17 September 2020
Thrifting: we know that we should do it, but how do we do it effectively? How do we know how to spot charity shop hidden gems, search for quality clothing on Ebay or style hand-me-downs? If you’re ready to begin shopping sustainably, take note of these tips.
Not a beneficial tip IRL, but when searching on second-hand websites (such as Ebay or Depop), using specific keywords will refine the items and leave you with the best picks. Looking for the perfect pair of vintage jeans? Try keywords like ‘lightwash’, ‘denim’, ‘vintage’ and filter to your dress size.
Keep an Open Mind
Raking through coat-hangers upon coat-hangers can be slightly overwhelming if you’re new to thrifting. It might seem tedious or intimidating, but the main rule of thumb is to avoid walking in to a second-hand shop ready to pinpoint one specific item. Instead, keep your mind open and take your time. Be prepared to find anything.
Move Around and Check Back
Charity shops are constantly accepting donations which means that, although stock can be limited, there will be something new to find every week – unlike high street stores that only often switch up stock per season. Check back often at your local charity shop but also don’t be afraid to move around to other vintage or second-hand stores. Also, most cities have pop-up vintage kilo sales every once in a while, so keep your eye open for those.
Know Your Labels
Have you ever heard a thrifting success story about a friend finding a second-hand Vivienne Westwood bag for a fraction of the price and thought to yourself, ‘how on earth did she manage that?’
The top tip is to familiarise yourself with the labels to look out for. If you can tell a Radley bag apart from a Kate Spade bag, knowing what to keep an eye out for when thrifting will be that much easier – you’ll spot a branded item from a mile away!
Check the Garment
Second-hand means that the piece is already worn – that’s obvious. Therefore, it also means that the item is likely to have the odd pull in the thread, button hanging loose or slight bleach stain. Before you buy, ensure you’re checking the item over or asking the seller if it has any defects. The likelihood is that it’ll only be something small and fixable with a quick wash or a thread and needle.