by Cashmere Wrap & Macadamia Nuts
Some weeks back I bought a second hand sweater. It was in pristine condition, 100% poor new wool, with no thread out of place, classic grey, warm and pleasant to the touch. Need I mention how little I paid for it? But surprisingly enough my Mom reacted less enthusiastically and looked down on my purchase, saying it is not hygienic and that I should get rid of it. At once.
Dear Mom, I am sorry, but I have to disagree with you. I believe that second hand clothes are a great addition to any wardrobe, as long as they are well kept, made of quality fabrics and well suited for a person buying them. In other words, if a piece meets all criteria that you normally set for boutique buys, open your closer door and let it in. If you reuse a garment, buy second hand or vintage, you give it a new life. And in all honesty, why shouldn’t you? There is no shame in it. If you wash it well and iron it nicely, you gain a great addition to your closet for a fraction of the original price. Just like my grey sweater that I was already complimented on. I will wear it proudly knowing that I made the right choice …
… because there is so much more to second hand goods that a frugal treasure hunt. If you buy used, you do the ethical thing. The amount of waste produced by discarded garments and accessories is growing at an alarming rate. Thanks to fashion being fast, cheap and highly disposable, excessive shopping is taking its toll on the environment, producing tones of waste. Think about synthetics with a long life span on a garbage dump before they can degenerate, after all they are made from non bio-degradable ingredients that take “forever” to vanish from the face of earth. Fast fashion is all but environmentally friendly and developed societies that love to shop for leisure should understand that it comes with a high price, and paradoxically enough the cheaper you buy the higher price you pay in the long run. And if you tell yourself that any excess can always be donated to charity, think twice – perhaps it makes sense with high quality clothes, but for poor quality it doesn’t. Cheap garments that won’t make it into your local charity shop will probably be shipped of to some poor corner of the world as a so called “relief”, contributing to more waste and more trouble for those communities. One man’s junk is not always another man’s treasure.