If you’re a student and you live in Glasgow, you’ve probably passed by a thrift shop at least once. From the West End to the Southside, the city is home to a variety of legendary thrift shopping locations, like the ‘Barras Market’ and Britannia Panopticon, and national charity shops chains like Oxfam, the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK.
Buying second-hand isn’t only extremely easy, it can also benefit you, local communities and the planet. Here’s how:
1) It’s a lot cheaper than buying fast fashion items or brand new products. It obviously depends on where you shop, but prices usually start off at as little as one pound and rarely surpass the ten-pound threshold. Instead of spending twenty quid on a plain black sweater that probably cost a third of that before it left the factory, you can buy four of them for the same price in a thrift store. It’s amazing value for money if you’re a student on a budget and the quality of second-hand clothes is generally much better than the “I’m going to rip as soon as you wear me on a night out” quality of fast fashion items.
2) It reduces the environmental cost of fast fashion. If you consider that it takes 7,000 litres of water to produce a simple pair of jeans, it’s clear that the clothes you buy from fast fashion retailers come at a very high price for the environment. By purchasing items that were made years ago and that were already used instead, you play an important role in reducing the useless waste of natural resources that is so harmful to our planet.
3) You support good causes. Most second-hand stores are charity shops. Anything that you buy, whether it’s a book, a shirt or a mug, finances extremely important initiatives like cancer or heart disease research. You not only know where your money is going, you know it’s going to help make a positive impact in the world. And it makes you feel great!
For Strathclyde students, there are also swap nights in the Union organised by the Foodsharing Society. Thrift shopping isn’t something to be ashamed of. You should be proud of it!
By Linda Mohamed