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Second-Hand Clothes: Where to Find The Most Fashionable Deals
As our handbasket hurtles toward a hell of melting ice caps, burning rainforests, and haughty, gammon-skinned climate doubters, optimism is difficult. When Trump is using executive orders to take back environmental protections, using a KeepCup is like shooting the Amazon with a water pistol. We’re more powerful than we realize as customers, especially fashion consumers. You know the numbers—fashion uses more energy than shipping and air travel combined; 11m garments wind up in UK landfills each week; we’ll create 102m tonnes of clothing by 2030—but their sheer volume can be exhausting. What can one man do against that tide of new clothes? Well, stop buying it. For all the trash, there’s plenty of durable goods. Second-hand clothes are the almost-carbon-neutral method to satisfy your fashion craving without contributing to a global crisis that, according to the most doom-mongering scientists, might wipe out 90% of humanity within a century.
In a press statement to launch Second Hand September, Oxfam CEO Danny Sriskandarajah said, “As consumers, it’s in our power to make a meaningful difference.” “Buying second-hand clothes helps halt the fierce rapid fashion cycle, giving garments a second lease on life.” It’s easier than ever to acquire pre-owned. One-click checkouts and centralised supply networks have made quick fashion so harmful, but they also mean you don’t have to wear thrift store jumpers anymore. The nice stuff is out there, whether you want vintage designer one-offs or bombproof leather jackets. How to find it. go with Teeanime for all your doubts!
THE BEST CLOTHES TO BUY SECOND-HAND
You’re probably not buying used intimates. Second-hand clothes fill wardrobe gaps. Think like your granddad and support slow fashion by buying materials that were constructed tougher back then. “There’s so much denim out there that the terrible stuff winds up in the rag trade and only the nice stuff makes it to vintage stores,” says Ash Moss of Rokit vintage store. They’ll also have better fades than designers. Leather looks and lasts better after being beaten. Moss believes vintage leather coats are bombproof, so you know you’re buying quality. They have something the new rail doesn’t. “You get many of guys in bands coming in to buy their favorite band’s jacket.”
If you’re not a roadie, high-end resale is a great way to find luxury at a discount (most pieces sell for about half retail) or something unusual, like vintage Raf Simons and Helmut Lang that sells for five figures since it’s rare. “Collectable” categories like streetwear, vintage, and watches offer the best buys, according to VestiaireCollective’s manager of shoes and streetwear, Enzo Metroz. (Although if you’re purchasing pre-owned to help the polar bears, buying boxfresh Yeezys at more than the shelf price only increases air miles.) Pre-owned stores are perplexing because visuals are inconsistent and you’re buying out-of-season. Follow the pros. Streetwear specialist Grailed’s staff picks their favorite new arrivals, from early Raf Simons ($30,000) to Prada. Metroz advises browsing VestiaireCollective’s Hot Trends and Exceptional Pieces. They bring unusual, on-trend, and extraordinary products together. Otherwise, check We Love everyday, create alerts, and pay attention to Just In.”
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Pre-owned isn’t always reliable, but vintage generally lasts longer than high-street garbage. Luxury sites have employees to check your purchase, unlike eBay. “We first check the quality of the materials, whether leather, silk, or metal parts,” explains VestiaireCollective’s authentication team leader Victoire Boyer Chammard. Stitching, edge-dyeing, and engraving quality are next. Finally, we evaluate the label against the house graphic chart and quality criteria. The serial number and zip are examined to confirm authenticity.” Steal their tricks if you don’t have a team of experts. When shopping online, check logos and photographs from all angles. You’ll see why that Gumtree discovery was a steal when it arrives with a large hole in the back. If shopping in person, look at hems and hardware—if they’re strong and well-finished, the rest of the piece was built nicely. Moss concludes, “always check for moth holes.” If not, you’ve bought something destroyed. The moths you bring back could damage your entire wardrobe.
THE BEST SECOND-HAND CLOTHES STORES ONLINE
A happy customer found a £350,000 Philip Treacy bag in his local Oxfam 71 years after the organization established its first shop. Since selling its clothes online, separating wheat from chaff is easier. Its vintage department contains well-priced high-end, from Yves Saint Laurent tailoring to North Face coats, but like the brick-and-mortar businesses, it’s ideal for picking up high street cast-offs while assisting the less fortunate.
Grailed, founded in 2014 by three streetwear obsessives, is where hypebeasts trade rare sneakers and even rarer Raf Simons, as well as more accessible stuff. However, menswear nerds find their lost Supreme collabs and Acronym shorts there. It’s never a bargain spot. Sellers know what they have and how much it’s worth.
HEWI, short for Hardly Ever Worn It, is the Selfridges of pre-worn, selling Gucci and APC suits at 70 percent off retail. It encourages consumers to sell goods to make room for new purchases. Though not as environmentally responsible as buying pre-owned, it reduces the impact of those inevitable must-haves.
VC sells Rolex Submariners, Dior saddle bags, and Brioni jackets. Again, it’s not cheap—Chammard says workaday items cost 40% of retail, while bags only 25%—but you pay for peace of mind because its verification systems are unmatched, especially for watches and jewelry. If you play ball, you don’t always pay the ticket fee. “Keeping the product’s genuine price in mind and offering fairly is the best strategy to negotiate with a vendor. If your offer is too low, the seller will be frustrated and deny your negotiation.”
Since 1986, London’s best-known vintage brand has been the go-to for bargain hunters and stylists seeking era-authentic clothes, but buying online is even better. To catch the best new arrivals, check online every couple of days. Rokit is great for band tees (why purchase a designer remake when you can get the genuine tour merch?), sportswear, leather and denim jackets, and boxy tailoring, which is back in style. If you enter quickly. Moss says she’s seen two stunning, fitted suits. “I now own them.”