Upcycling has been all the rage now for a couple of years, the practise of taking second hand items and revamping them to appeal to a modern owner, but are we as a nation embracing this on the whole, or is the opinion still of the mindset ‘new is better’? We investigate.
Used to a typical Manchester lifestyle, us northerners are spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping destinations. New buys can easily be found at the Trafford Centre or Manchester City Centre, which hosts all manor of brands around the Arndale in particular.
When it comes to shopping pre-worn we aren’t low on options either, with the Northern Quarter providing a hub for quirky cast-offs with the likes of Cow to browse.
What do people really think of buying discarded clothing though? Although social media is awash with supporters of more ethical and morally sound shopping choices, a recent survey of the UK suggests otherwise. JD Official surveyed 2,000 adults across the country to see what attitudes and habits the public had toward second hand clothing and their own spending habits.
Findings surprisingly showed 33% of Brits said they wouldn’t shop at a second hand or charity shop and even less would use resale apps such as ebay and depop.
Despite not wanting to buy pre-loved, this didn’t deter people from splurging on new items to enjoy, as 38% admitted to buying new clothes every month.
On average, it seems we have 6 items of clothing in our closets which has never even been worn. Perhaps some better educating around charity shop donations could inspire us to clear our collections out and do a good deed?
Of course, it’s impossible to ignore the surge in popularity of fast fashion brands including Missguided, Boohoo and Pretty Little Thing, who on the whole are not the least wasteful on manufacturing. This compared with their constant sale conditioning and rotating round of trends breeds a culture where we are always looking for the next fashion fix, regardless of the cost to the planet.
Secondary to this is the change in marketing of Charity shops which has in turn changed the perception and output of what it means to buy ‘second hand’. Many second hand shops now actually sell new items, which are not pre-worn at all, to keep up with demand for clothing with a retro aesthetic. In addition to this, so called ‘vintage’ clothes are being pushed up in price, inflating the value to increase profit margins for stores, which not only prices out potential shoppers but also turns people off considering shopping in these stores to begin with.
When a vintage item is similar or even more than a new counterpart, it can be hard to justify committing to spending on it in the first instance.
The shift in creating a trend of second hand shoppers also gives itself to the ever changing cycle of fashion, resulting just as fashion does in the pattern of one day you’re in trend and the next you’re out.
Do you agree or disagree with our story? Let us know in the comments below.