Now is the time to get on the preloved fashion wave


With a recession happening, jobs being lost and a climate crisis in full flow, some of us will be thinking about ways to be more eco-conscious as well as budget conscious. The days of Zara hauls might be coming to an end with the company reporting a net income loss of 70% since the start of the pandemic, as well as may shops closing. Perhaps this is a sign of the times?  

With staying in and casual day outings the norm for now, spending a fortune on new clothes just isn’t justifiable right now. Shopping second hand from sites such as online charity shop has become increasingly popular, with Thriftify reporting a 70% increase in sales since the last lockdown started in December. 93% of Irish charity shops are present on the site and there are hundreds of cool vintage finds and brands to shop. Thriftify posts orders straight to the shopper using a biodegradable bag, so everything is consciously thought out. 

Here are a few good reasons to start shopping for preloved fashion: 

You will be reducing your carbon footprint by shopping preloved – did you know the fashion industry is responsible for about 10% of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater? These are astonishing figures that need to be reduced for the sake of the planet. The environmental impact of flying is well known but fashion sucks up more energy than both aviation and shipping combined, not to mention microfibers making their way into the ocean and ending up in the food chain. With this in mind, by buying fashion items from thrift shops or sites like Thriftify, you will be avoiding contributing to landfill and ocean waste in the future and making a stance against fast fashion. According to Oxfam, Ireland dumps 225,000 tonnes of textiles every year. By opting for preloved, you can make a difference to future figures of fashion waste. 


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There are bargains a-plenty to be had – a quick scan of second-hand shopping sites such as Thriftify and Depop, shows some incredible and fashionable options with some darling vintage dresses and unbelievable fashion finds available for next to nothing. A swift scroll will show lots of nearly new items from top designers in popular cuts and tailoring. As well as this, new options come on sites like this every day, so you just have to be shrewd enough to act fast on a gorgeous bargain when you see one! 

With smart alterations, you can make almost anything look great – with so many wonderful alteration shops across the country such as The Zip Yard or your local independent tailor, there is so much scope to create an outfit of dreams with some chopping and changing, hem lifting, sleeve cutting or neckline altering. Get working on a Pinterest board with your designs and ideas and you can show this to a seamstress to demonstrate what vision you have in mind. Sometimes you just have to see the bigger picture and get a waistline taken in or add some fancy beadwork or lace to give a piece a fabulous upgrade. 

Vintage is having a fashion moment – fashionistas such as Jennifer Aniston, Kim K and Joaquin Phoenix have been known to dig out vintage pieces for the red carpet. Recently Kim and her sisters went through a vintage John Paul Gautier phase (remember those transparent tops with the Renaissance designs on them) as well as a 90s Versace phase with corset dresses and fishtail hems. Royal bride Princess Eugenie was also in on the vintage movement with her second-hand vintage wedding dress last year (previously worn by her granny Queen Elizabeth). Vintage collectors items like 90s Prada and Dior bags have recently come back into fashion too and you could be lucky and find one of these in a charity shop or on Thriftify.

You are doing good by supporting a charity – think of the feel good aspect of knowing your cash has gone towards a good cause. When you shop from the likes of  Thriftify or in charity shops (once they reopen), your money will help charities like Oxfam, Barnardos and Madra to name a few. Charities will need all the help they can get now since donations have gone down on average 50% since the start of the pandemic. For now, whilst shops are closed, get clicking on Thriftify, Ireland’s online charity shop. 

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