Why second-hand fashion is back in style

  • By Dearbail Jordan & Star McFarlane
  • BBC News

Image caption,

Isabella Vrana has turned promoting second-hand garments on-line right into a enterprise

Second-hand clothes has come a good distance from a rummage-fest in the musty charity store of outdated.

Buying and promoting “pre-loved” clobber is now an enormous trade, in half because of on-line firms – or marketplaces – comparable to Depop, Vinted and eBay the place folks can commerce garments.

But there is proof that some fashionistas are selecting to purchase second-hand clothes solely, not only for worth and environmental causes, however as a result of they need particular person style.

Isabella Vrana, 26, has made a enterprise out of it.

From a interest that she began on Depop as a scholar eight years in the past, she has generated gross sales of £800,000 and the enterprise is nonetheless rising.

It all began due to a “shopping problem”.

“I was buying too much for myself basically,” she says. “But I was getting it all at really good prices because everything was second hand, so I just decided to start selling those pieces for money and realised that I was making profit off each piece.”

While her fellow college college students have been working in pubs or eating places on the weekend, Ms Vrana – generally with the assistance of her mum – was packaging up classic garments for purchasers and dashing to the submit workplace between lectures.

After failing to get a job as knowledgeable fashion purchaser due to a scarcity of trade expertise, Ms Vrana determined to make the leap and transfer into promoting second-hand clothes full-time.

It was scary, she admits. “At the time I was thinking, ‘I just want a boss and a pay cheque and holiday and sick pay.'”

But she says: “Actually I’m really glad I just sort of went for it because I love being self-employed.”

Ms Vrana now employs three folks and has a delivery container/warehouse in addition to two studios the place garments are shipped, sorted, photographed and despatched out to prospects who entry her enterprise by Depop.

She additionally not too long ago arrange a wholesale enterprise to promote classic garments to different on-line corporations in addition to internet hosting pop-up retailers in New York, Dublin and Copenhagen. And she sells her personal Isabella Vrana label.

Over her eight years in the enterprise, Ms Vrana says she has seen big adjustments in demand for second-hand garments.

“It wasn’t such a normal thing when I started so I’ve definitely seen an increase in people buying second hand to try and be more sustainable,” she says.

Plus there’s the standard of well-made classic garments. “These items are lasting decades and they’re being worn as well. Take a vintage pair of jeans – I’ve got jeans with dry cleaning labels from the 1990s and they’re still going so strong,” she says.

“I think people are realising that you might be investing a bit more of an upfront cost, but then it is really paying off long-term.”

Image caption,

Charity retailers are seeing demand for clothes enhance

Adam Jay, market chief government on the clothes resell app Vinted, says the expansion in demand for second-hand clothes as been “phenomenal”.

Vinted now has over eight million registered members in the UK, up from 1.2 million in 2021.

There are the apparent the reason why individuals are drawn to second-hand clothes.

Buying new garments and footwear may be costly at a time when many individuals are scuffling with the price of residing.

The fee at which costs are rising for clothes and footwear hit 6.5% in the yr to April, in response to the Office for National Statistics.

But for fashion and sustainability vlogger Rosie Okotcha “thrifted fashion is very cool now because its my personal style, no-one else can get it”.

Image caption,

Fashion vlogger Rosie Okotcha desires to finish the stigma round shopping for second-hand garments

She credit TikTok and Instagram with driving the pattern for second-hand clothes, in explicit with “Gen Z” buyers – that is individuals who have been born in between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s.

That is mirrored in the kind of types individuals are shopping for.

According to Depop, “Y2K” is a well-liked pattern on its app together with outsized denim, vibrant crochet and classic t-shirts. There’s additionally demand for one-of-a-kind and customised gadgets, in addition to clothes that is handmade or reworked from current items.

But whereas the web is perhaps fuelling the pattern, there is classic fashion to be discovered in the High Street charity store.

Ms Okotcha says that a part of her mission is to attempt to “break down the stigma that there is something wrong with shopping second hand because it is actually really fantastic fun and great for the planet”.

While it might sound inevitable that the recognition of apps might need ended up re-routing clothes donations away from the High Street, the Charity Retail Association (CRA) says that is not the case.

Charity store gross sales rose by 15.1% between January and March in contrast with the identical three months final yr.

“There is plenty of second-hand clothing to go around, so we see the growth of online selling platforms as complementary to the work of charity shops,” says the CRA.

Ms Vrana agrees that there is loads of room for competitors, and she or he plans to proceed.

“There’s definitely money to be made,” she says.

“You can definitely support yourself through doing this full-time, which I’m really grateful for because sometimes it doesn’t even feel like a job because I enjoy it so much.”

Tips for promoting on-line

  • Use social media: Sharing photos of what you need to promote on apps comparable to Instagram means additional views and hopefully consumers. Include particulars of the place folks can discover you on market apps in your bio.
  • Compare:If you possibly can’t determine how a lot to promote a chunk of clothes for, try what different individuals are charging for comparable gadgets.
  • Good lighting: Make positive you present the clothes you need to promote in clear lighting. Don’t be afraid to level out flaws in the garment – folks need to know what they’re shopping for.

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