Ditching fast fashion for secondhand shopping really does pay off – in more ways than one.
Just take a look at Iso Neville, whose choice to ditch new items not only makes her look great, but has also saved her £20,000.
Iso, 24, used to be a ‘shopaholic’, buying new bits every week from brands like Boohoo and PrettyLittleThing.
But three years ago, she decided to make a change.
The social media manager, from central London, said: ‘When I was at university, I would shop fast fashion websites every week.
‘But I realised it made me look just like everyone else and I felt I’d lost a bit of my identity.
‘So in 2019 I made the decision to go secondhand only – because I realised I could get much better quality and it was better for the environment too.’
Now, Iso exclusively buys secondhand items when she feels the itch to fill her wardrobe, and spends hours scouring charity shops, vintage markets, and online marketplaces to seek out the best deals.
That hasn’t held her back in the style stakes, mind you. Iso often finds designer labels that fit her budget, such as a £1,500 Burberry trench coat she nabbed for just £100 from a flea market.
She reckons she has saved £20,000, compared to if she had bought all her secondhand designer goods brand new.
‘I use secondhand shops and apps like Depop and Thrift Plus every day and go charity shopping once a week,’ said Iso.
‘I’ve got amazing clothes for a fraction of the original prices – I calculated I have saved £20k compared to if I bought them new.
‘I probably only spend the same amount as I did when I was buying new from fast fashion websites, but so much better quality.’
Iso has now developed weekly routines to ensure she always catches the best deals and secondhand offerings.
She uses online marketplaces such as Depop, Vinted and Ebay every day to scout out secondhand steals from top brands.
She also uses Thrift Plus – which she describes as ‘the ASOS of secondhand’ to help her search for specific items on her wish lists.
But it’s not all online – she makes sure to go charity shopping once a week.
Thanks to her sharp eye, she has snapped up an Acne Studios leather jacket – originally costing £1,500 – for £100 on Vinted.
She also bought a vintage Maison Margiela coat – which retails at around £2,500 – for just £25 at a charity shop in Balham.
She said: ‘I don’t pay more than any of my friends do who buy their clothes at Topshop, Zara or Boohoo.
‘I’m there for the better quality – I wouldn’t be able to buy a £2,500 coat new, or access that quality of material on my budget.
‘I’ve created a luxury style for myself based on the same budget of my fast fashion-loving friends.
‘I keep an eye out for things I think my friends would like, too – I’m constantly sending them links.’
Iso loves her secondhand wardrobe, and encourages other people to challenge themselves to ditch fast fashion.
‘Even if I buy second hand, I won’t buy anything I’ll only wear once,’ she noted.
‘And when I am done wearing something, I’ll re-sell it online and contribute to a circular economy.
‘I think there is a misconception, maybe a taboo, around secondhand shopping.
‘People think it’s all worn-out and discarded items from Primark.
‘There is some of that, but there are great items out there too.
‘It doesn’t have to be a big commitment – maybe just nipping in the charity shop on your commute home from work.
‘If you spend a bit of time looking, you will find the good stuff.’
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