So if you've followed me for a while you may know that I absolutely love second hand shopping and have done from even when I was still shopping fast fashion. As a young teenager I walked through all the charity shops on the weekends looking for unique fashion pieces to encourporate into my wardobe. Currently over 80% of my wardrobe is second hand, it allows me to dress as myself while not having a massive negative impact on the planet (or my wallet).

To me it's the cheapest, and most accessible way to shop sustainably and I think there will always be a future for second hand and recycled fashion. No matter how many new innovative super sustainable materials there are, creating new pieces of clothing requires energy, water, carbon, and so making sure we use clothing for as long as possible means being as sustainable as possible. I really don't think there's any room for clothing in landfill.

So whether you're new to second hand, or a seasoned second hand treasure hunter this post gives you lots of places you can buy second hand fashion. With images of me in lots of wonderful second hand outfits to give you some inspiration along the way!
1. Charity Shops and Thrift Stores
These are my go to, and probably the most obvious choice for second hand shopping. They're generally pretty cheap, are in every town and city (at least in the UK) and have a wide variety of clothing that usually depends on where you live.

I find charity shops an adventure, you never know what you're going to find as it all relies on what other people have donated. I've found so many bargains over the years, and if you're looking for sustainable fashion on a tight budget this is where to go. Some shops are more savvy than others, pricing items based on labels and brands but others will sell you a pair of limited edition Doc Martens for £4. It's so satisfying to find a piece you've always wanted or an absolute bargain in a charity shop so go and explore, it's an adventure.

2. Vintage Shops
Vintage shops differ from charity shops and thrift stores because they tend to be curated. Meaning rather than just putting out donations, they buy in specific second hand clothing that is in style and deemed "higher quality" than that of charity and thrift stores, this does mean vintage stores often have a higher price point also, but they're also more likely to have designer brands, a range of colours and sizes of the same kind of item, and they know what sort of stock is coming in next. So if you don't like the haphazard way of shopping in charity shops and have the budget for them I would recommend vintage stores. Again different stores have different pricing so shop around.

Some stores upcyle clothing that comes into them too, which means you can vintage get clothes in modern styles and cuts. And like charity shops you can find hidden gems and amazing pieces.

A lot of vintage shops also have stores online meaning you don't have to leave your house. Which leads me to my next point.

3. Online
I know I just talked about vintage stores online, which are great, but there are a lot of online only outlets that you can purchase clothing from.

Depop - This is the first one that comes to mind, and one I talked about on my sustainable living app post, it is a place a lot of people use to sell their old clothes (including me soon) and there are lots of bargains to be had here. There's also more expensive vintage stores on here too. The nice thing is you can search by size and search for specific items. Be wary though as a lot of fast fashion brands use depop, if there's multiple sizes of one item that's a red flag.

Ebay - I don't tend to buy clothing on ebay but there is a lot on there, so if you like the excitement of a bid then take a look for a bargain.

ASOS Marketplace - A lot of vintage (and handmade) brands are on ASOS marketplace and it's a great way to try and find new ones, but again be wary of the fast fashion brands on here.

Etsy - Etsy is another great place to buy vintage and second hand clothing, especially in the US, and again you cans search lots of different stores in one place and try to find exactly what you're looking for, including rarities. There's also a lot of hand made and alternative little stores on etsy so it's a great marketplace for all sorts of things, but again there are fast fashion brands on here.

Individual Vintage Stores - Lots of stores and vintage chains have shops online where you can buy their items so take a look around and you'll find something you love!

I find vintage shopping just as magical as charity shopping, but without quite as many super cheap bargains. It helps be buy less as I have to think about budget but some pieces aren't always worth the money. These are great if you're a little scared of going through charity shops as the clothing is more carefully selected, and the staff are usually pretty fashionable themselves.
Second hand dress that I ended up rewearing for graduation
4. Clothes Swaps
These are a new one to me, as I went to my first clothes swap last Sunday, but if you're looking to get rid of old clothes while also getting some new ones then clothes swaps are a great place to go. Generally you pay for a ticket around £5-£10 and can go home with a bag worth of clothes. In the last one I attended I had a dress from a woman who had snagged a shirt I'd owned since I was 14 (and she promised to take care of); the dress is the one in the first picture of this post! Often at the end of the event unswapped clothes go to charity so nothing ends up in landfill. The dress in the

Gender Free/ Trans clothes swaps  also exist, and are designed for trans people to swap clothes to help them in their transition, and just to have LGBT+ friendly spaces to swap.

It is worth mentioning that a lot of the clothes in clothes swaps do tend to be straight size (UK 6-12) so be wary of that. I haven't seen any plus size clothes swaps about but I definitely think there's room for some to be organised! We need make second hand clothing more accessible for everyone.

The best place to look for these in your local area is probably facebook events, it's how I've found a lot of these things.

5. Car Boot Sales and Flea Markets
Neither of these are places I would go specifically for clothing, but both of them I have found clothing at.

If you're not familiar with what a car boot sale is, in the UK (generally during summer) car boot sales are hosted in fields and car parks where people bring a car full of their old stuff to sell. It means you can buy items directly from their old owners and people can make some money off their old stuff. I used to love selling my stuff at car boot sales as a kid.

Car boot sales are generally best for finding bric-a-brac, video games, books, and the like but there are often clothes and shoes there too. Plus you can haggle for things, which is a big part of the fun.

At car boots I've bought everything from Doc Marten Boots (yep I have bought a total of 4 pairs in various ways second hand), funky shirts, and roller blades from my local car boot sale. And flea markets are always somewhat of a treasure trove.
6. Kilo Sales
Again, I'm not sure if these are more of just a thing here in the UK but in the last few days Kilo Vintage sales have gotten pretty big here, especially in university towns.

Generally they're day long pop-up events where you bay per kilo of clothes that you buy. Usually it's about £15 per kilo, plus a few quid entry, but often if you turn up later in the day they will half the price or offer other deals. I love kilo sales (as do my parents) as they offer a completely different shopping experience and way to think about clothes. You have to think about the weight and the material of the clothes you're buying rather than just the aesthetic.

I find a lot of really good "basics" here, like colourful shirts, bomber jackets, skirts etc. but there are also some real gems. You buy direct from wholesalers so there's no curation and sometimes a really weird selection of clothing but I always find something. The coat I've worn almost every day for the past four years is from a kilo sale, as are some of my other favourite pieces in my wardrobe so I'd definitely recommend them.

The best place to look for them is facebook events in your area, by searching for kilo sales, there's often more than one company doing them in each city and big University cities tend to have around one a month.

You don't always have to buy!
Things like hand me downs from family, swapping clothes with friends, and upcycling old pieces are also good ways to get new wardrobe pieces, and give old clothes new life, without having to buy them. Just get thinking about looking at clothing differently, and appreciating the pieces you have/ recycling old ones before buying anything new!

So yeah, here's an introduction so my favourite way to shop for clothing. One that's generally purse friendly, planet friendly, and people friendly! So go and explore your local charity shop, you know you want to. See shopping for clothes as an adventure where you may find something you really love but it's not the end of the world if you don't. Happy shopping pretty people.