Second hand, pre-loved, pre-owned, vintage, call it what you will, generally anything that you’re not buying brand new. For some time there has definitely been a bit of a stigma around this type of purchase. But are things slowly changing?
Second Hand September
Something you may already know about as it is happening now is Second Hand September. Set up by Oxfam to encourage people to pledge to shop only second hand for 30 days or more. Root through the items you had ear-marked to go and see if you can repair, upcycle or even make them into something else. You’ll be giving them a longer life and be saving more waste ending up in landfill.
And if you really can’t do without that new-purchase high, browse Oxfam online and find a hidden gem of an item. You’ll also be putting your money towards helping the poorest people on the planet. It’s a win, win. If you haven’t started already, why not take the pledge now?
The Rental Market
Rent the Runway, which was set up in the US in 2009, was the real trigger for the rental market to take off. Followed by the likes of HURR Collective and By Rotation which are both UK peer-to-peer rental services. Remember pre-COVID when you could have up to ten weddings in a year and many people bought a new outfit for each! These services eliminate that problem and are better for the planet and your wallet. HURR have also just launched a pop-up in Selfridges as part of Project Earth, which is amazing to see traditional retailers looking at ways in which they too can adapt.
We know weddings, events and generally most things that you might rent an outfit for have been put on hold but we are still holding out hope that these platforms can survive and continue to change bad shopping habits.
The most well-known of these, Depop, a peer-to-peer fashion marketplace that has steadily gained traction. Similar to a social network in which you have a profile and followers, you can snap the items you want to list and upload to your profile to sell. We love Depep! A real treasure trove of bargains.
More recently the platform collaborated with one of our heroes, RAEBURN Design to offer DIY packs to make your own RAEBURN bucket hat (using either your own material or offcuts from the RAEBURN studio) to celebrate the RAEBURN shop launch on Depop. Here you can find archive pieces and samples. A brand embracing this type of platform is a great step and is a good example of how retail is evolving.
Other platforms include Vinted, or if you’re looking for designer try Vestiaire Collective.
All of these initiatives are helping to re-shape and change an industry that just wasn’t working. A shift in mindset is what is needed. Embracing second hand and pre-loved items is something that needs to become the norm, essentially the planet’s resources will only stretch so far and we need to act before it is too late.