By Amanda Wilkes:
I’m the girl who doesn’t buy anything unless I absolutely love it, which stands true for my wardrobe. However, being 24 and having a fairly demanding social agenda, I find not re-wearing my clothes — or more specifically, the nicer outfits I buy for events like weddings or girls’ nights out — difficult. Yet, if I buy a great dress, I hate to see it hang in my closet, not to be worn again until the next year when i’m around a completely separate group of people for fear that someone may remember it. It sounds silly, I know, but I think this is true for many women.
So to solve this problem, I have resorted to what my mom always suggested for prom or homecoming: secondhand stores. Of course, I was too cool in high school not to buy something brand new. And I wasn’t the one paying for it. Well, times have changed, and now I find the most unique and least expensive clothes at this type of store.
What I love about consignment shops is that most likely no one else will have the same outfit because, unlike me, they probably will go to the standard Forever 21, H&M, or Macy’s to find an outfit that thousands of other girls will purchase. I like to think of buying “secondhand” as buying something with character, something that has a story behind it. What else I love is paying half the normal department store price. Two weeks ago, I attended a wedding, so I had decided to try my luck at a secondhand store. Sure enough, I purchased a designer Diane von Furstenberg dress and accessories for a total of $35 dollars at a great place in San Diego called Flashbacks. All I did was Google “Secondhand stores + San Diego,” and a decent list of places with reviews came up.
We should remember that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Instead of filling up landfills each year with more than two quadrillion pounds of used clothing, we should consider selling or donating our clothes and buying secondhand. Finding a place to donate your clothes is easy, especially with organizations like Planet Aid that have set up donation bins in many cities throughout the U.S. For those of us who think that just giving away a favorite dress or pantsuit is unbearable (even though it has been sitting somewhere in the back of your closet for the past five years), consider making a little money by selling it to a consignment shop and know that someone else will probably enjoy it even more than you did! When we buy “secondhand,” we are helping the environment by eliminating the need for new materials, fuel and energy spent in factories. You will be helping not only the environment but also your wallet And you’ll be surprised by the second glances you catch when you wear secondhand!