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Tweedehandskleding | Fraenck
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Second-hand clothes

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We all hear the stories about how much clothing we throw away, but it is really eye-opening to see it in real life! Last Monday I visited the 2Switch sorting centre and was amazed. We ended up at the centre through our participation in the Sustainable Fashion 025 project (more on that later).Duurzame Mode 025 (more on that later).

Billions of kilos of clothes

Worldwide sales of clothing have more than doubled in 15 years. We now buy more than 100 billion garments a year (!). According to a study by the HVA, the average Dutch person buys 46 garments per year and throws away 40.
We also wear our clothes much less often. On average, we wear a garment 7 times before we write it off and throw it in the rubbish.

A lot of raw materials are needed to make a garment. A pair of jeans alone requires 8000 litres of water, not to mention the haberdashery and the time and energy it takes to make one!

Confessions of a shopaholic

Nobody is perfect, neither am I, and that is why I would like to share my experiences. How I started to work on not taking part in the current fashion system that is linked to fashion trends, fast fashion, consuming more and more. More and more is coming out about the dark side of the fashion world, all of which are reasons to stop using fast fashion.
As a fashion designer, a beautiful sleeve insert and an original finish already make my heart beat faster and the choice to buy something is quickly made. When I was a teenager, I was not at all concerned about where and by whom a garment was made. Let alone under what conditions. I was only concerned with the end product. And yes, I admit it - I was a shopaholic. When I went to live in London for my internship in 2008, the sky was the limit. The range of fashion on offer there is gigantic, I couldn't believe my luck. I could think of thousands of excuses why I needed something. At one point I found myself with loads of shoes and a bulging wardrobe in a tiny room in Bethnal Green.

I thought it was the most normal thing in the world, but it wasn't until I was packing for the move that I realised it wasn't normal at all. Because of the amount of moving boxes, there seemed to be no end to the move. And when your friends and family help you, you feel a bit ashamed. This really had to change.

Still a shopaholic

Two years ago, I agreed with myself that I would buy everything second-hand and to keep it fun, I didn't put a limit on the amount. In the beginning it was very difficult, especially if you want to buy something on trend in a certain (favourite) colour, because you don't find those (quickly) at the charity shop. The temptation was great, but luckily the motivation was greater. Shopping for second-hand items has become a real sport and now and then you find the most beautiful things. And a nice side effect too: you don't have the same clothes as everyone else and it saves on your wallet (note: if you don't buy designer vintage;).

Good reason to shop second-hand

My visit to the sorting centre made me realise again why it is so important not to buy only new items. It is a pity but true: because of corona, 50,000 extra kilos of clothes were handed in to the 2Switch in a relatively short period of time. And that is just the region, Arnhem, Duiven and Westervoort. These 50,000 kilos are on top of the 18,000 kilos that are collected every week. Apparently everyone is clearing out his or her wardrobe. As we wrote in an earlier blog: the greater the chance that there is something for you in it! And do you have any clothes left over? Het Kan Wel has good tips on what to do with it. 

Even if not all trend colours and the right size are available, looking for classics, items that last longer. Because it really is possible to look fashionable with only second-hand items. It would be great if we could all reduce the amount of waste, look good, save money and help each other and the environment at the same time!

What are your experiences with second-hand clothes shopping? Have you transformed from a shopaholic into a conscious shopaholic? Or do you still find it hard to find items that fit?

xoxo Ratna

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