The environmentally damaging effects of fast fashion more widely understood than ever. One million items of clothing are sent to landfill in the UK each week, and the realisation of just how damaging this is to the planet – and its people – has got people shunning the high street and choosing more sustainable options instead.
If you’re hoping to do the same, here are some of the best places to start…
1. Look for vintage kilo sales and indie boutiques
For lived-in Levis and old-school glamour, go vintage. Look for local Kilo sales, which allow you to literally buy a kilogram of second hand clothes for a fixed price. What’s on the rails has often been pre-sorted by someone with a good eye for fashionable finds, too. No kilo sale near you any time soon? Try Sobeys or Hobos in Cardiff city centre instead.
2. Head to eBay
eBay is still a great place to find second hand fashion bargains – my other half shops his jeans exclusively from eBay after finding numerous pairs of Levi 520’s at a bargain price.
I find that the trick is to know exactly what you’re looking for, and search for that specific item; this week I decided I wanted a pair of black Nike Air Max trainers and have just won the bidding on a nearly-new pair for just £20.
3. Raid the charity shops
Head to your local charity shop to unearth some gems whilst giving to a good cause.
There’s a rumour that many higher end high-street chains donate surplus stock to charity shops, who sell these products with the labels removed to prevent returns to the original store. So if you spot something brand-new with no label, you could be clutching an even bigger bargain than usual.
4. Look out for dedicated fashion resale sites
Resale sites are becoming big business as people turn away from brand-new, fast fashion, and they mean you can still shop second-hand from the comfort of your couch. I hear the cool young things are using an app called Depop these days, but I an behind the times and haven’t tried it yet. Other sites like Micolet – which started in Spain, but has now expanded into five more countries across Europe – offer up to 90% off big-name brands including Zara, Ted Baker and Topshop.
5. Shop your own wardrobe
Got a bedroom full of clothes and still “nothing to wear”? I know the feeling. I recently spent a good couple of hours going through my wardrobe, mixing colour combinations and layering options that I’d never usually think of trying. As a result, I’ve started wearing pieces that hadn’t seen the light of day in years.
From fixing broken straps and small holes, to adding embellishments, or getting a few key pieces professionally tailored, there are lots of ways to make old clothes feel ‘new’ again. Cardiff-based sustainable stylist Claire Rees has plenty of tips – give her a follow on Instagram for loads of eco-fashion inspiration.
6. Swap with your pals
One man’s trash is another’s treasure, as they say.
If you always find yourself lusting over your best mates clobber, why not try organising a swap? Ask a few mates to rifle through their wardrobes and pick out a couple of pieces they never wear. Then get together over a few drinks for a night of outfit swapping – anything that goes unclaimed can go the charity shop in the morning.