We all have items at the back of the wardrobe that we’ve forgotten all about. Clothes that are saved in the loft for when we can fit into a size 10 again or until that day that they come back into fashion. Maybe it’s time to break free from the cycle of consumption and embrace a more sustainable choice: pre-loved clothes.
It’s a way of saving money, reducing our carbon footprint, supporting a circular economy and finally embracing our uniqueness and individuality.
Celebrities over 50 like Sarah Jessica Parker, Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett and Jennifer Aniston know that so well. By prioritizing quality over quantity and curating a wardrobe that reflects their personalities, they have found a sustainable approach to red-carpet fashion, often wearing pre-loved gems or re-purposing the same outfits again and again.
We probably don’t have the same access to vintage haute couture (and their secret addresses), but we can’t deny we all have started thinking of embracing pre-loved style. In the end, second-hand finds can be the key to developing our new signature look in midlife. Why should we buy a poorly made, environmentally questionable outfit, when we can find a unique piece and sometimes “the real thing“?
Tips for Finding and Buying Pre-Loved Clothes
According to GlobalData, the UK’s fashion resale market is worth £5.3 billion and is expected to grow nearly 70% by 2026, spurred on by sustainability concerns, the rising cost of living and technological advances that allow resale apps to thrive.
Finding and buying pre-loved clothes requires a bit of effort, though, but the rewards are well worth it.
Here at CrunchyTales, our style experts usually start with exploring local thrift stores, consignment shops, and vintage boutiques. These places often have hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Online platforms, such as dedicated pre-loved clothing websites and social media marketplaces, are also great resources for finding unique pieces.
Some notable brands include “The RealReal,” a super-glossy US-based luxury resale site, “ThredUp,” an online consignment store with a vast selection of pre-loved clothes for all ages and sizes, and “Farfetch Pre-Owned“ – fulls of gems that are waiting to find a new home.
One of our favourites is “Vestiare Collective“. Based in Paris, the web-only shop is home to a broader range of fashion labels than most sites, resulting in varying price points.
Of course, when we’re hunting for bargains, we don’t overlook online marketplaces like eBay and Vinted. The first one has long been a favourite for fashion editors hunting for second-hand treasures, the second one is definitely the place to go for cult brands and lower prices.
Sometimes shopping second-hand means also supporting a worthy cause. We love browsing well-curated wardrobe collections at Mary’s Living and Giving charity shops around the Uk, set up with retail expert Mary Portas, which also support Save the Children.
Do you have any favourite preloved shop? Why not share your list with us and help us spread the importance of sustainable choices in and outside the closet?