I still remember the day I was in Sydney, and I saw a lovely blue Stella McCartney dress for $30 at the secondhand store. It was in mint condition, but was unfortunately a size bigger than mine. When I left home and started budgeting, I started going to more thrift stores, such as Recycle Boutique and Paper Bag Princess. They were the sort of places you can find something really wonderful, inexpensive and have a variety of clothes to browse through, that make it like a treasure find. It makes you forget about trends, but allows you to focus on your own personal style. The fashion industry has a huge impact, and it is also one of the highest causes of pollution in the world.
When we re-wear clothing, we realise that a lot of clothing can be worn for a long time. There’s an exception to certain clothing’s that wither away after wearing them just a few times though. Now I’m back in New Zealand, I miss the Glebe Markets in Sydney. It was on a rainy day, when one of the stands was selling everything for $1. I remember wearing a dress for years and years that I got for $2 from the red cross shop. There are more unique options, rather than the same similar styles you see in the fast fashion stores. There’s different fabrics, colours, shapes and sizes of clothing.
It has benefits for the environment, saves you money and makes you a more conscious consumer. Plus, it can be enjoyable to spend an afternoon slowly hunting through all the ocean of clothing, accessories and shoes. Now, more than ever, there is more awareness of what options we have. We can choose organic, fresh, eco-friendly and recyclable products that are better for the environment. You also notice what brands have materials that lasts well. It can also make you more aware of the importance of recycling in clothing and everything else. You’re also less conscious of what specific brands you prefer to shop for.
Thrift shopping can be rewarding, especially when you find what you’re looking for, or when you discover a gem. I love it when I go to Recycle Boutique and there are sections of clothing that are colour coordinated. Fashion causes a lot of landfill each year, and being aware of the environmental impact, we can be reminded that we don’t need an exceedingly huge amount of clothes. It’s those pieces that are worn year after year that are treasured. More and more consumers now want the latest technology or the latest trend, which is fine and all. But it’s always nice to think about what we would want to consume, if we didn’t have any external influences of what is popular.
Moonflower Sarong by Mirador