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It’s cold, you’ve got deadlines and you’re strapped for cash! Attending university in the North can be a challenge but a new mind-set might make things a little easier.
According to a survey carried out by Barnardo’s Children’s Charity, the average woman typically spends around £64 a month on clothing, with the average piece of fashion costing £37.43. However, an item of clothing is rarely worn more than 7 times in its lifetime! This throwaway mind-set is draining our bank accounts but also harming the planet.
As trends change, it is so incredibly tempting to purchase the £60 pair of embroidered jeans in Topshop, but come July, they have made their way to the back of your wardrobe, never to be seen again. It is an emotional life-cycle, and as shopaholics, we must stick together and help each other! There is absolutely nothing wrong with following trends, but the process doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does it have to come at a cost to the planet. Shopping in a sustainable way by purchasing clothing in charity shops, or off the likes of eBay or Depop, are amazing ways to save money; keep up with trends; and give items of clothing a second life.
In a town like Lancaster, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to charity shops, we’ve even got a charity shop on campus! Burberry trench coats, Vintage Levi’s and Tommy Hilfiger, somehow, all occasionally make their way into the charity shops of this small city. Lancaster is truly a gold mine for designer clothing and unique vintage pieces. Moreover, not everything in the charity shop is old or used, often you’ll find a beautiful, brand new, silk Zara shirt, still with the original tags and price of £29.99 on, for a mere £2.50 (I did so today!). In the midst of Winter it’s cold out, but a new coat could set you back £60+. So, surprise yourself and take a look in the charity shops, with a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colours, there’s something for everyone and it’ll rarely set you back more than a tenner, The Cancer Research UK charity shop in town even caps their clothing cost at £3 an item! Charity shops are an incredible way to shop, especially as a student in Lancaster; you’re helping an amazing cause, whilst helping the planet and also your wardrobe at a reasonable price. Everybody wins!
However, if browsing around charity shops isn’t for you and shopping online seems far more appealing, eBay and Depop are great ways to shop sustainably. In particular, Depop is an excellent place to find good quality, second hand clothing as well as some quirky, handmade bits and pieces. With the user demographic being perfectly suited to millennials and many Instagrammers using the app to sell nearly-new, pre-loved pieces at a reasonable price, fashionable items are easy to come by. It is almost impossible to go on the Explore page and not find something that appeals to you. Past Trash, Aurora Vintage and FiFi’s Closet are all great accounts to start, that ethically source their unique, on-trend pieces.
With so many options for reasonably priced, sustainable fashion, spending £64 a month on clothes seems almost impossible. The next time you take a break from work, take a browse on Depop or take a stroll down to the charity shop on campus or the many charity shops in town, surprise yourself with what you might find and give some clothing a second life.