclined to let our kids wear them more often, leading to greater value from our purchase.
6. Stubborn Kids
Kids can become fussy about their clothing, and literally overnight they’ll decide they will no longer wear a particular item or a certain style. When buying secondhand clothes, your outlay is much smaller so the frustration – if this issue arises – will also be much less!
7. Thrill of the Hunt
Shopping for secondhand clothes can be largely unpredictable. And although online sources have now opened up much wider opportunities, the thrilling feeling of finding a prized item at a ridiculously cheap price is still unbeatable, and slightly addictive!
8. Brand Names
For superior quality and style, the higher-end brands are certainly hard to match. But they come with a hefty price tag too, so buying secondhand brand name items will allow you to achieve the same look for only a fraction of the cost.
9. Lucky Tags
Sometimes, just sometimes, you’ll find items at secondhand prices that are still brand new, possibly even with tags still attached! A result of unwanted gifts, or kids who refused to wear a particular item, or clothing that was outgrown before it could be worn. These finds are generally more likely at local markets and online sources.
10. Shop Local
When buying secondhand clothing from local charity stores and opportunity shops, your money stays in your community, supporting local small businesses and charities.
Whether it’s handing down items to a younger sibling, nieces and nephews, a friend’s children, or back to the local secondhand shop, the pattern of giving makes us feel good and benefits the environment and greater community.
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