As our handbasket accelerates in direction of a hell of melting ice caps, smoking rainforests and smug, gammon-skinned climate-deniers, it’s powerful to muster a lot optimism. When Trump’s utilizing government orders to roll again environmental protections, utilizing a KeepCup feels about as impactful as attempting to extinguish the Amazon with a water pistol.
However as customers – and particularly trend customers – we’re extra highly effective than we predict. You understand the numbers by now – trend gobbles up extra vitality than transport and air journey mixed; 11m clothes find yourself in UK landfill every week; we’ll be creating 102m tonnes of clothes by 2030 – however their sheer scale will be enervating. Towards that tidal wave of latest clothes, what can one man do?
Effectively, you can begin not shopping for it. For all of the stuff leads to landfill, there’s loads extra that was crafted to final. Shopping for second-hand garments is the almost-carbon-neutral technique to scratch your trend itch with out, y’know, contributing to a local weather disaster that, in response to essentially the most doom-mongery scientists, may see as a lot as 90 per cent of humanity worn out inside a century.
“As consumers, it’s in our power to make a real difference,” Oxfam chief government Danny Sriskandarajah put it in a press assertion to mark the beginning of the charity’s Second Hand September initiative. “Buying second-hand clothes helps to slow the ferocious fast fashion cycle, giving garments a second lease of life.”
Particularly because it’s simpler to purchase pre-owned than ever. The identical one-click checkouts and centralised provide networks which have made quick trend so harmful additionally imply that you just’re not reliant on the previous, ill-fitting jumpers that dangle in your native thrift retailer. Whether or not you’re after classic designer one-offs or bombproof leather-based jackets, the great things is on the market. Right here’s methods to observe it down.
The Greatest Garments To Purchase Second-Hand
You’re, we hope, not choosing your intimates up pre-owned. However there are wardrobe gaps the place second-hand garments are greater than only a stand-in. As a rule of thumb, suppose like your granddad and contribute to sluggish trend and hunt down the form of supplies that genuinely had been constructed harder again then.
“There’s so much denim out there that the bad stuff ends up in the rag trade and only the good stuff makes it to vintage stores,” says Ash Moss, from classic retailer Rokit. Their fades will even be extra genuine than something a designer dreamed up.
Leather-based, too, appears to be like and wears higher after it’s been battered. Classic shops are stuffed with leather-based jackets, says Moss, as a result of they’re virtually bombproof, so that you will be assured you’re shopping for high quality. Additionally they supply one thing you possibly can’t get off the new-in rail. “You get loads of guys in bands coming in to buy the same style of jacket that their favourite band wore.”
In case your tastes run much less roadie, then high-end resale is the place to snap up both luxurious at a discount (most items go for round half what they did retail) or one thing fully distinctive, just like the classic Raf Simons and Helmut Lang that modifications arms for 5 figures as a result of it’s not accessible wherever else.
“Categories that tend to offer the best finds are typically the ‘collectable’ categories like streetwear, vintage and watches,” says Enzo Metroz, supervisor of sneakers and streetwear at luxurious resale website VestiaireCollective. (Though do realise that should you’re procuring pre-owned since you’re anxious in regards to the plight of the polar bears, then shopping for boxfresh Yeezys at greater than the shelf value solely provides air miles.)
Not like new-product shops, the place photographs are constant and also you’re shopping for in-season, rooting by means of pre-owned inventory will be complicated. So comply with the specialists. At streetwear specialist Grailed, employees pore by means of new arrivals to pick their favorite finds, from early Raf Simons (yours for $30,000) to well-priced Prada.
On VestiaireCollective, Metroz recommends trawling the Sizzling Traits and Distinctive Items tabs. “They pull together really unique, on-trend and exceptional products into one destination. Otherwise check out We Love daily, create alerts to be notified when an item goes live and pay attention to Just In.”
What To Look For
The one large downside with pre-owned is that high quality isn’t at all times assured (that mentioned, classic typically nonetheless has extra years left in it than one thing model new from the excessive avenue’s worst offenders). Store on eBay and also you’re by yourself, however the luxurious websites have groups devoted to verifying that what you suppose you’re shopping for is what really turns up.
“We first review the quality of the materials used, whether leather, silk or metal parts for example,” says Victoire Boyer Chammard, head of VestiaireCollective’s authentication staff. “We then look at the quality of the finishes, such as stitching, edge-dyeing or engraving. Finally, we check that the label is consistent with the graphic chart of the house and the quality standards. Everything from the zip used to the serial number is checked to ensure the item is genuine.”
When you don’t have a staff of specialists to assist, then steal a few of their methods. When shopping for on-line, attempt to cross-reference logos with the true factor and ensure the photographs cowl each angle. When it turns up with a giant gap within the again, you’ll uncover why that Gumtree discover was such a steal.
If procuring IRL, take a look at issues like hems and hardware – after they’re stable and well-finished, odds are the remainder of the piece was constructed correctly, too. Lastly, “always check for moth holes,” says Moss. When you don’t, then at greatest you’ve purchased one thing that’s ruined. At worst, the moths you carry again may damage every little thing else in your wardrobe, too.
The Greatest Second-Hand Garments Shops On-line
The charity opened its first store 71 years in the past, and has lengthy been a haystack during which canny consumers can flip up the occasional designer needle (a fortunate browser as soon as discovered a one-of-a-kind Philip Treacy bag value £350,000 in his native Oxfam). However because it started promoting its garments on-line, sifting wheat from chaff has change into a lot less complicated.
Its classic part has well-priced high-end, from Yves Saint Laurent tailoring to North Face jackets, however just like the bricks and mortar shops, it’s greatest for selecting up excessive avenue cast-offs whereas serving to the much less lucky, relatively than exploiting them.
Based in 2014 by a trio of streetwear obsessives, Grailed is the place hypebeasts commerce uncommon sneakers and even rarer Raf Simons, though there’s an honest quantity of accessible gear on there too. Because the title suggests, although, it’s the place the menswear nerds discover their ones that received away, be it a slept-on Supreme collab or a pair of Acronym shorts.
It’s categorically not someplace to sneak a discount. Costs do drop, and negotiation is predicted, however the sellers universally know what they’ve received and the way a lot it’s value.
A market for the practically new (the title stands for Hardly Ever Wore It), HEWI sees itself because the Selfridges of pre-worn, with a list that stretches from new-with-tags Gucci to APC fits, at round 70 per cent lower than retail.
It was initially launched to encourage circularity – customers are inspired to promote issues in an effort to unencumber house and money for brand spanking new purchases. Which may not be fairly as environmentally pleasant as shopping for pre-owned within the first place, however it does not less than ameliorate the affect of these inevitable must-haves.
Dwelling to true high-end, VC is the place you’ll discover Rolex Submariners sharing digital shelf house with Dior saddle luggage and Brioni jackets. Once more, it’s not low cost – the workaday stuff goes for round 40 per cent of retail, in response to Chammard, however luggage solely supply a 25 per cent low cost – however you pay for peace of thoughts; its authentication programs are unrivalled, particularly in terms of watches and jewelry.
That mentioned, the ticket value isn’t at all times what you fork out, as long as you play ball. “The best way to negotiate with a seller is to keep the real price of the product in mind and offer fairly. If your offer is too low you will end up frustrating the seller and they will refuse your negotiation.”
London’s best-known classic model has been the go-to for discount hunters and stylists after era-authentic garments since 1986, however its on-line expertise is arguably even higher than procuring in-store. One of the best items find yourself on-line, so it’s value checking each couple of days to get the bounce on new arrivals.
Rokit’s significantly robust for issues like band tees (why purchase a designer remake when you will get the unique tour merch?), sportswear, leather-based and denim jackets, however it’s additionally a great place to choose up the boxy tailoring that’s come again into trend. If, that’s, you get in fast sufficient. “I’ve seen a couple of beautiful, tailored suits come in,” says Moss. “And I now own them both.”