Turnover of Secondhand Clothes

Monday, April 28, 2014

A spontaneous moment hit this morning as I sorted through my wardrobe putting aside clothes I no longer wear.  Three bags of clothes were donated to one of my favourite Salvos before lunch time.

I've come to the realisation that most of what I donated today is probably less than a few years old, some of which I have owned for less than six months and only worn a handful of times. When I say old, what I really mean, is six months old to me, because the reality is, everything I buy is now secondhand, so the true age of each garment is unknown.

:: The Pile of Donated Clothes ::

This did strike a chord though, because that's a really short turnover for owning clothes. I wonder if the same time-frame would apply when buying new from retail stores - the answer would probably lie with the quality, and therefore brand of the particular garment.

Funnily enough, one of the skirts I gave away today, went back to the same Salvos store that I bought it from to start with. I do love this little denim skirt, embellished with ribbons, which although is part of the design, would be an easy DIY to do with any denim skirt. The skirt doesn't fit, it used to, but after having two children, I'm kidding myself.  I do hope it finds a nice a home in someone else's wardrobe again.

:: Easy Ribbon Embellishment DIY? ::

Today has taught me to be more selective in my future secondhand purchases that I hope to remember next time I go shopping.

Readers, what would you say is the turnover of secondhand clothes in your wardrobe? If you are an avid recycled shopper, do you notice clothes in your wardrobe come and go at a rapid rate?  I'd love to know.



Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Great post Erica! It's been a very long time since I bought something new (retail) so it's hard for me to gauge how long something new has lasted in my life. However, I haven't been buying second hand clothes either in recent months, but when I do buy, I'm now very selective and will never buy another polyester frock or top while I live in Brisbane. It's pointless. I just bought some "seconds" running shoes from eBay which arrived today and I'll be going to the op shops this week to look for a pair of cotton trousers or bermuda-type shorts that I will shorten into running shorts as I need lots of pockets.

Patti said...

Good for you, doing a big purge, Erica. I am due for one too. It's good to be selective, although when we recycle pieces back to the thrift, I feel like we're just "borrowing" them, and it makes me feel good. : >

pammbw said...

My clothes tend to stick around for a while. I have been the same size since college 30 years ago, and have held onto far too many things that don't fit my lifestyle anymore in hopes of them becoming "vintage". I have come to the realization that a 48 year old woman wearing "vintage" just looks like I have not cleaned out my closet in a few decades, and not at all stylish like it did when I was in my 20s. So alas, I have recently been quite brutal with my closet, but my stuff was so old that none of the consignment shops wanted it (it was all high quality stuff). Now I am very picky about what I buy at the thrifts. It has to be fabulous, and I will wear it for a long time. I am not a disposable fashion type person.

Kelly Jackson said...

Mmm, good question. I usually hang on to my second-hand duds for quite a while - I'd say years - as they're usually good quality. But, after one kid, I find I'm struggling to find my style (and my waist, haha), so I've let go of more items recently. The really good stuff I've hung onto, even though I have little hope of wearing the really wee items again. I honestly can't answer the life cycle question more specifically, though I will say that every time I buy some crappy piece new at the local market, it ends up in the donate pile in 6-mos to a year.

citizen rosebud said...

You make such a great point- that no matter where we buy our clothes, we can be more selective about what we bring home. It takes time to re-set the disposable clothes habit- but when we choose quality and classic garments they tend to have a longer shelf life in our wardrobes, thus keeping landfills with more room for real trash, not treasures. Congrats on your spring clean-out. And here here to shopping Secondhand First!

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