Pre-Owned Fashion Over High-Street: My Thoughts One Month In
In 2018 I started thinking a lot more about fast fashion and sustainability. I started researching and quickly found out that it takes 2,700 liters of water to make one single cotton t-shirt and 7,000 liters to make a pair of jeans, that Zara has 52 (!!!) micro-seasons (that’s new arrivals every single week) only developed to make you buy more, and these items can travel several thousands of kilometers before landing in your local high-street store. Just think about it.
I thought about it for a long time. How can I be more sustainable in my life? I try to use way less plastic (no plastic water bottles, no to-go coffee cups, I bring my tote to the supermarket to avoid plastic bags etc.), I sell or donate my clothes rather than throwing it out, I eat less meat, I use vegan shampoo & conditioner. But I want to be more eco-friendly. I know, I can do more. So, in the end of 2018 I decided that 2019 is going to be the year where I seriously quit fast fashion for second hand. There are so many good items out there needing a new home.
We are now one month into 2019, so I thought I would reflect on my second hand journey. How is it going so far? Did I drop dead crying in front of Mango, begging to just buy that one cool blazer? Well. If we bring out the pie chart, I have shopped around 65% of that pie second hand. For the 35%, I am guilty of going to Zara once for a pair of $15 jeans (hard to resist!) leading to also buying two knitwear dresses and a tote, and I also bought a new winter puffer coat from Snidel.
How to shop a sustainable closet?
There are several great ways to shop that dream closet in the name of sustainability, so let’s walk through them!
Second hand/vintage stores
The obvious one is to check out your local second hand store. Here you find loads of good jeans, accessories, shirts, jackets, shoes, you name it - and you might even be lucky to spot a designer brand. If you live somewhere with vintage stores, this is always a great way to shop high-end designer brands at a better price point (and more sustainable, because they’ve been used already). Here in New York I love visiting INA, Beacon’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange, and The Vintage Twin.
If you don’t live near any second hand/vintage stores or just don’t have the time to physically go, because you actually have real life stuff to do, then Instagram is your new best friend. More and more vintage stores make their clothes available on Instagram, which means it’s now easier than ever to be sustainable. My favorite vintage stores to follow are Deux Birds, Voho, Paloma, Na Nin, and Oldë Paris.
Another great way to gather your dream sustainable closet is to attend closet sales. I recently went to the ManRepeller closet sale and left with three items (check out the items above) that made me feel cooler than ice cream on a summer day. You can also suggest to your best friends, that you swop clothes. Maybe you feel like your rose tits tee is soooo last season, but you love your girl’s old band tee and vice versa. Swop it.
You can also sell and buy on app’s like Poshmark, Depop, and Trendsales (the last one is Danish). I recently bought a green vintage raincoat and a pair of mum jeans on Poshmark, and I sell a lot of my items on there too. This is a great way to be sustainable, because you’re both earning a few bucks and buying second hand.
Buy from small businesses
My last tip is to shop from small businesses. Many of smaller designers focus on sustainability, pure quality, and to produce in same country/city. You can also get so many unique pieces from smaller businesses, which makes it that much more fun. My favorite small businesses are Lisa Says Gah, American Two Shot, Susan Alexandra, Pura Utz, and House of Sunny.
Let me know in the comments below if you shop sustainable fashion? And what are your hacks to the perfect eco-friendly closet?