On this new series, I will be showing you my outfits. Most of the clothes you will see are second-hand or from sustainable brands.
Fashion is a very polluting industry. But As conscious consumers, we can reduce the environmental cost of fashion. For example by choosing for sustainable brands instead of fast fashion ones. By choosing for eco-friendly fabrics instead of synthetic ones and my favorite: by choosing to buy second-hand! Second-hand shopping is more kind to the environment because the garment has already been produced. It gives the item a longer life and it prevents it from landing in landfills.
Second-hand shopping has become part of my lifestyle. Every time I need a ‘new’ piece of clothes, I first go to one of the shops I listed below. If I can’t find what I need, I look for a new piece from a sustainable brand.
Here is my sustainable outfit of the week. The pictures are taken by the photographer Celia Alma from @thelightboxtales
What I´m wearing:
Body, pants, jacket, shoes // Second-hand from a charity shop
Impulsive shopping. We all have been guilty of this. The marketing and social media worlds are really good for making us feel that we ‘need’ new clothes every week. We feel pressure to be on trend and with the fast fashion at its peak, it’s getting easy to buy a lot of clothes for little money. But these clothes end up in the closet, worn once and never again. The fashion industry is the second dirtiest in the world. This industry is responsible for big amounts of water consumption and CO2 emissions. The textile dyeing is a huge polluter of water due to the toxic chemicals that the production involves. Fashion is a complicated business involving long and varied supply chains of production, raw material, textile manufacture, clothing construction, shipping, retail, use and ultimate disposal of the garment
If you want to be more of a conscious fashion consumer, consider asking yourself these questions before buying anything new:
1. Can I find it second-hand?
Check your local second-hand stores and charity shops before you go to a fast fashion store. You might find just what you are looking for in a perfect condition.
2. Do I already have something similar in my closet?
If you already have something like this, there is no need to add it to your wardrobe.
3. Can I match it with my current wardrobe?
If you need more items to combine, consider if it’s really necessary. Buying something new should not mean that you need to buy a bunch of new things to go with it.
4. Will I wear it regularly?
I’m a big fan of Olivia Firth’s 30 Wears Campaign, which encourages people only to buy things you think you will wear at least 30 times. If you can’t see yourself wearing the item on a regular basis, rethink the purchase. The key is to look for clothes and shoes that blend into your wardrobe. This way, you’ll maximize your clothes and create a stylish and functional wardrobe.
5. Is the style one that will last?
Trends are very cruel. They make us believe we need them in our lives. But will that investment be on trend next spring? If not, skip it. Experience has shown us that these trendy pieces will end up a year later in the donate pile. Trends are manufactured by the fast fashion industry and change quickly.
6. What is this piece made of? If the fabric is synthetic, rethink your purchase. If you really need that piece of clothes, try to look for a version with natural fabrics like cotton or hemp.Investing in higher-quality materials means a higher-quality experience wearing the garment and less guilt about its environmental toll.
7. Does it fit perfectly?
If you don’t feel comfortable right after you tried the piece on, there is a chance that you are not going to feel comfortable wearing that piece ever. If you are uncomfortable in the item or you don’t like it 100%, it’s not worth spending money on.
8. Do I really like it? If after 10 minutes you are still debating whether you should buy an item it or not, it’s probably because you don’t really love, or need the item. The best is to leave it and walk away. When buying a new item, you should always be confident in your purchases.
Consider these questions next time you are going shopping. This way you will become more conscious of the purchases you make and won’t suffer from buyer’s remorse again.
The fashion industry is the second dirtiest industry in the world. When we think of pollution, it’s hard to imagine that our clothes can cause such a big damage. But the impact of the fashion industry on our planet is quite nasty. This industry is responsible for big amounts of water consumption (32 million olympic size swimming pools per year) and CO2 emissions (8% of global greenhouse emissions). Also, the textile dyeing is a huge polluter of water due to the toxic chemicals the production involves. Not to mention the number of tons of waste. Fashion is a complicated business involving long and varied supply chains of production, raw material, textile manufacture, clothing construction, shipping, retail, use and ultimate disposal of the garment.
But is there something we can do?
Yes! As conscious consumers, we can reduce the environmental cost of fashion. Choosing for sustainable brands instead of fast fashion ones, choosing for eco-friendly fabrics instead of synthetic ones and my favorite: choosing to buy second-hand! Second-hand shopping is more kind to the environment because the garment has already been produced. It gives the item a longer life and it prevents it from landing in landfills.
Second-hand shopping has become part of my lifestyle. Every time I need a ‘new’ piece of clothes, I first go to one of the shops I listed below. If I can’t find what I need, I look for a new piece from a sustainable brand. Here are my favorite second-hand shops in the city I live in: Amersfoort – The Netherlands.
Terre des Hommes winkel Amersfoort Address: Kamp 79
Charity second-hand shop. You can also donate clothes here.
Second Lifestyle Amersfoort Address: Leusderweg 98
Second-hand shop. You can bring clothes to sell. It works with a 50/50 commision.
Emmaus Amersfoort Address: Hendrik van Viandenstraat 4 & Havenweg 14-16
Charity second-hand shop. They have two shops. The one at Havenweg is the biggest. Go there with enough time. There is a lot of nice stuff, but you have to look well.
Vint Amersfoort Address: Nijverheidsweg-Noord 74
Big warehouse with different vintage shops. You can find second-hand clothes in the shop of ‘Absolutely Everything’.
Kringloopcentrum Amersfoort Address: Zwaaikom 21
Charity second-hand shop. This is one of my favorites. They restock the clothes section every day. The kringloopcentrum Amersfoort also has a pop-up shop in the center. It’s called ‘Pop-up winkel Oud Nieuw’. Every season they are in a different location. Check them on Facebook to be up to date about where they stand.
Women2day Address: Brahmsstraat 8 Second-hand shop. Opens from Thursday to Saturday from 13:00 to 17:00
I hope you will give these shops a try. Do you know a second-hand shop in Amersfoort that is not on the list? Let me know in the comments below.
One year ago, I decided to stop buying clothes from fast fashion brands. At the time, I was already aware of all the problems fast fashion brings to the environment and to the garment workers. Still, I occasionally felt into temptation and bought some clothes from fast fashion brands. The last time I went to one of those stores and saw everything on sale made me feel so bad, that I promise myself to not buy new cheap clothes again.
Before my conscious time, like most consumers, I was unaware of the real impact of cheap clothing. They’re designed to be thrown away after a few washes. The fabrics are mostly synthetic, which isn’t sustainable in the long run when you consider the amount of water and chemicals used for the production. On top of that, when a garment is so cheap, it’s a sign that the person who made it was not paid a living wage for their work.
This last issue is the one that bothers me the most. The majority of the garment workers are women under the age of 25. They come from poor regions and have no other choice than work for a low price in horrendous conditions. The more I read about this issue, the more I feel that I can not support unethical brands anymore.
As a fashion lover, it was hard for me to make the decision to stop buying clothes from cheap brands and instead to look for ethical brands. But I decided it was the right thing to do for our planet and for all those women out there who didn’t have the “luck” to be born in a middle-class family like me.
As an Instagrammer, I have a constant change in my wardrobe. But now I change it in a conscious way. Instead of buying cheap clothes, I do other things:
1. Second-hand shopping.
When I “need” a new piece of clothing, I first search all the second-hand and charity shops around my city. My tip: Be patience. With that, I always find what I need. By doing this, I save money and I reduce the production of new garments.
2. Care more for the clothes you own. Now that I buy fewer clothes, I take better care of the ones I have. I learned to wash less and air them more often. At the end of the day, I hang the clothes that I used on an open space instead of leaving them on the floor. This helps me to keep my clothes in good condition. As for my jeans, I wear them more than 5 times before throwing them in the laundry. I wash my laundry in the washing machine in the 30° degrees setting. I use a little bit of detergent or washing nuts from Seepje. And I add some vinegar in the softener space.
3. Search for outfit inspiration on Pinterest.
There’s a big chance that your closet is full of clothes that are not being used to their best potential. If so, try to pick one item and look for outfits inspiration on Pinterest. Write down, for example: ‘red sweater outfit ideas’, ‘green pants outfit ideas’… This trick helped me to wear the clothes I already have in different styles and made me feel as if I got new clothes.
4. Shop less, choose well.
To do this, it’s important to be more organized with the clothes you own. Sell or give away all the clothes that you don’t like anymore. Keep only the clothes that you love. This helped me to have an overview of my clothes. It makes it easier to check if I really need a new piece in my closet.
But when I do buy a new piece of clothing or accessory, I make sure it’s an ethical brand. To find out, I search information about where the garment is made and from which materials it’s produced. If it’s not on the brand’s website I email my questions to them. If their answers feel good, I proceed with getting new clothes. Buying like this, helps me to choose well when I want to buy something new. I have learned to take my time when I search for a new piece. If you don’t have the time to do the search, you can check this list: “sustainable shops guide”. I have collected those names since I started my journey. Sustainable fashion brands are a little bit more expensive than fast fashion brands, which helps to buy only the garments that you really need.
5. Lend clothes from friends and family. Do you have a wedding/party/gala coming up? Before looking for something new, ask your girlfriends or sister/cousins to lend you clothes for special events. It’s very common to own fancy dresses but only wear them once. Probably your friends have this kind of dresses as well. By lending a piece you will be saving money and no more clothes will need to be produced.
To leave you some inspiration, here are some of my outfits from last year. All from second-hand or ethically made clothes.
Since I moved to Amersfoort I have been a regular client of “Kringloopcentrum Amersfoort”. I love to go through the clothes section and hunt for treasures. A lot of my outfits have pieces that I bought there. They looked like new and ready to have a longer life. When a sister shop of this Kringloopcentrum opened it’s doors last September, I was eager to check it out and see what they had to offer. I went there and learned more about their concept.
The shop is called “Restyle” and there you will find everything you need for your sewing addiction: Antique buttons, beautiful fabrics, yarns, jewelry, sewing books and patterns and more to perfect your sewing skills. Besides, you can find the nicest vintage clothes and bags. Lastly, you will find clothes from their house brand as well, which has been previously restyled. You can recognize them by the extra logo of a circle. The artist/designer behind this is Sally Pittman. She and a group of other people are constantly giving old clothes a new life.
The atelier where they work is on the second floor of Kringloopcentrum Amersfoort. Up there they are busy with recycling and finding ways to make old textiles into something new. Most of the time Sally makes bags, cooking aprons, pillowcases and more. All fabrics are unique and 100% from recycled materials.
Next time you go to the Kringloop take a look at this vintage initiative. Restyle is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 13:00 to 17:00 o’clock. The address is Zwaaikom 29A in Amersfoort.
The color yellow represents sunshine, happiness, positivity, clarity, energy and other positive feelings. Still, it is a complicated color to use on a regular basis. I wanted to experiment a little bit more with that color and realized that I do like it, and it fits good with my skin color. While second-hand hunting I found this yellow top and I made it part of my 33 items.
Hese are my favorite pictures wearing it:
These series of pictures were made by the photographer Marisa Broekhuizen Check her work HERE.
What I´m wearing:
Yellow top // Second Lifestyle Amersfoort
Black destroyed pants // Kringloop Amersfoort
Birkenstock sandals // Episode Utrecht
Bandana // Vintage shop in Berlin
Cleaning up my closet has become a routine for me. Ever since a little kid, my mother encouraged me to donate the clothes that didn´t fit me anymore. With the years I have gathered some experience and here are my tips to help you clean up your closet:
1. Prepare yourself with a nice drink and a happy playlist.
2. Start by taking every single item out of your closet and place them on your bed or the floor.
3. Place one by one the items back in the closet. Before you do it, ask yourself the following questions about each item:
Does it still fit?
Have I worn it in the last 12 months?
Would I wear it again?
Do I love the way it looks on me?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then put the items back to your closet, if the answer is no, put them aside and start making two piles:
To donate: If the clothes are too worn out or need to be fixed.
To sell: If the clothes are still in a good state to give it a second round.
4. Hang the items that you want to keep neatly back in your closet. Do so into categories. I like to start with shorts and skirts, then pants, shirts, blouses, dresses, blazers, and jackets. This way the items you want to keep in your closet are organized and clutter free so you can see everything you own at once. Put the shoes neatly on the floor of the closet.
5. Store your seasonal clothes that don´t fit the current season in boxes in your spare space. (Under the bed, in the attic etc) Having only in your closet the clothes that you currently wear, makes it easier to choose what to wear.
6. If you have clothes to fold, do it in an organized way and also into categories rather than in colors. Make sure your organization works for you and won’t confuse you as to where your things are.
7.Use the backward hanger strategy when putting clothes back into your closet to get a better idea of the items you actually wear often. Face all of your hangers away from you and replace each one the “right way” after wearing the item hanging on it. Check back in a couple of months then a year to see which hangers are still facing the wrong way. Maybe it’s time to get rid of those articles and clean out your closet again?
8. Once your closet is organized, move on to the two piles you made.
9. Put all the clothes of the “donate” pile in a box and leave it close to your door so you bring it to a charity shop as soon as possible.
10. Put the clothes of the “sell” pile neatly on a box and bring it as soon as possible to the nearest second-hand shop. Another option is to sell it in a flea-market or to sell them online via an online platform for selling clothes.
I hope you like these tips and get inspired to clean up your closet and start selling the clothes that you don´t wear anymore. Do you miss any tip? Let me know in the comments below.
It´s been now more than 5 years since I started buying second-hand clothes. I have to admit that at the very beginning I was skeptical and didn’t like the idea of buying clothes previously worn by someone I don’t know. That feeling went away as soon as I found clothes that look as good as new and from brands that I would normally also buy new.
Buying used clothes, it´s a more sustainable way to shop because it saves the resources needed to produce an entirely new item. Purchasing used clothing is an easy way to reduce your impact on the environment.
I know that walking into a second-hand or charity shop can be totally overwhelming. Racks overflow with t-shirts, dresses, jackets, shoes, that you don´t even know where to start, I’ve been there too. But practice makes the master, and in the past years, I’ve picked up some tricks for managing the chaos.
Here are my ten tips to help you become a successful second-hand shopper just like me.
1. Do a little research and google the second-hand and charity shops that are around the area you want to go. Once you know where they are, make a little route of where are you going to go first. I save the places as favorite on my phone in the google maps app and the best route will show.
2. The best is to go with a friend and to make a date out of it. It can be fun to help each other out and you can finish it with a coffee and cake in a nice place ;).
3. Go with a blank idea of what you want to find. Second-hand shops are constantly changing and you will never know what you might find.
4. Once you are in the shop, walk around the entire store and grab everything that catches your attention, even if you are not sure about it and if it´s not your size. You can go through your selection later and decide what to keep.
5. Try on the clothes that you are not sure if they fit you. Then you might decide what to buy and what to leave behind. Please note: Buy only items that fit. Even if it´s something you are looking for. If it doesn’t fit, it is going to end up in your closet doing nothing.
6. Be aware of stains, and clothes that are damaged. The best is to check before you buy them. On all second-hand and charity shops I go, they have a no-return policy.
8. Save your energy and just try the clothes you chose during the first round. Once you tried on and decide what to buy, pay for your clothes and move on to the next shop.
I go to the closest charity shop at least twice per month. I quickly go through racks waiting for something to catch my attention. Every visit is short and since a lot of the merchandise, I’ve seen before it makes it easy for me to spot what’s new and worthy.
9. Don’t Be Disappointed if you go back home empty handed. Having an all second-hand wardrobe takes time and a couple of visits to the shops. Lots of the time, I go back home without anything, if there’s nothing I like on the racks, I just leave it and save my money for the next visit.
10. If you do find amazing items, as soon as you get home, make sure you put all your new clothes directly into your washing basket and wash them as soon as possible so you can start wearing them.
I hope you like these tips and get inspired to go second-hand shopping. Do you miss any tip? Let me know in the comments below.
P.S.: All my outfits from this post are second-hand.
Thanks to my friends Gita and Tamara I discovered the second-hand world. Back when I was living in Cologne we used to go every Saturday to the “Unicenter flea market”. Once people started asking about where my clothes come from and how come they look so cool my fascination for second-hand shops and flea markets became so big that now over 80% of my clothes are second-hand and I am not ashamed of it. Through out last year I put up some outfits together that I showed on my Instagram. Here are 10 of my favorite looks:
What I´m wearing:
Jacket and top // Kringloop Amersfoort
Jeans // Street market at the Albert Cuypstraat in Amersfoort
Shoes // Not second-hand or ethically made – bought it before my conscious time
What I´m wearing:
Jacket and jeans // Kringloop Amersfoort
Shoes // Preowned by my friend Alejandra A.
What I´m wearing:
Turtleneck shirt // Kringloop Amersfoort
Denim skirt // Exchanged via United Wardrobe
Jacket // Not second-hand or ethically made – bought it before my conscious time
Shoes // Kringloop Soest
Bag // Lievevrouw snuffelmarkt Amersfoort