Throughout Second Hand September, we’ve been speaking to staff and customers at our Retail Hub about why they shop at the hub and what they see are the benefits of buying second hand.
This time, we’re speaking to Lewis, who works in e-retail and events at the hub. As well as using platforms like Vinted to sell donated clothes to even more people, Lewis also shops at the hub for the latest additions to his wardrobe.
How long have you been shopping at the hub?
I’d say around a year – a few months before I started working here.
What is the best item you’ve found at the hub?
I’ve found a great Adidas T-shirt from the ‘70s and a ‘90s Timberland tee.
Describe your style in three words.
Androgynous, Smart-Casual and Playful
How long have you been shopping sustainably?
A few years now. I started by finding pieces I liked on eBay and Vinted, which opened my eyes to shopping for vintage clothing at charity shops.
Why did you decide to start shopping second hand?
Cost is a big part of it. You can get designer labels for a fraction of the price you’d get elsewhere. There’s a lot more inspiration when it comes to outfits too.
What would you say to people who haven’t shopped second hand before?
I think it’s something everyone should try. You’d be surprised by some of the pieces you can find. It’s time to remove the stigma of not wanting to wear something pre-loved.
What have you found are the benefits of shopping second hand?
There’s more variety in styles compared to shopping brand new. You can find fashion spanning across decades rather than just what’s in trend now.
What do you do with unwanted clothing?
Sometimes I’ll speak to friends to see if it’s something they’ll wear. If not, I’ll try to sell them online or donate them to the hub. I never throw clothes away!
What are your tips for finding great items when second hand shopping?
When I’m shopping on places like Vinted or eBay, I try to find people who have a similar or like-minded style to me. Then, the items they put on are often things I would wear, or I take inspiration for new outfits.
Do you alter or upcycle any pieces you get from the hub?
I’ve thought about it, but I’m not very handy! I might ask someone to help alter a shirt or jumper, but with things like jeans, I’ll often just wear a belt if they’re a bit oversized to make them work.
Why do you think some people have a negative perception of buying second hand?
Some people can think that the clothes are stained or damaged, and that’s what they have been donated. Since working at the hub, I’ve realised even more that this is just not the case. I’m always surprised by the quality of items people donate to the hub and what’s available.
Style in 5!
As part of his ‘Style Guide’, we gave Lewis five minutes to put together some outfits using pieces currently on sale at the hub. Here’s what he chose!
Our Retail Hub is based on the Fall Bank industrial estate in Dodworth, just three miles from Barnsley town centre. For SAT NAV use S75 3LS. Open Monday to Saturday, 9 am – 4 pm.