In January I suggested being more sustainable as a New Year’s resolution, with saying goodbye to fast fashion featuring in the post. Since then I’ve upped my own sustainable fashion game, and got addicted to Depop (not sponsored, just a recommendation), this week alone I completed the 1Day No Single Use Plastic Challenge in collaboration with WAKECup and the The Marine Conservation Society.
Before diving into the gems I found, I want to explain how bad fast fashion is for the environment. The Guardian explained that: In 2015, greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production globally totalled 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2equivalent, according to a report by the industry-led Circular Fibres Initiative. This is more than the emissions of all international flights and maritime shipping combined.”
A huge amount of clothing bought is worn once or twice and then binned, or sat in the back of a wardrobe forever. The demand to buy something and wear it once, or to constantly stay on trend, or to find a cheap replica of something one of the Kardashians wore, means that cheap online retailers are constantly releasing low-quality new designs and destroying the environment for the sake of #OOTD’s on Instagram. Fast fashion is a massive contributor to climate change, and if there isn’t a drastic reduction in this industry, global warming is going to get worse. As these clothes are made from synthetic materials, aka plastic, they shed microfibres, in the washing machine, which contributes to the existing plastic pollution in the ocean. Invest in products like a Guppy Bag to catch the microfibers so they don’t go on to harm marine life.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be on trend or looking nice, or finding style inspiration from celebrities – the issue is the environmental impact fast fashion causes.
I don’t exactly follow trends, but I do like to wear nice clothes and feel good about myself. I actually used to shop on websites like Boohoo and Missguided a lot, so I’m not perfect but I’m changing for the best. There’s a misconception that people who live sustainably look dirty or wear potato sacks, which isn’t the case, some of the nicest clothes in my wardrobe are second-hand.
It also goes without saying, that environmental impact aside, we absolutely shouldn’t be supporting brands who produce their clothes in sweatshops, which you help abate by buying secondhand and from ethical brands. People and the planet should be our priority, climate change is happening now, and the climate crisis is only going to get worse if we don’t take action.
Without further ado, here’s my best Depop, secondhand/vintage, and charity shop finds.
This was actually the first ever second-hand outfit I bought. My university has an environmental society that hosts a “happy market” every semester, where students can sell clothes they don’t want anymore. This entire outfit was only €10, including the necklace. I would have paid €10 for the kimono alone because it quickly became one of my favourite and most worn articles of clothing! I believe it was all originality from Forever 21.
I used to wear blazers and waistcoats when I was a teenager all the time, all black of course. My style used to be a quite androgynous or even masculine, and I’ve embraced my femininity a lot more over the years but a anything pink is still unusual for me as my wardrobe is still predominately black. I would describe my style as bohemian goth so I have a lot of summery clothing, and also a lot of ripped jeans, shorts, and even distressed and bleached tops so I felt I needed something a little classier for job interviews or events. This is originally from Zara and cost me €31 on Depop including shipping.
The necklace I’m wearing was also from Depop and cost me €7 including shipping, again I needed something classy because I don’t think chokers are appropriate for nice events. I love how the three rings represent karma.
I bought this for the same reason I bought the pink blazer, my wardrobe needs something that looks a bit more professional. I struggle every year to get a winter coat because I prefer my summer style, which is unfortunate because I live in cold, rainy Ireland. It’s really hard to find something warm that isn’t made of fur or down. Beige trench style coats never seem to go out of fashion so I figured this would last almost forever. It cost me €40 including shipping on Depop and was originally from River Island.
I’ve been trying to find shoes like these forever so was delighted to find them on Depop. They’re tall enough that they come up over my jeans, and the heel is suitable for every day wear. These kind of shoes go with almost everything and they’ll probably never go out of style, the heel can also easily be replaced so I wont need to throw them out once it wears down. I got them for €20 including shipping and they were originally from River Island.
I was so happy to find these on Depop too because I got one of my favourite pairs of boots two years ago that are a little similar to these and they’re falling apart, so these were made to be the more sustainable replacement! This was the best value purchase as they were originally €60 in River Island and I got them for €23 including shipping. Like the black ones, they cover my jeans, and although the sole of the heel is thinner than them they should still be able to be replaced when they wear down.
I’ve wanted this book for years, and it popped up on Depop. This actually ended up costing me around the same as the retail price, €17 including shipping, but the chances of me finding it in a charity shop are slim so I still think it was worth it. Keep an eye on my blog for a book review on this next week!
These two books were both from charity shops and only cost a few euro each.
Personally I find the clothes on Depop to be better quality than what’s in charity shops, because if the sellers didn’t think they were of merchantable quality then they wouldn’t be selling them in the first place, often the clothes were just worn once or not at all. That doesn’t mean I don’t look in charity shops, I just prefer getting books there.
The only downside to Depop is the waste that comes with packaging, which you don’t get at vintage or charity shops, but seeing as fast fashion websites also come with packaging it is the lesser of two evils. A large portion of my books are secondhand, my favourite place used to be a quaint secondhand book shop that closed down a few years ago so I ended up relying a lot on Book Depository since then but still bought secondhand from other places from time to time. I’m not as opposed to buying new books as new books as I am to new clothes, as I want to support authors – especially newer and small ones – and I keep books forever because I want my future house to be like a library, so I’m going to alternate between pre-loved finds and new releases.
Check out this video I made about sustainable fashion if you want to learn more about the danger of fast fashion, and how to make your wardrobe greener: