Sustainable shopping is good for the soul and the environment!


Colette Cooper

IN THE past few months, I have continuously been considering new and better ways to simplify my life for the better. Most recently, in fact, I decided to be a little more conscious about the clothes I buy on a regular basis; not only to keep my wardrobe neat and easy to manage, but also to be more sustainable in general.

The first step I have taken towards this approach is shopping more often at my local charity shop. Admittedly—due to recent circumstances—this has been more difficult to maintain. Not only have we been restricted in terms of going out and about, but it’s sometimes too easy to order items from websites promoting ‘fast-fashion.’ It’s beneficial to take a break from quick, online purchases and consider giving some second-hand clothes a new life! I’ll try to outline some of the main reasons why I think you should consider visiting charity shops more often.

Contributing to charity
Whether you’re planning on buying or sending in an item that is no longer of use to you, but could benefit someone else, you will be contributing towards a noble cause. Perhaps consider the charities you are most passionate about, find their nearest store and go support in any way you can. In this way, you can benefit the lives of those in need and, in return, buy something for yourself, a friend, or family member. Another positive aspect of this approach is the fact that you don’t have to worry about delivery costs or if the item of clothing is the right fit. In other words, everybody wins.

Sustainable and environmentally friendly
After updating myself with news from around the world concerning overconsumption, waste and litter, I realised there is no better time to consider buying more sustainably and conscious-driven than now. Purchasing from charity shops gives us the chance to recycle and restore clothes that otherwise may have led to further pollution. According to an article published by Oxfam in 2019: “It’s estimated that more than two tonnes of clothing are bought each minute in the UK, more than any other country in Europe,” and also: “That amount produces nearly 50 tonnes of carbon emissions—the same as driving 162,000 miles in a car.” So, why buy something online that may last only a few days and become a wasteful product, when you can by something of higher quality and at reasonable price, while supporting the planet at the same time.

Finding hidden gems
If you’re like me and you enjoy keeping your style unique and original, charity shops (above) are often the place to go. It is often said that you’re more likely to turn up at an event wearing the exact same outfit as the person beside you, simply because you both purchased from that one really popular high-street store. However, charity shops may just have a vintage shirt from the 1980s that will go perfectly with a pair of new shoes. Charity shops also contain a wide range of styles and brands to choose from, so you certainly won’t be limited.

Every vintage trinket lovers’ dream
If you’re looking to shake things up and find some new and stylish homeware items, charity shops could be the place for you. Although it’s a bit of a hit and miss sometimes, there is usually a section containing a variety of trinkets, homeware sets, chinaware, and more; just to add that little extra detail to your home. Not only might these finds be must cheaper than your average high-street store—and much better quality than some online purchases—but they’re usually perfect for every vintage, rustic and antique lover.

Colette Cooper is a journalist, blogger and creative writer