January 14, 2011

Secondhand shopping: My advantages and disadvantages

Garment purchased from Kleidermarkt, Hamburg.

Here are some of my advantages and disadvantages of shopping for secondhand garments, fabrics and accessories. 


1. The price. Secondhand is generally more affordable. 

2. Better Quality. You can pick up better quality garments for a good price

3. Charity. The Op Shops which sell the secondhand products support charity organisations. One of my favourites is Good Sammy's which offers employment opportunities for people whom may have difficulties in obtaining a job. I also love having a chat with the volunteers at the shops (e.g the sweet old cardigan ladies). 

4. Environmental/ethical reasons. Fashion is something which is constantly changing and people are buying more and more. Buying recycled clothing reduces the impact of fashion on landfill.   

5. The thrill of finding the perfect item. It is quite exciting when you find a treasured item.

6. Handmade. Recently I have been finding garments which are handmade. The dress which we photographed here is a home made number. I suppose that I appreciate the amount of time and effort that goes into making garments and it's nice to think that there is a story behind the dress. I have been finding a few knitted items in Berlin and are on the look out for one my size.

7. The Variety. You can purchase outfits from many eras and styles

8. Letting those creative juices flow. For me walking into an Op shop is like walking into a fabric store. I get excited about all of the things I can create


1. Labelling. Finding second hand shops which buy the products from the charities and then multiply the price (e.g. relabelling an item with the word 'vintage' does not give grounds for upping the price).
2. Wear and tear. Buying garments that have considerable wear, which you don't notice until you bring them home and try and make a garment out of them, then they rip and you have to repair and repair....... not that I have experienced this. hee hee
3. Tiring. If you are a good second hand shopper you need to check the second hand stores regularly, which can be painful and tiring at times. Especially if you are an unenthusiastic shopper (like me)

4. Sizing. It can be frustrating when you find something which is perfect...except for the size. This can be when your sewing skills come in very handy. 

5. A lot of sifting takes place. You have to sift through a lot of clothes.

So there a heaps of advantages and disadvantages, but for me my moral conscience and the thrill of finding the perfect item over ride the disadvantages.

The Winner is .......secondhand all the way!

Photography: Michael Dooney


  1. while second hand shopping is quite tiring, the benefits are always worth the effort <3 that dress is lovely!


  2. Beautiful outfit! Love the dress soo much!!:)
    you have such a great blog by the way!i'm happy i ran into it:) I really like your style and reading your posts!
    So i'm your newest follower:)
    hope you visit me back and become my follower too!
    Have a fabulous day!

  3. I love this dress...wow. I love second hand shopping. Actually, sometimes I like that you have to sift through a lot of stuff to find the perfect thing! It makes it fun :)