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Second Hand

Did you know the total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production, at 1.2 billion tonnes annually, are more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined? [1]

There is a lot that can be talked about with regards to fast fashion and the production of clothing but as this is a Small Step the focus is on shopping second-hand.

A 2017 WRAP report estimates an increase of 10% in second-hand sales could deliver environmental benefits, cutting carbon emissions per tonne of clothing by 3% and water use by 4% water. [2]

In 2018 fast fashion was growing at an unsustainable rate with consumption rising around 5 times since the 1980s.  At this point consumption of new clothing was higher in the UK than any other European country – 26.7kg per capita.[3]

Every time you are looking for a new item, be it clothing, books or household goods could you look to see if it were available second hand first?

First place I start when looking for second hand items are local charity shops – you can find local shops to you at the Charity Retail Association.

Local car boots or antiques fairs may be good hunting grounds and can be searched for on findcarboot and Fleamapket.

I am also a huge fan of Vinted and have found some great bargains such as my second-hand watch which retailed new at £95 but was being sold for £10 as the battery had stopped. A new battery and it was good as new!

Other general online sites include Gumtree, Deepop, Facebook marketplace or ebay. Books can be found at World of Books or Oxfam.

Perhaps next time you are looking to buy anything you could look at second-hand options first?


[1] A New Textiles Economy - Summary of findings (

[2] Valuing our clothes: The cost of UK fashion | WRAP

[3] SFI0013 - Evidence on Sustainability of the fashion industry (

52 small steps Second hand.jpg
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