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Why secondhand? How thinking like-new first can change your life (and the world!)

I remember the time I bought a secondhand bag; when I brought it home, my mom gave me a whole nagging session — saying things like how ‘dirty’ it was and questioned why I would get an old bag when I could afford something new. However the bag was in pristine condition, and I got it at more than half of its retail price! What more could I ask for? 

This is a common misconception that still lives amongst many others today. But why do people purchase secondhand? It is a simple and sustainable step that comes with many benefits others may not know of. 

Did you know? According to survey results, Singaporeans buy about 34 pieces of brand new clothing per year, and on average discard 27 items of clothing per year; citing reasons such as “making space for new clothes”, “no longer fits”, and “there are defects”.

NEA reported a total of 137,000 tonnes of textile waste in 2020, with only 4% of it being recycled and the remaining 131,000 tonnes being disposed of! 

Img: QUT

As I learn about the harmful effects fast fashion has on both the environment and socially, I began looking for ways to reduce my carbon footprint while still being able to serve different looks. Of course, it takes a whole lot of effort and action to combat this global problem, but everyone can play a part by taking small steps — one of which include thinking secondhand first! Here’s how thinking secondhand first can change your life (and the world!). 


Environmentally and Wallet-Friendly


Buying secondhand is naturally eco-friendly. You're recycling something that would otherwise end up in the landfill, while also saving money. Used items tend to be sold at a fraction of their original price. Even so, secondhand does not always mean second best. The bag that I bought previously had no defects at all and was still of high quality — and I got it at a steal! 

 At REFASH, you can expect to shop a myriad of styles that are still in pristine condition without breaking the bank. Some of them are even brand new with tags! Want to explore your style or discover new ones with the least impact on the environment and your wallet? Shopping secondhand is the way to go. 


  Seeing Value in Things Others Don’t


When you own the same item for a long time, it can be difficult to see the same value you once saw in it when you first purchased it. However, what you no longer see a use for does not apply to others.

The seller I bought the bag from previously did not see herself using it in the future, but I could see myself! Shopping secondhand allows one to give value to items others do not and harbour a greater appreciation for them, which also aids in reducing waste. You may be surprised at the number of things you find value in the next time you shop secondhand. 


Focus On The Things That Really Matter 

Img: Pinterest

As you shop secondhand and purchase things you really like, you begin forming your own opinions on the styles you enjoy, rather than following the current trends of what’s produced in stores. Buying secondhand allows one to focus on the things that really matter — your opinions, rather than what are ‘trending’ in stores or advertisements. In turn, you create a more sustainable wardrobe by purchasing pieces you truly enjoy wearing and will be wearing often, rather than the “trends” of the season! 

These are just three of the many benefits of secondhand shopping. I hope you have enjoyed today’s read and it has inspired you to think secondhand first. Till next time!

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