Before you head over to places like H&M or ASOS to buy a cheap piece of clothing that will only be worn for two events max, take a moment to see if you can find a more sustainable option.
In total, up to 85% of textiles go into landfill each year. That’s enough to fill the Sydney Harbour annually*. Yikes. And it’s not just the massive amount of waste that comes from the fashion industry; it’s the exploitation of the people making our clothes. Factory employees of Boohoo had allegedly been at times working 24-hour shifts to get the job done, for as little as £0.29 an hour.**
And these issues are just scratching the surface of a global problem that we all need to act on to be part of the solution.
To make it a little easier, we’ve created a list of our favourite places to find clothes without contributing to fast fashion.
Of course, Bandi is at the top of our list. Become a part of the circular fashion family by swapping your clothes on the Bandi App. Nothing ends up in a landfill, and both you and another person get to enjoy pieces that are new (to you!), extending the lifecycle of your clothes. We love to see what you have been swapping, so make sure to tag us in your finds!
Your Own Wardrobe
“The most sustainable garment is the one already in your wardrobe.”***, and it’s true. However, we understand that sometimes you can get stuck in a rut and become bored with your clothes. One way to tackle this is to look for inspiration! You can use apps like Pinterest to find outfit inspiration and then see what you own to make it work! Instagram is also great for this. Follow fashion bloggers who have a similar style to you, and see if you can steal it. It’s all about looking with a new perspective.
Your Friends’ Wardrobes
The next most sustainable garment? The one you stole from a friend’s wardrobe. Disclaimer: You should probably ask them first! If you have a friend who is willing to lend you their clothes, then you now have a whole new world open to you. Why not swap with each other and turn it into a big communal wardrobe? This can be particularly good for that last-minute panic before a night out when you have “nothing to wear” or when that big event has crept up on you.
Facebook is not just for connecting with friends anymore. Facebook Marketplace is often overlooked as a place to find clothes, in favour of thinking it’s all just second-hand furniture and bikes, but you can find a lot of cool things. It will show you everything in your local area first, so you will be creating fewer carbon emissions if you buy something! Everything is pretty reasonably priced, and as anyone can sell on there, you never know what you might find!
Depop has to be the go-to for finding on-trend second-hand fashion. It’s all about the street style, y2k and vintage, so no matter what your brand of secondhand is, you can find it on Depop. Here you can not only browse the endless preloved catalogue, but you can also find small businesses who hand make items, meaning you can avoid fast fashion and support someone’s passion. The Instagram style layout makes it easy to use, and you can even sell some of your own items so that they can find a new home, making space for your preloved item when it arrives.
Similar to Depop, Vinted is a platform for people to buy and sell their secondhand items. The best thing is, usually, everything is quite a bit cheaper. Vinted hasn’t quite hit the mainstream yet as Depop has, so you can shop for brand name items and high-quality pieces for a lower price and less competition! They also allow you to swap clothing if the seller is interested, so why not take a chance and see what you can find!
When it comes to formal events, they are usually few and far between, so buying an outfit that you will rarely have the occasion to wear is not only expensive but also takes up space that you could fill with something you love. Rental companies offer all kinds of pieces, some are even designer, for an affordable price that you can wear for the evening. This is a fun way to try out new looks and style for each event without contributing to fast fashion and clogging up your wardrobe.
I’m sure when it comes to finding second-hand clothes, eBay isn’t usually at the top of the list. The huge auction site is a treasure trove of clothes, shoes, accessories and way more if you just take the time to look. Our personal favourite things to look out for are 35mm film cameras and proper vintage leather jackets, where unlike on sites like Depop, you can find them for less than £10!
An oldie but a goodie, you can’t have a list of second-hand places without mentioning Charity and Vintage shops. Arguably, this is where a lot of people start their journey into sustainable fashion. Home to reasonably priced and well-made pieces (especially if they are vintage), it’s the perfect place to start. No matter what your budget is or what you are looking for, there is bound to be something for you