Pre-owned, pre-loved, gently-worn, second hand. Whatever term you prefer, just because a piece of clothing was used by someone else a few times or it adorned their body for several hours, it doesn’t instantly classify that item as ‘old’ or ‘outdated’, nor does it mean that it’s any worse off than its original purchase state. The fact is that pre-owned clothes can actually be almost as good as new and give you a lot more value for money.
Here are a few reasons to buy pre-owned fashion:
More beautiful style for your buck
Think of it it this way; A new car straight off the showroom floor costs a lot more than buying the exact same model which was already driven by another owner. That’s because the minute a new car leaves the dealership, it drops drastically in value even if the owner clocked up very little mileage.
With luxury dresses, it’s pretty much the same. A designer or boutique can charge thousands of rands for a bespoke dress or gorgeous gown off the rack, and as soon as it’s sold, it will be near impossible to resell it at the price you paid whether or not you actually wore it. So you see, buying brand new luxury dresses is actually a lose-lose, reckless way to spend your hard-earned cash. But like my comedian friend Yusuf Ismail so aptly (and seriously) posted on Facebook, “We live in a world where people would rather wear a R5000 shoe and be in debt, instead of wearing a R500 shoe and being debt-free.”
Clothes look different on everyone
As South African women, we tend to have this weird mentality that we can’t repeat dresses nor wear another woman's already-worn outfits. "OMG! Everyone already saw this!", we squeal as if people have photographic memories or as if they actually care what the next person is wearing. News flash: human beings are so self-absorbed. Do we ever remember who wore what to where and when?? Nah... So there’s a lot of truth to the phrase; “It’s not the dress. It’s the girl in the dress.”
Besides, over time, our bodies change and so does our individual sense of style. It’s very possible that as shopaholics, we can experience friendly pressure from shopping buddies to “Buy it! It looks great on you!”, but when we get home, we’re filled with buyer’s regret. And it’s even more likely that as one’s lifestyle changes so does one’s choice of outfits. For example, when cute little babies become a part of the family, that’s when heavily beaded dresses (not conducive to breast-feeding and having a little one glued to your hip) seem to stay locked behind cupboard doors. That said, no matter what your lifestyle challenges, why not benefit from someone else’s accumulation of unspoiled luxurious evening dresses which they can no longer wear? Now that’s a win-win!
Recycle and re-use
Did you know that, according to truecostmovie.com, the world produces 80 billion new pieces of clothing annually?! It’s insane if you think about it... Where does it all end up? And more importantly, how is textile waste disposed of? Used wedding dresses are a great example of textile waste. Imagine this: For every woman in the world with a diamond ring on her finger, there’s almost certainly a wedding gown collecting dust in a closet somewhere. Crazy, right? There are probably as many wedding dresses as there are married women!! So again, buying a pre-owned wedding gown makes more sense and you can pick up the dress of your dreams for less than half of its original price, then alter the design to suit your unique vision (and figure) if necessary.
Umayya Theba, 'The Mayyarani'