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4 Benefits of Buying Secondhand Clothing

Jennifer loves vintage style and tries to shop secondhand whenever possible.

Buying clothes secondhand has some major advantages.

Buying clothes secondhand has some major advantages.

Years ago, buying secondhand clothing was nothing to be proud of. If someone bought used clothing, most would assume they simply could not afford new clothes. In recent years, however, buying secondhand has become a popular trend in fashion.

Websites that allow users to purchase and sell used clothing have popped up all over the internet. Poshmark and Depop are two of the most popular online marketplaces for secondhand clothes and accessories. The newfound popularity of the used clothing market has created an enormous opportunity for fashion shoppers to have a positive impact on themselves, the planet, and society at large.

The 4 Main Advantages of Buying Your Clothes Secondhand

  1. Reduces your environmental impact.
  2. Doesn't promote exploitative work conditions.
  3. Saves you hundreds of dollars.
  4. Your unique vintage style looks more authentic.

1. Reduces Your Environmental Impact

Buying secondhand means you are reusing a piece of clothing that has been worn previously by someone else. Secondhand pieces are often in good enough shape for continued wear but end up landing in some dumpster instead of being donated or resold.

A shirt that no longer fits someone else might be a perfect fit for you. Many pieces of clothing, especially those of good quality, can survive for decades if they are treated well. Unfortunately, many of us tend to throw away clothes after a year or two of wearing them because they have become unfashionable or don't fit us anymore. Discarded clothes take up valuable space in landfills that should only be occupied by materials that are not reusable or recyclable.

Additionally, Manufacturing and dyeing clothes requires the use of potentially dangerous chemicals. These chemicals pose a threat not only to the water, the air, and the earth but also to the people working with them. By buying used clothing, we can reduce our environmental impact in several ways.

How Does Buying Used Help the Environment?

  • Buying secondhand clothing helps lower the overall demand for new clothing to be produced.
  • Choosing to wear used clothing means you are helping to recycle useful items that might otherwise end up discarded in landfills.

2. Doesn't Promote Exploitative Work Conditions

Many of your clothes are likely manufactured in impoverished regions where workers produce clothing for more than 12 hours a day for a meager wage. Meanwhile, we in more industrialized countries are worried about which new coat and matching shoes we should buy to look good this season. It is a disgusting paradox.

Buying secondhand clothing will not have an immediate impact on poor working conditions in foreign manufacturing plants, but it may help send the message that the fashion and retail industries need to rethink their strategy. Consumers have spending power, and in turn, help determine how the industry works. If we change our habits, manufacturers and retailers may eventually change theirs, too. Let's work to lower the demand for new clothing from regions with exploitative work conditions.

Buying secondhand means you can expand your wardrobe without thinning your wallet.

Buying secondhand means you can expand your wardrobe without thinning your wallet.

3. Saves You Hundreds of Dollars

One great side effect of buying used clothing is the substantial amount of money you can save. You can get clothing from top-notch brands at bargain prices simply because they were worn a couple of times and no longer appeal to their owner. If you are a victim of expensive fashion trends, buying used will allow you to purchase far more clothing while spending less than you did when you shopped new.

Some secondhand clothing retailers are pricier than others, but if you're not picky about brand names, thrift stores, yard sales, and free piles tend to offer the best value. If your fashion sense is fairly specific, on the other hand, online peer-to-peer retailers like Depop and Poshmark will be your best friend. Some sites even offer monthly subscription boxes of deeply discounted, gently used brand-name clothing.

4. Your Vintage Style Looks More Authentic

Another advantage of shopping for secondhand clothing is that you will find one-of-a-kind pieces that no one else has. By virtue of shopping only for used and vintage items, you'll look unique without having to put much effort into it.

We all know that fashion repeats itself. New versions of styles that were once considered old-fashioned suddenly reappear in stores all the time. So instead of buying the same "vintage-style" pair of ballet pumps as all your girlfriends, go check out a secondhand shop and find a one-of-a-kind pair so your look has a more authentic feel.

Online Secondhand Clothing Resources

Buying Your Clothes Used Has Some Major Advantages!

I was never the type of person with twenty different purses or pairs of shoes at home, but I did buy my clothing new. It never popped into my mind that I could get the same clothes for a much lower price while also helping to protect the environment. Then I discovered some great websites, and everything changed when I bought a couple of used Hilfiger sweaters, some ski pants, and even two snowboards for a bargain price. The items were as good as new, and I was so happy to have spent only about 15% of the items' retail value.

Our current economic system is based on excessive consumption. Consumption is what keeps the economy alive and creates jobs. It is common sense, however, that unlimited growth on a planet with limited resources is not viable or sustainable. More and more people are realizing that and are changing their habits to demonstrate that wasting resources does not need to be the norm.

Let's be eco-friendly, help put an end to the exploitation of garment manufacturers, save tons of money, and look awesome doing it! Shopping used is one step of many you can take toward a cleaner, more socially responsible world. I invite all of you to that step with me.


Ricky adam on January 24, 2018:

second-hand stores are popping up everywhere.and It’s the best way to deal with textile waste because clothes don’t get thrown out after a few uses. Many People Buy Second Hand Clothes. Because buying secondhand clothing means you are going to reuse somebody else's piece of clothing.

You can buy second hand clothes online from

Johann Tor on May 24, 2017:

Used clothes are good however we need to inspect them to make sure that their still in best so why not use the new Veryfier app to hire an independent third-party person to go out inspect and check the item before you purchase? It is really important that the inspection should be done by a 3rd party person who will give an honest review and report. Download the app at the Veryfier website or go to iTunes store and install the VeryfierApp.

jandee from Liverpool.U.K on January 14, 2015:

I bought a super dog-tooth check jacket yesterday for pennies,I am really pleased, mind you, it is the norm for me as I am a vintage clothes collector.

Nice info.

Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on September 25, 2014:

I grew up with second-hand clothing. I chose to be a stay-at-home mom while my children were young, and the boxes and bags of clothing we were given were lifesavers. Even when they were earning their own money in part-time jobs as teens, my children chose to shop at 2nd hand stores to save money on their clothing. It is a great way to look good without having to spend a fortune!