For me, summer has always been synonymous with getting a whole new wardrobe. I don’t know whether it’s the warm weather and higher levels of serotonin going to my head, or its the “new season, new you” pressure from just about every ad campaign ever, but I historically welcomed summer in with a big ol’ trip to Primark. I’d fill several baskets like a giddy child (in fact, I was a giddy child when this ritual began) with vest tops and shorts and every other badly made and brightly coloured item of clothing that fell into the “S/S” category. I’m not even sure it mattered if I liked the clothes that much. Or if they fit. I just needed to have a wardrobe rebirth.
However, as you’ll know if you’ve frequented this corner of the internet before, I’m on a journey to becoming a more ethical consumer. In regards to clothes that means two things:
1. I’m trying to shop less.
2. When I am shopping for clothes I’m trying to do so from sources that aren’t as damaging to the planet or as harmful to people.
So, when July rolled around this year I knew that I needed to shift my summer shopping habits. I had to talk myself out of a trip to Primark on several occasions. One time I even went in, but I somehow manage to emerge with only a pair of multi-coloured tassel earrings to show for it. I don’t think that’s bad going.
Instead of buying a whole new wardrobe, I’ve fuelled my shopping habits with trips to charity shops and then tried to embrace the clothes that I already own. Apart from those tassel earrings, it’s been a massive success. In particular there are 5 items of clothing (a mix of recent purchases and old faithfuls, all from charity shops) that I’ve worn again and again and that I can’t see leaving my wardrobe any time soon. Yay for slowly unlearning what every fast fashion retailer has taught me since I was old enough to receive pocket money: That feeling good means constantly buying brand new.
One thing that I love about charity shops is that you can find high quality (sometimes even brand new) items at a fraction of their RRP. That means that you basically get one of the biggest perks of shopping fast fashion (the ridiculously low prices) without as much of the damage. Take this gloriously loose fitting off the shoulder top: It’s originally from M&S meaning that’s it’s incredible quality, but it only cost me just shy of £4. Paired with any kind of denim on the bottom and I can fulfil all of my boujee pirate dreams.
Apparently I’m a big fan of tops that make me look like I’m in search of doubloons, because this is another charity shop favourite of mine. Although it’s not made to be a crop top or to be worn of the shoulder, I tie it at the waist and pull the arms down because it looks cuter that way. Sometimes you’ve got to be creative when you’re working with second hand clothes.
Aside from that fact that it’s an absolute bastard to iron and seems to have creases in it after 5 minutes anyway, I’ve certainly worn this peach midi skirt to death this summer. It’s been a saviour in the hot weather for keeping everything, erm, aired out. And it only cost £2!
I got my hands on this beauty last summer. It makes me feel very quaint since it needs to be paired with an underskirt (which I also got in a charity shop), even though I usually wear it with chunky sandals and over sized band t-shirts.
Finally, an angsty teen classic: High waisted jeans that I got in a charity shop and turned into shorts. These are just about the comfiest shorts I’ve ever owed (no front wedgies here, my friends), they don’t show my butt cheeks and I get to feel smug about the fact that nobody owns them. What more could I ask for in a piece of denim?