Top Tips For Thrift Shopping | Sustainable Shopping & Slow Fashion With Second Hand Clothes

I wrote this post three years ago! I’ve came back and tidied it up a little bit. Now, I am trying to shop more sustainable, understanding slow fashion, and looking after the environment. Second hand shopping has always been a favourite hobby of mine, here’s how to make the most of shopping second hand.

I heckin’ LOVE shopping, for absolutely anything, anywhere, and anytime (except if you want to buy video games from CEX at 2.30 on a Saturday then I’d rather boil me own head).  So, you could probably say I am pretty good at it, and know a thing or two about shopping. This post will be a few hints and tips on a day second hand shopping, things I think can make the day go as good as possible!

Top Tips For Thrift Shopping | Sustainable Shopping & Slow Fashion With Second Hand Clothes


  • Set aside a good few hours to shop, either a whole afternoon or day. SHS can be really fruitless as times, so you want to be able to browse as many places as possible.
  • Before you go, have a good sort out of anything you don’t need. You can donate to a SHS and make room for your purchases. I highly recommend this because it’s so cheap to buy second hand, you can end up buying a lot of stuff!
  • Pick an area where you know theres quite a few shops close together, this will help with tip one, choices choices! Little suburbs, counties or village town centres are so good for this, and as great as it is to support big charities, don’t over look local businesses and charities too.
  • If you’re thinking of going to car-boot sales, or jumble sales in village halls, be sure to dress weather appropriate, little halls can still be quite cold even though it’s indoors. Be sure to check local papers for events on the same day, so again you can shop around.
  • Take your own bags and plenty of them. You can’t get good old bags for free anymore, so save them for somebody who needs them like the charity shops. Crinkled up ASDA bags stuffed to bursting with a vintage coat – not practical.
  • Look everywhere, menswear, kidswear, accessories, shoes. GET.STUCK.IN.
  • Check all items over thoroughly before you purchase. If you think there’s a flaw that can’t be repaired, or an item you can’t customise because of seams or buttons etc, best just put it back.
  • Don’t be afraid to barter, I often see clothes I think are so overpriced for what I know they’ve been sold for in store so if I can’t get them for a reasonable price I won’t buy it. Who wants to pay £6 for a Primark dress that only retailed for £12 to begin with thats one wash away from a dish rag?
  • If you’re undecided on whether to buy something, put it back and go and have a think, you can go back later. If you go back, and it’s gone then it wasn’t meant to be!
  • Another good tip if you’re unsure is to think how will the item fit in your wardrobe. Will it go with the jeans you live in, or match your most worn shoes, or are you looking to make a whole new outfit and this is in your vision for it.
  • If you go to charity shops – keep receipts! A lot of the time you can return to store for a refund.
  • If you’re germ phobic, you can buy the item, remove (AND KEEP!) the tag, wash it, try it on and return it. Obviously if its from a boot sale or jumble, you can’t do that, so be prepared to buy a few items you may lose money on, unless you can sell it on eBay.
  • Another good tip for germ phobes is wear a base layer so you’re not bumping uglies with the previous owner of them pants you’ve fell in love with. Think sheer tights or a granny style under wear t shirt thing. You know the ones your Nan insists on buying in bulk from the Marksys sale, “to keep the chill off”.
  • That fab shirt on a size 16 hanger might just fit you, because not all sizes are universal and they’ve changed over the years.
  • If something is too big it can be altered.
  • Menswear can work for you, with a bit of thought – think old denim shirts tied up.
  • If you’re a petite person, you could find something cute in kidswear.
  • If you’re an e-bayer you may just find a gem you know will sell.




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