Seven Benefits of Buying Secondhand Clothing

Buying secondhand clothing has several benefits over buying brand new. If you aren’t convinced, read these seven reasons why you should consider checking out secondhand clothing on your next shopping trip.

Author’s Note:  This article originally appeared on Helium almost 4 years ago, but the reasons still ring true today.  This is a quick overview of the basics – in the future, I’ll write more in-depth articles on thrifting.

  1. Secondhand is cheaper. This benefit seems obvious. Secondhand clothes are usually much cheaper than their brand new alternatives. The cost benefit makes it easier to enhance or build a wardrobe for far less money.
  2. Secondhand clothes are less likely to shrink. Secondhand clothes are often broken in and already have shrunk, unlike brand new clothes. If you have ever suffered the fate of finding your brand new shirt shrunken from the wash, you will appreciate this benefit of second-hand clothing.
  3. Buying secondhand is eco-friendly. By donating and buying secondhand clothing, used clothing gets a second life and is kept out of the trash flow. In this day and age of environmentally friendly options, buying secondhand is a great idea.
  4. Secondhand clothes are sometimes brand-new. This seems like a contradictory point, but people often buy clothes and then never end up wearing them before donating them to a secondhand shop. Items may have never been worn because someone was unable to get to their goal weight’ or simply decided they didn’t really like the item after purchasing, but were unable to return it for a full refund. Some clothes may even have the original tags still attached. Other items are practically brand-new if they have only been worn once or twice.
  5. Nothing beats the variety. There are different styles and sizes for everyone. There is a certain element of the “thrill of the hunt” for the shopper within, as well as the ability to find unique items that no one else will have. If you are frequently discouraged by the racks upon racks of size 0 items in a department store, it may be easier to search through the racks of a secondhand store where there are many different sizes. If you are into the vintage thing, there are plenty of options in a secondhand shop versus a perhaps more expensive vintage clothing store.
  6. Buying secondhand clothes gives you a chance to use your imagination and fashion sense. You may choose to buy some key pieces in a department store, and then scour secondhand stores for suitable matching items. Similarly, you can experiment by picking different items from different stores and creating a one-of-a-kind outfit that no one else will have.
  7. You may find high-end items that would normally be too expensive for your budget (see #1). If labels matter to you, you may be surprised to know that there are frequently gems hidden in the racks and racks of “mom jeans” and ratty t-shirts. If you are willing to search, you might get lucky.

These are only seven reasons why generally, secondhand is a better buy. Cheaper, eco-friendly, durable, variety… what more can you ask for?  If you are new to the realm of second-hand apparel, I challenge you to give it a try.

5 Responses to “Seven Benefits of Buying Secondhand Clothing”
  1. Little Brown Tomato says:

    Agreed. 🙂

  2. Great post! I think reason #3 (eco-friendly) is especially important. Donating used clothing is a good first step, but to really make an impact, we have to buy second-hand as well.

    Shared this post on my tumblr.

  3. Satish says:

    Nice Article.

  4. Mania Stores says:

    As a second-hand clothes provider, we wanted to share with you one additional reason. Many of our clients share the opinion that this is a way for them to be unique. Because of the diversity, there is a possibility that you will be the only one having that dress or shirt as well as you can upgrade it easily and add a little personal touch easier.

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