We all get excited about a bargain because we feel like we’ve beaten the retailer (or something psychological like that, idk) & nothing beats a banging bargain for your wardrobe.
For the past few years or so I’ve become more & more aware of “Fast Fashion” – fashion retailers are churning out dozens of “mini seasons” each year resulting in us feeling like we have to constantly be buying clothes to fit in with the latest trends. Where we once bought a few items in Summer & a few in Winter, there are so many of these micro-seasons that get us shopping unnecessarily.
‘Being’ a business (soz for the cringe but y’know, actors n all that) & then starting a business is pretty costly & I’ve found that buying clothes (or anything for that matter) is just an absolute no-go at the moment.
So what have I learnt? A lot, as it happens! The beauty of being skint is the way in which you make the most of what you’ve got. This applies to everything but today I’m talking about fashion. I wouldn’t ever say I was fashionable or fashion-forward but I sure do LOOOVE clothes! I love vintage clothes & charity shop finds even more.
Moving in March meant having a clear out and condensing my wardrobe. There are loads of ways to get rid of unwanted clothing. Donating to charity, giving to friends & family, recycling, Depop, eBay etc… & if you’re a fan of H&M then you’ll love what I’m about to tell ya…
In case you didn’t know, H&M have a conscious range, full of sustainable style. You can also take in a bag of unwanted clothes into store in exchange for a £5 voucher which you can of course use on their conscious range! They take your unwanted clothes & use them worldwide as second hand goods, reuse what’s not suitable to wear as other products and recycle the textiles that can’t be reused! A FAAAAB initiative that really gets you thinking.
I love recycling clothes & have always found it such a fun & free way to get the most of what’s already in my wardrobe.
For example, spots & polka dots are eeeeverywhere right now. I saw some very cute blouses in Topshop so had a rummage in a bag and found a dress from H&M that’s probably 10 years old. The dress wasn’t cute as a dress anymore so I cut it into a crop top & have been wearing it ever since. Et voila, a new old top.
The same goes with the “top” featured in the images. I say “top” because It’s actually an old playsuit from New Look that I cut up last year.
I’ve been chatting to my friend Coral about it all and she’s said that where vintage/thrift finds were once thought of as ‘cool’, it’s now very much an eco friendly & environmentally conscious choice for her as well. Coral also emphasizes that “shopping in charity shops isn’t difficult or a chore in any way – it’s the opposite! You have to look a lot harder for something specific but equally if you’re just browsing, you’re likely to find something way more exciting” The way she describes thrift shopping is like “a treasure hunt for adults” which is so true! To find a one off piece that no one else is likely to have, for a couple of quid is surely more intriguing than the dress in the shop window that every instagrammer has.
We’ve come together to give ya’ll some tips & tricks for bagging that bargain:
- Ask yourself if you REALLY need something. I waited 8 months before allowing myself to buy some denim dungarees from Topshop. It turns out I wear them 678 times a week so it’s a worthy investment. If you don’t actually need it then how much do you want it? Can it be bought second hand? Have you looked on the Depop app? or eBay? Have you spent a good while trudging around the charity shops?
- Sell & donate your old clothes. If your clothes are in good nick, see what you can sell! What you don’t sell, donate to a charity shop/H&M or have a swap session with friends. Making room in your wardrobe the right way means you feel GREAT when you get new (old) clothes!
- Challenge yourself to only buying second hand clothes for three months, then six months, then twelve! If you find it easy then keep on going! If you’re feeling brave then challenge yourself to the sale rails if your local charity shops have them. It can be time consuming but take your coffee cup to a cafe, grab a latte to go and go explore!
- Recycle & re-wear. Cut dresses into tops, turn old tees and leggings into pyjamas, rip holes into faded jeans…
- Finally, don’t put too much pressure on yourself! No one is perfect and to be perfectly environmentally conscious will limit yourself to a Tarzan lifestyle. If you’re doing a good thing most of the time & becoming more aware of the problems with fast fashion then you’re doing great! Be kind to yourself.
Fast fashion is dangerous. We’re all guilty of it, I know that but cutting down is a start.
Huge thanks to Coral for her words of wisdom and further reading can be found here.