I hadn’t realised until I was scrolling social media that the idea of buying fast fashion second hand is a bit of a controversial topic.
Buying Fast Fashion Second Hand
My initial thought was “why wouldn’t it be”? After all, buying anything second-hand is extending its life and preventing, or at least delaying, it ending up in landfill. There is even a whole month dedicated to shopping second-hand: Second hand September.
I can appreciate that it is a bit confusing in some ways. For me, I don’t really want to be supporting fast fashion at all. but I do find it hard to find items that I like from sustainable brands because a lot of what I’ve found so far doesn’t suit my style. Quite often I have seen items that are fast fashion and absolutely loved them but I feel guilty buying them. I will only buy something if I 100% love it and know I will keep wearing it again and again.
In the past I have bought items from eBay, but I haven’t done for the past couple of years. With Love Island partnering with eBay as their pre-loved fashion partner I actually felt influenced to have a little browse on the app. While I was on there I came across a shirt I had seen someone wearing on Instagram or TikTok that came from Zara. I really wanted it but had been holding out for a more sustainable alternative. I realised that not only is the shirt still available from the Zara website but I could buy it brand new with tags for £10 less on eBay.
Is it ok?
The fashion industry produces around £100billion items of clothing a year. We need to be consuming less and making the most out of what is already out there. So if you find something that you absolutely love, don’t let where it came from put you off. We should be thinking about why there is so much fast fashion readily available in the second hand markets. It all comes back to the fact that we are producing too much. We should be encouraging fast fashion brands to reduce the amount of clothes they put out there and pay their workers a fair wage.
I do understand that fast fashion clothing is poor quality in the first place and so it may not last you very long. I also think it’s important to recognise the throwaway culture that we live in. Apparently clothes are considered old when they have been worn only seven times! Are we also going to be seeing more fast fashion second hand because stores like Zara don’t accept free returns online anymore?