This is brilliant. Lately, like in the past 6 months or so, I’ve been buying a lot of clothes from thrift shops and second-hand stores etc. Even when I was overseas I kinda lost my shit in thrift shops. It saved me a ton of money and I was able to buy items that were unique and stopped me from wearing what everyone else was wearing. Op-shopping meant I was able to buy pretty reasonable wool jumpers at a fraction of the cost of what I would have paid if I had bought it at a shopping centre. And, because I bought them from the Lifeline shop up the road, I was also helping my local community.
I was shopping in the second-hand bookshop in my ‘hood a little while ago, when I came across a flier advertising Considerate Consumerism, a movement which promotes the buying of goods that are not brand new, but instead re-used, re-cycled or even up-cycled. I reckon a more considerate form of consumerism is to not buy ANYTHING at all unless you absolutely need it (groceries, toiletries and cleaning products would fall under the latter category, an updated summer wardrobe would fall under the former).
Needless to say, I jumped on to that considerate consumerism bandwagon pretty damn quickly. The flier I had was very specific in their message though, “The challenge is not to buy anything new for 12 months”. Brilliant, I thought. I could use a challenge.
Since that time I have failed twice already. I bought some new tops from Sportsgirl (on a whim, or most likely out of boredom) about a week ago and the buyer’s remorse that took over me that night was palpable. The second time I failed was when, also on a whim and also most likely out of boredom, I bought earrings because I felt like I “needed bigger earrings”. Fail, fail. Hopeless failures, both times.
BUT I have won the battle more times than I have failed (so far). I attended a vintage market fair in Marrickville and I kid you not, I could have stayed there for HOURS. I feel terrible that my fiancee came along (wasn’t really his scene, obviously), but the poor bugger was just so damn supportive and he offered to play photographer for the day so he tagged along. But I just love knowing that the pieces I bought that day (I bought 6) were not overpriced, unique, and more importantly, did not make me look like I was dressed by a cast member from Jersey Shore.
I also, apart from those two moments of weakness in Pitt Street Mall where I bought things new and full priced, keep away from shopping centres and opt instead to shop at second-hand stores. I’m lucky though – my neighbourhood has a pretty decent op shop (thanks Lifeline Manly) which is pretty good, and I also get my books from Desire Books, another shop I could disappear into for hours.
The only thing I’m worried about with all this supporting of pre-loved goods is whether I splurge because it is so damn affordable and end up buying twice as much as I would if they were full priced? Meeeeeeeeeeeeh, not thinking about that for now …