Used and Loved

The Psychological, Environmental and Financial Benefits of Buying Second Hand

Written by Niamh


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Most people know the benefits of buying second hand is that it’s good for the planet, and your wallet, but way less are aware of the other, even better, benefits of buying preloved. 

This blog will explain the psychological, environmental and financial benefits you’ll experience when you buy used.

Loading placeholder for Woman smiling in a vintage 70s outfit to show benefits of buying second handWoman smiling in a vintage 70s outfit to show benefits of buying second hand

Psychological Benefits of Buying Second Hand

These might not be the first things that you think of when you consider the positives of buying second hand, but there are loads of brain boosts that you get from shopping preloved:

  • Improves Mood - Taking the time to look through second hand listings to come across your dream fit makes finding a great item so much more rewarding - the thrill of a successful search has a much bigger impact than a quick click from a fast-fashion brand.
  • Battles Eco-Anxiety - It’s hard not to let anxiety build up about the planet. Buying used, instead of new, is a great way to combat that ongoing stress. Each time you make that choice, it can feel like a win, and that you’re doing your bit to combat the climate crisis. 
  • Encourages Healthy Habits - Making a mindful choice to shop second hand can encourage more mindful behaviours for the rest of your life too. Taking positive environmental action can encourage a deeper connection with our planet, giving you a better sense of fulfilment, and encouraging a more mindful perspective on overall consumption choices.

Environmental Benefits of Buying Second Hand

The biggest benefits are, of course, the ones that will protect the beautiful planet we call home (ok, apart from the extreme cases, who have decided to move to Mars!!). The environmental benefits are huge: 

Loading placeholder for Textile waste being sorted at a recycling hubTextile waste being sorted at a recycling hub

Reduces Waste - Most obviously, saving used clothing from landfill prevents unnecessary waste from being created. 

Americans only recycle 15.2% of their textiles. 

Even for clothes that get put into recycling, there’s not much hope they will end up being recycled at all. 

Over 65,000,000 tons of used clothing were sent to Ghana in 2019. 

The best use for clothes that are no longer wanted/needed is for them to be resold and reloved via second-hand shopping.

Reduces Pollution - The fast-fashion industry is responsible for 10% of overall carbon emissions worldwide, as production creates a large amount of CO2 from the manufacturing and transporting a garment. 

The Vinted Climate Change Impact Report, claims that by choosing to buy second hand clothes instead of new, you can save 1.8kg Co2 per item (the equivalent of driving for 30-minutes).

Preserves Natural Resources - Another huge environmental benefit of buying used is that it decreases the demand for non-renewable resources, preserving necessary ecosystems which keep our planet stable. 

Polyester, used widely for clothing production, is made from petroleum. It is a synthetic material which has many toxic chemicals embedded in it.

As many fast-fashion products are not sourced in a sustainable way, using harmful fossil fuels and destroying animal habitats in the process of their production, choosing used clothing instead protects vital resources and withdraws your support of unethical practices.

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Reduces Water Consumption - An often overlooked benefit of second hand clothes, reducing our water footprint is a great step toward a greener lifestyle. 

“It takes 3,781 litres of water to make one pair of jeans. That’s enough for 2000 days, or 5.5 years, of drinking water”.

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Saves Energy - The production of new clothing also uses a huge amount of energy, particularly through the transportation and shipping process. The transportation sector is worth ¼ of the energy consumption of the entire globe. 

Taking a step to ensure that your clothing is locally sourced from a used clothing store is a great way to help reduce global energy usage.

Financial Benefits of Buying Second Hand

Financial Benefits of Buying Second Hand

The most useful benefit to your everyday life; there’s no need to tighten the purse strings when it comes to second hand clothes:

  • More Affordable - The most obvious financial gain of shopping second hand is, of course, that it is a more affordable option - used products can be around 50% cheaper than their brand-new alternatives. This is particularly useful if you happen to have expensive taste - brand names and designer labels can often be found in second hand stores at a significantly discounted cost!
  • Better Quality -  The more expensive something was when it was new (most of the time), the better quality materials and craftsmanship used to make it. The stitching is stronger, the fabric hangs better, you can just tell it’s more expensive when you see it. And you can level up the items you buy because second-hand is an affordable way to access those finer things in life. 
  • Helping Local Communities - Importantly, buying from a used clothing store or second hand shop can help you invest in what really matters - rather than supporting a million-pound corporation, giving your money to a charity, or someone local to you, who could really do with the extra cash in these tough times. This can really make an impact, benefitting the wider community and those who need it most.

Which Benefits of Buying Second Hand are most important to you?

Try and remember them while you’re next faced with the decision of buying new or used, and see how much it helps you! 

Now that you know the benefits of shopping preloved, why not check out some of the second hand items available through Used and Loved? We’ve got everything you could possibly need, from a fancy new dress to that coffee machine you’ve always had your eye on.