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Buying Clothes: Why it’s time to stop buying new ones

The author questions why people don't buy old clothes, despite Gen Z's love for vintage items, despite the popularity of "Pretty in Pink."

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Buying New Clothes: It is often questioned why more people don’t buy old clothes. Many folks in my social group (let’s call it “late middle age”) appear astonished by the idea, even though Gen Z is loving all things vintage. We have no idea why. After all, “Pretty in Pink” demonstrated to us all just how awesome used goods can be.

Stop Buying New Clothes

Give us a chance to persuade you to buy secondhand clothing if you’re on the fence about it. Having purchased, sold, and worn used clothing for thirty years, we’ve developed a lengthy list of advantages of stop buying new clothes. These are the most significant ones.

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Reasons to Stop Buying New Clothes

1. Pre-owned items are reliable and tested

Purchasing something new is always a risk. How long will these jeans last? Will the third wash cause this jumper to pill?

Used clothing, on the other hand, is tried and true. Every item on the rack has been worn down, seasoned, and put to the test by life. Who could ask for a greater assurance than that?

2. It’s a strong environmental action

The emergence of “fast fashion,” or cheaply made, rapidly produced apparel that follows fashion trends, is a major contributor to environmental issues. According to Greenpeace, this kind of apparel isn’t made to last, be fixed, or be used for other purposes.

Because of this, the sector generates an astounding amount of textile waste—92 million tonnes annually, according to some estimates. Unsold and discarded clothing is sent to underdeveloped nations in East and West Africa, where there is no infrastructure to handle it.

Selecting well-made used clothes lowers the need for new ones. Every customer who breaks free from the fast-fashion cycle contributes to ending its destructive impacts.

3. Purchasing secondhand is affordable

Retail clothes markups vary from 2.2 to 2.5 times the wholesale price, according to Vogue. A cardigan, for instance, that costs $60 at wholesale will retail for between $132 and $150.

However, when you purchase used, that substantial initial markup has already been paid by someone else. Furthermore, the price in a thrift store for an identical cardigan is typically much lower than the wholesale price. Who can turn that kind of bargain down?

4. It promotes deserving causes

The majority of secondhand shops are divisions of nonprofit institutions. The proceeds from the sale of old products go towards supporting programs including outreach to the needy, medical research, and job training.

Even when you purchase secondhand clothing from rummage sales or online, the money stays with the individuals rather than the companies. I apologize to H&M stockholders, but it seems like a better use of your money.

5. There may be no taxes.

Products you buy from approved nonprofit organisations might not be subject to sales tax in your area. Details, however, can be difficult. Thrift stores in Iowa are free from sales tax provided certain conditions are met, according to the state tax statute.

According to IRC 501(c)(3), “Net proceeds are used for charitable, religious, or educational purposes; and the organisation selling or receiving the profits is exempt from income tax.”

Sadly, there isn’t a single tool available to assist customers in navigating the intricate web of state sales tax regulations.

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6. It’s simpler to develop a unique look

I don’t want to appear like everyone else as I become older. Purchasing used allows me to exercise my imagination to its full potential and locate one-of-a-kind pieces that really elevate my style.

Try some different things if you’ve never shopped secondhand. Combine modern and old pieces to create a completely unique look.

7. Selling secondhand clothing may be a lucrative endeavour.

There is a growth in the reselling industry. The predicted global market value of secondhand clothing in 2022 was $177 billion, according to Statista. A few retailers are also experimenting with the secondhand market. An episode of “If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It” delves into Patagonia’s involvement with Wearable Technology.

Take home a share of the $177 billion. Selling top-notch used apparel on Etsy, ThredUp, or eBay is a fantastic side gig.

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8. Older clothes is frequently made better

Finding high-quality apparel is becoming more difficult for those of us who don’t shop at upscale designer boutiques. Consumer expectations appear to have decreased as a result of fast fashion, which has also lowered garment standards.

However, purchasing used clothes allows us to travel back in time and acquire apparel that was manufactured years, even decades, ago. In general, antique clothing is better manufactured and uses higher quality materials than comparable contemporary clothing.

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9. Exclusive brands are available.

Luxurious clothing occasionally ends up on the racks of thrift stores. I’ve bought vintage items from Loro Piana, Hermes, Missoni, Fendi, and Comme des Garcons.

Would I typically have to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars to get access to this calibre of fashion? No. Is $4.99–$9.99 worth of hidden treasure worth it? Indeed, you do.

Tarique Anwer
Tarique Anwer
Tarique Anwer obtained his undergraduate degree from Aligarh Muslim University and his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Annamalai University. He commenced his professional journey at Bank of America. He is an experienced Media professional with demonstrated expertise in news writing, content creation, and people management.

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