Everyone's second hand journey is unique. So it was great to learn more about why preloved fashion means something to Secondhand Susie.
Hey Susie, thanks for taking part, could you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Hi! I’m @susiesecondhand and I’m a charity shop loving lady from Surrey. I started my Instagram account after discovering the amazing community of secondhand shoppers on Insta and I wanted to join in! I love to post photos of my thrifty finds to show the treasure you can find if you know how and where to look for it. My wardrobe is 90% thrifted and I get real joy that some of my vintage clothes are older than I am. I love the ever-changing rails and racks and the huge spectrum of styles to try!
I’ve been shopping on eBay since I was a teenager but my secondhand obsession really took off in 2019 when I stepped into my first charity shop and came out clutching a French Connection dress I’d bought for £2. I couldn’t believe it! Since then I’ve stopped buying new as the thrill of a good charity shop find is far better than browsing a shopping centre. I’m really lucky where I live to be blessed with some incredible shops so it’s hard to pop into town for a pint of milk without having a browse.
How is the secondhand uniform shop you run going?
I was thrilled to take over the secondhand uniform shop for my kids’ school to encourage more parents to buy secondhand, whilst also saving a bit of money and doing their bit for the environment.
I made a ridiculous promo poster to send out to all the class WhatsApps calling for donations and the response has been staggering: our house is now full of school jumpers much to my husband’s dismay. I’m really excited to grow the uniform shop and make it the norm for people to come to me when they need a spare school pinafore, rather than heading straight to Sainsburys.
My daughter’s ballet teacher has also asked if I’ll do a secondhand uniform shop for her too, after seeing my promotion poster for school, which is great!
Could you offer any advice when buying second hand fashion?
My top tip on buying preloved would be to not restrict yourself to your usual size. Vintage sizes come up small, sometimes items have been washed incorrectly and shrunk, sometimes sample items or items from abroad make it onto the racks.
So, browse everything! I found a Boden dress labelled as a size 6 but I thought it looked bigger, tried it on and it fit like a glove.
Also, check the men’s department! Some of my best tees are from the men’s rack, which can be worn oversized or knotted at the waist to give more shape.
Is it just fashion you're into?
It’s not just secondhand fashion. I have a real love of vintage homeware and I’ve found some wonderful items on the bric a brac shelves of my local charity shops: antique telephones, Victorian lady bells, Cloisonne jewellery and many teapots! Also my favourite find: an Elvis bobble head bought originally from Graceland!
I’ve also thrifted furniture in the past (my dressing table came from FB marketplace and the stool was up for grabs from someone’s driveway!) and I also buy all my kids’ toys secondhand.
Last Christmas their gifts were 100% thrifted which was not only cost effective, but also eases my eco guilt with plastic toys, knowing I’m buying preloved and will pass it on to another kid to love when mine are finished with it.
That's fantastic! This reminds us of our how to give the gift of second hand guide...
Thanks again to Secondhand Susie for chatting with us. Why not follow Susie on Instagram?