By Tiana Browne
Fashion is art, and art is timeless. I’ve seen the best-dressed people wearing second-hand clothes. It gets boring constantly seeing people in Nike Tech fleece tracksuits and Air Force 1s, it’s not every day keep-up with fast fashion and mainstream trends.
Now, I can’t lie I do dip into online stores. I buy some of my hoodies and joggers from ASOS because sometimes there’s a mad sale and I want casual everyday clothes and it’s easier to get. Bershka occasionally has good jeans and don’t even get me started on Jaded. My point is, I definitely am a second-hand/vintage enthusiast, the majority of my clothes are from thrift stores. It may seem hypocritical to dislike fast fashion but then also buy things from Urban Outfitters. However, I think you can buy firsthand clothes and still do good for the environment. I’ve never thrown clothes away, I always give to charities or resell on Depop (when I’ve had enough of them). Asos also has a marketplace where you can buy from people’s independent shops too, it’s basically Depop (but I love Depop so I’m going to be biased and say it’s not as good 🙂 ).
Depop should be your best mate if you’re wanting to start or continue supporting the community (instead of major retailers) and doing better for the planet. You can easily set up your own shop to sell any clothes you no longer want or buy things from other people. Depop is good because it is not just for clothes you can buy art, home decor, books and magazines, music etc. It’s like the other massive e-commerce sites, but cooler. That being said, you cannot sell any electrical items because I tried to sell my Airpods once and they got taken down after like 5 minutes because apparently, it was violating the guidelines lmao.
The only bad thing about thrifting is that it can be a bit frustrating when you go to shops or even travel to find good ones and then you don’t find a lot if anything; it’s still good to go and see just in case you do find something you like. Personally, I’ve never found a pair of joggers or shorts from a thrift store before that is why I do buy some items firsthand. It’s a lot different to just going to a regular clothes shop and finding the same item in many sizes.
Separately, one thing I hate about some second-hand stores is when they use plastic bags?!?! How can you own or work at a shop that supports sustainability then provide customers with plastic bags? It’s contradictory at the very least, but mostly it’s annoying. To be fair most of them do have paper or biodegradable bags but recently I went to Wild in Nottingham and they gave me a plastic bag and yeah…I’m name dropping too because it’s not cute!
TikTok is also a good place to find thrift stores to visit, people post videos of themselves going to shops in different areas and one-day pop-ups. They share what the prices are like and how to get there etc. It’s very useful, especially if you are travelling to find new places. TikTok can also give you a heads up on where not to go. For example, recently I have seen that people are unhappy with the prices at shops on Brick Lane. Apparently, it’s overpriced and the whole point of thrifting is to find cheap, but good clothes. Of course, shops have to do what is best for their business, but it can be unnecessary at times. (I tried to go to Brick Lane at the weekend and I ended up in Leicester Square bye. I’m going to try again this weekend when I’m in London because last time I got annoyed and went to get bubble tea instead.)
There are plenty of thrift stores to choose from in London. FYI if you do want to find prices and places to go on TikTok you can search for keywords like ‘thrifting London’, and loads of videos will come up.
For those based in the capital or East Midlands here are my shop recommendations:
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