Our clothes can tell us a lot about who we are, how we're feeling, where we're going and what work we do. But the clothes you wear can also make a big impact on your mental health. This World Wellbeing Week 2022 we wanted to find out if shopping second hand can be a better option for the planet, the pocket and for your mind.
Why Second Hand Fashion can be Better for your Mental Health
Save Money and Enjoy Fashion for Less
We're all having to make cutbacks at the moment. By shopping preloved you can find some great bargains on quality clothes that may last you longer than fast fashion. By digging through charity shop racks or by scrolling through Depop or Vinted you can quickly find something suitable without breaking the bank. So if you enjoy clothes shopping and find it therapeutic to change up your style, second hand fashion can help you to spend less while still enjoying your hobby.
From workwear, to denim or a sturdy pair of Doc Martens, lots of second hand items might have signs of wear or scuffs but they still have plenty of life to give. The best part about this is that it doesn't matter if you're prone to scuffing your shoes. You're just adding to the item's history. And if you somehow lose or totally destroy your clothes, then the cost of replacing them could be just a few pounds depending on where you shop.
Or you could even try visible mending to fix up any imperfections. READ MORE about how you could boost your mood with slow stitching.
Beat Climate Anxiety and Feel Less Guilty About Buying Clothes
Sometimes it's hard to justify buying something when you're concerned for the planet. In general we need to buy a lot less stuff. Buying brand new clothes costs a lot of resources in terms of water, energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions.
Let's just take jeans, for example. Research shows that making a pair of jeans produces an average of 20 kgs of CO2 emissions. And about 70 million pairs of jeans are sold in the UK every year, producing 1,400,000 tonnes of of CO2 emissions. This crazy number is the equivalent to one year’s worth of electricity consumption by 910,000 UK homes.
But when you buy a pair of second hand jeans, the work is already done. There is a negligible impact in terms of transporting the preloved jeans you buy. Otherwise buying preloved or swapping clothes is so much better for the planet and you can shop without guilt.
Fast fashion is destroying the planet.— Greenpeace (@Greenpeace) April 15, 2022
The volumes of clothes being made and consumed continue to increase.
Sharing, repairing and second-hand must become the new normal.
📹 Nairobi, Kenya - @kevinmcelvaney#DetoxMyFashion pic.twitter.com/oseoYnIJ02
Celebrate your Style
Forget trends and open your wardrobe up to a world of choice. One of the main differences between shopping second hand versus new is that you'll often be greeted with a whole range of options when you shop preloved. Under one roof there might be hundreds of different brands, styles, eras, fits, colours, textures; buying second hand gives you a whole new world to explore. There might be brands you've never heard of alongside unique handmade or altered items.
This goes back to what we said at the start. Clothes are a great way to express ourselves. So we should celebrate our personal style more. Fixating on wearing new or trendy clothes needs to be banished in favour of being able to wear whatever feels good. Stepping away from fast fashion trends will help you to develop your own sense of style and confidence.