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Overlooked second-hand items

One of our most favourite places to shop second hand is, of course, charity and vintage shops. They are a treasure trove of affordable pieces, but outside of clothes, there are lots of pieces that often get overlooked!

So take a hot sec to have a look outside the usual clothing racks to see what you can find.

Jewellery

No matter what your style is, you can probably find some lovely pieces of jewellery. From chunky necklaces to fun costume jewellery, it’s never in short supply. Our top tip would be to take a second to really peer into the cabinets around a charity shop. This is where more valuable items will be stored, and you can find beautiful pieces such as sterling silver chains, gemstone brooches and well-made watches, all for a fraction of what you might pay for them brand new.

Belts

This one will usually take a bit of rummaging through, but it’s worth it when you find a piece you know will last forever and not just one season. You can typically get a good quality leather belt in every style imaginable, for usually no more than a couple of quid. Leather is a material that lasts, but buying new can be expensive, and it’s not one for our Vegan friends. Buying secondhand avoids both firsthand leather and the harmful manufacturing of pleather whilst still getting a beautiful piece that will last you a lifetime.

Shoes

You can find anything from trainers to stilettos, and they are usually in abundance! So many pairs of shoes are donated to charity shops with a lot of life left in them, and they are just waiting for you to take them home. If you head into a Vintage store, you may be able to find some truly unique pairs that are out of circulation or just plain unusual to turn heads when you wear them out! Like with belts, new leather shoes are expensive, so buying secondhand will help save the environment and your wallet.

Bags

With the resurgence of 90s fashion, charity shops are the go-to for finding a “new” bag. All those tiny shoulder bags that your mom or auntie donated? The little leather handbags that became uncool but are now the must-have item? You can find them all in your local charity shop if you take your time and have a proper look. Usually, you’ll find a bucket full of bags of every shape and size, so see if you can find what you are looking for before buying a new one.

The stigma of swapping and secondhand

This stigma is steadily changing, primarily thanks to GenZ and Millennials being at the forefront of wanting environmental fashion and the resurgence of Vintage style. Whether it’s wanting to stay on top of trends by buying everything from fast fashion labels, or the (incorrect) view that secondhand clothing is outdated and unclean, we are here to help assuage your concerns and show you that swapping is for everyone. Promise.

It’s unclean.

I’m sure you’ve heard, “Someone’s probably died in that!”. While it’s usually made in jest, it plays into the continuing stigma that secondhand and swapping clothing is dirty and undesirable. In reality, items will often come straight from someone’s wardrobe, freshly cleaned when swapping. In secondhand shops, clothes will often be washed or steamed to refresh them or remove any dirt. Either way, there’s no reason you can’t wash them as soon as you get home!

It’s about image.

In this social media-driven society, image has become everything. Staying on top of the latest fashion and having the next big thing to show off has become so important that the idea of going against the mainstream has some people running for the hills. Swapping your clothes is one of the most accessible ways to consume fashion sustainably by utilising what’s already available. With the changing tide towards sustainability, you might just end up ahead of the curve! Whilst swapping is steadily making its way to the forefront, there is still an air of confusion around it, but sometimes all it takes is that step to try!

It’s not on-trend.

When trends are determined by big fashion labels that seem to churn them out at a speed that’s hard to keep up with, swapping and buying secondhand doesn’t seem like a viable option if you want to stay on top of it all. But the reality is with the increasing popularity of thrifting and platforms like Depop; second-hand is becoming the next big thing. Trends come and go but finding a second-hand piece you love and will wear repeatedly? That’s forever.

It’s poor quality.

We often think that for something to last for us, it needs to be bought new and therefore has the most wearability in it, right? Well, that’s not always the case. Take a vintage leather jacket from the 90s versus the one you were eyeing up in Zara the other week. The truth is that the Zara one wasn’t made to last, forcing you to buy a new one when it inevitably wears out. The vintage one? It’s already stood the test of time and still looks great, plus it will already be worn in and comfortable to wear. We know which we’d rather choose.

Have you struggled with the stigma around preloved clothing, or did you dive headfirst into swapping? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so let us know below!

 

Thrift flips

“In total, Brits have sent clothing worth a potential £958,611,987 to landfill”* and that is just from 2020 lockdown clearouts. It’s easy to think that one person can’t have a huge impact, but when there are millions thinking that they are the one, it becomes a problem.

So, here at Bandi, we have compiled our favourite ways of giving your clothes a new lease of life, saving it from landfill. It’s all about the imperfect impact.

Crop it.

This super simple thrift flip works for anything from old t-shirts to jeans to maxi dresses. Get yourself a good pair of scissors, mark where you want the garment to end, make sure it’s straight, then cut! If you aren’t sure of your ideal length, leave an extra inch of fabric as you can always cut again if it’s not the right length. Fabric, like denim and t-shirts, are perfect for this as they usually don’t fray with a raw edge! (Save the excess fabric for cleaning cloths or even to patch up holes later on!)

Dye It.

Dyeing is an often-overlooked way to revamp your clothes. Those black jeans that are now grey? Refresh them with a box of black dye! Not keen on the current colour of a garment? Simply lift the original colour using a colour remover, and then re-dye it to whatever shade you fancy! Super simple. You can even try your hand at Tie Dye for something more unique.

Bleach It.

Get your hands on some bleach, and using a paintbrush, paint whatever design you like onto the clothing! The bleach will lighten the fabric in the pattern you’ve painted, making it a whole new piece. Denim is a perfect fabric for this technique. Some of our fave patterns include flames, smiley faces and cartoon flowers.

Embroider It.

Got a piece that is a little plain? Grab a needle and some embroidery thread, check out some YouTube tutorials for simple patterns and go to town on jazzing up your clothes. The only limit with this one is your imagination, so have fun with it!

* https://www.circularonline.co.uk/…/brits-send-clothing…/

Where to look before buying new

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.

Bandi

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 Marketplace

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

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.

Vinted

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!

Rent

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.

eBay

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!

Vintage/Charity shops

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

Why should I start swapping?

The problem that comes with these trends is that they fade just as quickly as they arrive, and usually, the clothes are not made to last. They may be affordable and cute for a few months, but when you take a moment to consider how many times they will be worn before being thrown out, is it worth the true cost?

This is why it is more important than ever to find alternative means of satisfying your clothing needs. Shopping second-hand is a great way to do this, but this still eventually leads to the issue of overconsumption, and with the ever-rising prices of sustainable and vintage clothing (though justifiable), we have found an alternative for everyone.

Now more than ever, we need to focus on wearing the clothes we already have. But what happens when they no longer suit you or don’t fit right? Well, this is where Bandi and clothes-swapping come in. By uploading your pre-loved clothes to Bandi, you can swap for something new to you, satisfying the need for something new without causing harm to the planet.

It’s More Sustainable!

In a world where everything has become disposable, we need to steer our way back to thinking of the environment first. Everyone has heard of the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, but so often do we skip over the first two options and head straight for “Recycle” when actually Reducing and reusing are the steps we need to take. By swapping your clothes, you reduce the rate at which you are consuming clothing and reusing pieces, extending their lifecycle. By swapping, you save at least two items per swap from potentially ending up in a landfill.

Avoids Overconsumption.

One of the main problems with how we consume fashion is the utter overconsumption that we are all guilty of! We all have those items that we’ve only worn a few times before deciding it’s not quite our vibe, or ones that have been well loved, but you simply don’t wear anymore. There is a huge fear when it comes to rewearing clothes, as it’s not seen as “trendy” to outfit repeat. This is one of the great things about Bandi. By swapping your clothes, you will get new pieces without taking up more room and being stuck with more clothes than you know what to do with, as well as giving your old pieces a new life! It’s all about circulating what you already have.

Affordable.

Whilst justifiable, Sustainable fashion can be expensive and therefore not accessible to all. By swapping your clothes through Bandi, all you have to pay for is postage! This makes it a great option for those who want to do everything they can to be sustainable but can’t always justify the price tag it comes with.

Find your Style with Ease.

Sometimes, you know exactly what kind of clothing that you are looking for, but aren’t sure where to look. This is what the Bandi App is here to do. You can match with other eco-conscious swappers, who have a similar style and body type, meaning you don’t have to struggle through endless listings to find things that will suit you!

But we would love to hear what you love about swapping, what is the best swap you’ve made?