Second-Hand Journey of a Family of Four, for one year
How we survived choosing sustainable clothing as a family
Usually, you’ll find me writing about the marvelous world of digital marketing but today I deviated to tell you about an experiment or experience I have been involved in for the past year.
As the pandemic took over, we were still there: a family of four with me, the mom that still likes to be fashionable, twins aged two who constantly need more clothes, and my husband who “just needs clothes that fit” but keeps on getting fatter.
With lockdown in Italy where we live, going to shops was not an option, and buying locally was pricey for a family of four, considering that only small but elite tailors are local here. Purchasing from online Asian shops didn’t sound like a great idea so we looked for something different, something that would allow us to find reasonably priced clothing and accessories, with a nice and unique style. We looked for sustainability.
This is how I discovered the world of second-hand clothing. Although there are many apps available to sell old clothing and buy new items, we used only two of them (Vinted and Depop) along with eBay and we survived perfectly for an entire year.
Ok, we all know that platforms like eBay or Amazon have been around for a while and that they sell almost everything you can think of. Although I have occasionally bought from these online shops, my idea for this experiment was to buy only second-hand clothing and accessories for at least an entire year.
This meant no store-bought clothes or accessories for anyone in my family and here is what I discovered.
Only second hand?
Second-hand clothing sold online isn’t always second hand. It has certainly been purchased by someone although it has not always been worn. By searching for bargains on these apps and websites, I came across several new items that I bought at a reduced price and that we are still enjoying now.
What about quality?
Buying second-hand means -I know it’s kind of a stereotype but I tend to be the one wanting to buy clothes while my husband just nods if he likes something- that I focused on quality garments, and we are very satisfied so far as a family. We realized that, just like us, many people were looking to sell clothes they didn’t like or use anymore and so far it has been a great experience for us.
We were able to find great bargains on quality clothes and accessories that were like-new and, thanks to this we ended up saving a huge amount of money. Many, by now, might be wondering how much time this actually takes and if it is really feasible. Read on for the answer.
How much time do you need to devote to this?
I’m the kind of person that spends a lot of time using computers and phones for work so I also have a lot of “dead” moments during which I browse the internet in search of cool bargains. To avoid spending too much time I always start out with a list of things I need / I’m looking for. The second trick I use is restricting the number of platforms I browse on to two or three alternatives.
Let’s say that all the research didn’t feel like a chore (I also used the filter options on all the applications I purchased from) and I didn’t have to “make time” for any of this.
Will I continue to buy second-hand?
During this year I discovered the existence of a second-hand market and I’m still thrilled about it. I confess that do have some personal hygiene limits to the items I will actually purchase second-hand but, since I was able to find some brand-new garments on these platforms, I have managed to buy all tìnecessary clothing for my entire family and we will continue to do so in the future, probably saving store-bought clothes for more special occasions