There is a widespread misconception that secondhand/thrift clothes are garbage thrown away by others, that secondhand shopping is specific to poor people and dishonourable for us, who are more privileged, or that it is unhygienic and gross to wear clothes that have belonged to people you don’t know.
This article is a myth-buster that aims at changing anyone’s prejudgments and hesitance of engaging in buying and selling secondhand clothes. I will present 3 of the most frequent reasons why people are sceptical and reluctant when it comes to making this step, and I will dismantle the disregarding patched to everything secondhand.
1. No, secondhand shopping is not unhygienic
It is not gross and unhygienic by any means to wear secondhand clothes, because they have been washed and sanitized before getting on the shelves of secondhand/thrift stores. It doesn’t matter who wore those clothes before you because they have gone through a process of disinfection (a process that you will repeat anyway).
Thrift stores (especially those more popular) do their best to apply and respect strict norms of cleaning their products. Even the stores themselves look very nice, clean and welcoming, inducing the customers a feeling of trust and respect.
2. Secondhand garments are not rubbish
No, they are not filthy, trashy, ragged and worn off. They are clothes (generally in good to perfect condition) that people gave up on for several reasons.
How many times have you found clothes in your wardrobe that you don’t need, either because your style has changed or you’ve got bored with them? Or maybe you have bought them but never actually worn them. Or they don’t fit you anymore. The same happens to many of us, some people just decided to sell or give away these garments so they can be reused, rather than throwing them away.
3. Thrifting doesn’t make you seem poor
Buying secondhand clothes has nothing to do with social status or the lack of finances. The people that those items belonged to are not the rich on the planet giving to the poor. They are ordinary people, just like you and me, that joined this process of recycling clothes by giving them “for adoption”. Most of them buy, in their turn, such clothes, because they have understood the importance and benefices of adopting this practice.
Entering a secondhand store shouldn’t make you feel ashamed or uncomfortable in any way, because this doesn’t place you in the category of those struggling with money. There are many people whose financial situation is very good, and they still thrift. But because of the omnipresent stigma attached to secondhand shopping, many of them don’t admit doing that, or they hide from the others when they are actually doing it.
I hope this article has made you change your mind about shopping secondhand, and you will consider giving it a try. If it has cleared its bad reputation, but not convinced you to try it, my next article will give you 5 awesome reasons to do that.
The next time when you need to make space in your wardrobe, please consider selling or giving your clothes away to collection centres or any type of stores that deal with reusing them. This way, you will protect the environment, save up, make others happy and have fun. But more on this next time!