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How to Shop for Clothes for Less

How to Shop for Clothes for Less

We are all feeling the pinch at the moment. The cost of living crisis means we all have a little less to go around. For you this might mean cutting down on your spending. But if you want to shop for clothes for less, buying second hand is a great way to find high-quality stylish pieces. You don't even have to compromise on your favourite brands.

How to Shop for Clothes for Less: New Ebay Report Reveals Preloved Trend

1 in 5 people are now turning to second hand to save money, according to a new report by eBay Ads UK.

“Between the rising cost-of-living and a growing desire to make more sustainable purchases, UK consumers are increasingly thinking about how they can be savvy with their shopping,” said Ebay Ads global General Manager, Elisabeth Rommel.

eBay is just one place to shop preloved. Some of their best selling brands include Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss and Louis Vuitton. The beauty of eBay is that it is an open platform where you could find any brand on the planet. You can even set alerts if you've got an eye out for a particular item (hello cherry red Docs for under £50!). 

The cost of living crisis might push you towards buying from fast fashion brands like Primark, Pep & Co and Shein. We aren't here to tell you what to do. But often the old adage of pay cheap, pay twice does ring true. 

Shopping savvy on eBay, Depop or Vinted (try these alternatives) means you can find some brilliant bargains that will last you a life time. Jack Monroe's Vimes Boots poverty index, inspired by Terry Prachett's Discworld shows how poorer people are unfairly disadvantaged by the rising costs of inflation. So when people can't afford to buy top quality clothes they buy cheaply. These clothes wear out more quickly than the more expensive, better quality garments. In the long run it means people spend more money on cheaper clothing. 

We can't change consumerism in an instant. But if you shop second hand you might be able to find those really nice boots at an affordable to you price. There might be some signs of wear, a slight flaw or defect but chances are they will still last you longer than fast fashion. 

Five Other Ways to Shop for Clothes for Less

Clothes Swap

You never know what you might discover at a clothes swap. It's also a great way of clearing out your wardrobe. We love a clothes swap, both as a social event and as a way to keep our clothes moving. 

Rent for Special Occasions 

Occasionwear can be expensive. Renting can be a more affordable option for some. You can often rent direct from brands and department stores. But there are cheaper ways to do it by using clothes rental websites.

We researched Hirestreet. You can hire a Rebecca Valance Belladonna Mini Dress worth £460 for £92 at the high end of the scale. There are also French Connection, Topshop and Nobody's Child styles that you can rent for under £10 for 4 days. 

Here are a few more options when it comes to renting fashion.

Hit the (Vintage Second Hand) Shops

Sometimes you can't beat rifling through sales rails. You might think that you're restricted to charity shops or buying clothes online, but there are lots of second hand and vintage shops to explore. Lots of these shops are independently owned and occupy quirky buildings and spaces. Much more fun than exploring shiny floored shopping centres. 

Repair and Upcycle

Well this isn't technically about shopping. That said, if we look after our clothes a bit more then we don't need to go out and buy replacements. 

22% of the respondents to the eBay report said that they were conscious of selling on or repairing their clothes to avoid them going to landfill. 

We don't all need to become expert tailors. But learning how to sew on a button is a solid first step.

BONUS TIP: Find a friend with a sewing machine! Join a local sewing class or repair cafe and make use of their equipment. If you're really stuck a professional tailor can help you for less than buying something new. A simple patch job on a pair of jeans could cost around £10. 

Capsule Wardrobe

Hate trying to pick something to wear in the mornings? A capsule wardrobe could save you time and money. You may already have the perfect ingredients for this method of having and wearing fewer clothes. The idea is that you create a small wardrobe of clothes that you can wear every day in different combinations. You might have a different capsule wardrobe for each season, or maybe some extras here and there. But the idea is that by sticking to a smaller wardrobe you can invest in much better quality clothes that last. You shop less because you just reinvent a look based on the same clothes. Jewellery and accessories will be your friend here. 


We hope you found this guide useful. Remember that you don't need to keep up with the latest trends. Follow your heart and buy what fits YOUR style. And buy second hand where you can, it's a great way to save money and save the planet. 

And if you're really finding it hard to scrape by there are lots of sources of help for those struggling financially.


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  • Hi Lisa,

    I feel your pain with the lack of cost-effective second hand shops. Our Green Heart shop does include those kinds of high street pieces, not necessarily always with tags on.

    There are plenty of vintage shops around us and the prices reflect the designer/vintage brands that they sell.

    Then you have charity shops which do sometimes have deadstock from high street brands, new with tags.

    But you’re right, there isn’t much in the middle. That’s kind of where we are, at the moment.

    There are lots of great second hand/preloved shops out there, but you might need to hunt them down! That could be a great topic for a new blog, I am sure we could build a big list of those kinds of shops across the UK.

    I’m sorry if this is all too general – I’ll get in touch by email and you can ask any specific questions there.



    Green Heart Collective

    Declan from Green Heart Collective
  • Why is there a limited amount of shops that cater for preloved clothes that are not necessarily vintage or preloved but high street original price tags on. I’m not wealthy enough to donate these. Any ideas

    Lisa corcoran

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