Feeling Good about Secondhand Shopping

Welcome to the Wild Ways Blog! This blog has been created to help people make affordable sustainable choices when shopping. Please read on to find out about my mission in starting this venture. While I love my shop to bits, it is my goal to arm you with the tools necessary to build your own sustainable secondhand wardrobe from pre-loved pieces.

1. Mileage

I have purchased second hand clothing for years… and by years, I mean upwards of 20 years- I have put in my 10,000 hours.  It always seemed that 90% of my closet was stocked with second hand items, and they always received more love and were worn more often than pieces I would buy new.  I respect a garment more when I know that it has held up to the use of at least one other human, and will continue to meet my expectations as it takes on a second life in my closet.

2. Making Cents

I despise spending money on new clothing, because honestly, so much of it is just costume.  It is designed to withstand the trip home to your closet, be worn once, and then implode.  Whether a button falls off, a seam rips, it shrinks, the fabric warps…whatever demise it may come to, the “affordable” fashion I had purchased over the years could never compete with the quality secondhand pieces I would find thrifting, in consignment shops, or in online secondhand boutiques.  

3. Style

Over the years, with most of my wardrobe being sourced secondhand, I have received many compliments on my personal style.  My employment history offered me two options- purchase fast fashion because it is affordable, or purchase secondhand.  I opted to purchase secondhand because I could then afford quality clothing, that was in style.  Shopping secondhand allowed me to dress above my pay grade without breaking the bank, and without contributing to the environmental waste and worker exploitation that is at the core of fast fashion.  I could feel better about my choices all around, and my garments would last.

4. Mother Earth

With the fashion industry being the second largest polluter globally, it only makes sense to reuse what we already have.  The earth is our home - she does not have infinite resources and we cannot afford to be greedy, because we won’t survive our greed.  In addition, the exploitation of factory workers - through use of child labor, unsafe working conditions, and unthinkably low wages, is not something I can support.  This is the crux of it…the fast fashion industry created the cycle of - “make, ship, purchase, break, throw away, make more, ship more, purchase more…” . They created this cycle because of greed.  It keeps their hands in our pockets when they design products that break, and we continue to purchase from their companies.  It is oh so important that we vote with our money.  You can still afford to dress well, better even…you just have to choose differently.

There seems to be some common misconceptions surrounding secondhand shopping, and I believe they contribute to people avoiding it altogether. This blog has been created to help arm you with the knowledge and tools necessary to make shopping second hand something you’re comfortable with and excited about. My posts will address issues such as - questioning whether or not secondhand is sanitary, how to clean and care for vintage garments, feeling overwhelmed by thrift shopping, the how-tos of minor repairs, finding your personal style, the making of a thrifted capsule wardrobe, and many other topics.

If you ever have questions about second hand shopping, or know of a topic you haven’t yet seen covered, please reach out! This blog is all about starting a conversation, building a sustainable wardrobe, and preserving our planet. Thank you for being part of the conversation! <3