New clothes, shoes and accessories are abundant in nature and endlessly available, nearly everywhere we turn. Department stores, specialty boutiques and even grocery stores sell articles of clothing, jewelry and some accessories. While not as common, or required, as it once was, some people opt to make their own clothing and accompanying accessories. Local markets and boutiques in revived downtown areas provide channels for such handmade and second-hand items, as well as newly produced options. The popularity of antiques and second hand items is rising as the appreciation of these older items with usually higher quality and more classic design elements speak to people looking for the simpler and finer things in life. Or, those looking for less expensive yet high-quality options.
Fast fashion has provided just that: fast fashion. Items are made quickly and cheaply, sold quickly and cheaply, then have a common history of coming apart after a few wear and wash cycles. There is little time for people to develop long histories and relationships with their clothing and accessories during these shortened and fast fashion cycles. A few tops bought for cheap this season are long forgotten and tossed away like yesterday’s leftovers, and the cycle continues. There’s something special that can’t be captured in fast fashion, like the nuanced character of antique necklaces and rings. There’s an element of carelessness that comes with cheaply made items that vanishes with antique pieces.
On the opposite side of this spectrum are articles of clothing that have stood the test of time, made from natural and durable materials, that are well made and made for being worn hundreds of times, then repaired and continuing on their wear journey. Second hand stores are all around, in both brick and mortar form, as well as online avenues. The market for buying second hand clothes, shoes and accessories is vast and difficult to measure, as there are selling avenues such as yard sales, online yet unmeasured marketplaces and similar. Millions of people partake in this to procure their own wardrobes, and most outsiders never know the difference of buying new or used items. The amount of money saved can be upwards of 90% per item, depending on the resourcefulness of the buyer, and the longevity of each item can be extended with repairs and tailoring updates across the years.
Whether you’re seeking furniture, jewelry, kitchenware, tools, decorative items, appliances or cars, chances are you can find what you’re looking for in a less expensive and longer-lasting version than buying a newly made option. Aside from heartier materials and processes of production, there are deep cost savings and benefits experienced by purchases or trading for used items, as well as giving life to something that might otherwise go to a landfill. The benefits of using second-hand and antique items, and wearing antique jewelry are endless.
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