By Caitríona Ní Chonaill

We’ve all seen the TikToks of girls buying many a Shein haul to start off the summer, only to send half of the items back and then bin them when summer is over. The over-consumption of the fashion industry is just one of the damaging elements of today’s world on the environment, so here are some reasons to encourage you to head to a second-hand shop next time you’re looking for a new outfit:

  1. Price: Spending 30 euro every time you want a new hoodie or pair of jeans can be a menace on the already restricted funds we have as students, not to mind the mounting cost if you need accessories to round off the look. You don’t even have to head to an in-person shop to get second-hand bargains either, as Depop is available to help you find that one item your heart desires.
  2. Supporting charities: Charity shops such as Saint Vincent de Paul, NCBI, Trócaire, and Enable Ireland are just a few of the more common ones, where you can find any item of clothing you might be looking for, from the basic t-shirt to a ball dress. As well as clothes, you can find books, furniture, accessories, and knick-knacks at a discounted price.   
  3. Reducing clothing waste: Textile waste is a huge problem, environmentally speaking, due to the amount of excess bulk being thrown into landfills and not decomposing in a reasonable timeframe. By buying second-hand clothes, you are giving them a second lease of life and preventing them from going to landfill.
  4. Hidden gems: Due to the cyclical nature of the fashion industry, clothes from several decades ago regularly come back into fashion (think low-rise jeans), some fashion-forward finds will be hidden on racks just waiting for you!
  5. Experiment with different fashion styles: Given that second-hand clothes are generally inexpensive, you can try out many different looks without becoming bankrupt.