My 2020 odyssey: To only buy pre-loved clothes

My 2020 odyssey: To only buy pre-loved clothes

Clothing bought in charity shops

Before Christmas of this year I set a challenge for myself – to only buy second hand clothes and to try to stick at it for a year at least. The decisive moment came after a few fun daylong charity shop trawls with my two housemates. They had just discovered the joys of second hand shopping and together we would set out every second or third Saturday to see what we could find – they were mostly clothes missions, but on one occasion, we also happened upon a lush couch to replace our badly worn old one.

The three of us would descend on a circuit of shops – eager bees – and between us would come home with a hodgepodge of amazing finds, perfect fits and some really special pieces that sparked excitement and satisfaction. In turn, (as our wardrobes were growing at an insane rate) we would bag up our pre-loved items and bring them with us to donate to our local charity shops. Win, win – a local circular economy of sorts.

My favourite pieces include a Tommy Hilfiger jumper, that I am seriously missing now -  it is in lockdown in Dublin and I am in lockdown in Kildare. Hilfiger isn’t a brand I would usually shop for or check out, but this jumper stopped me in my tracks! I had to have it, and at the princely sum of €12 (bearing in mind it had barely been worn) I nearly skipped the whole way home.

Another fav success story was an amazing Gonzo zip up hoodie – when I saw it I immediately thought to myself...”who would get rid of this!?” I have gotten serious wear out of it and it has become a staple of my wardrobe – unfortunately this one is in lockdown in Wexford, so I’m not sure when we will meet again.

My last spotlight find was a nifty Supremebeing light summer jacket. Again, it was in perfect nick, fit like a glove and was a departure of sorts for me – it wasn’t really my usual colour choice. But therein lies the beauty of buying second hand – it tends to push you out of your comfort zone, makes you test new waters and expand your wardrobe horizons.

With lockdown and COVID-19 my challenge has been somewhat sidetracked. I am still trying to stick to a sustainable 2020 – I am knitting a baby blanket for a friends’ new baby girl instead of buying a gift and I have started growing veg and wild flower beds.

However, I can not wait, I mean seriously cannot wait, to get stuck back into second hand shopping when charity shops reopen. As many of you may be using your extra time to declutter at home – be it books, clothes or bric-a-brac – please be sure to keep them for your local charity shop when it reopens (Oxfam shops will be opening from 8th June!). Donations will be needed more than ever. But when you drop that bag or box off, also take a little meander through the shop, and see what hidden gems you can find – little gems that enable organisations like Oxfam to beat poverty and fight inequality across the world.

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