Why secondhand is not second best

By Hanna Pumfrey

I think for many of us who didn’t grow up with it, the idea of buying second-hand is often initially a struggle. For me, as a child, it was just something we never talked about; if you were short on money you went to Primark, not a charity or vintage shop. Everyone did. Today however, this is shifting and secondhand is becoming increasingly desirable. We are becoming a nation of junk shop junkies and I couldn’t be happier!

Charity Shop

I get excited by secondhand shopping for all sorts of reasons. Top of the list for me is the opportunity to find a unique item. Something that no one else has. An unusual piece that will make friends and colleagues stop and question where you found it. ‘Oh this old thing? Picked it up for a fiver at my local charity shop’, and yes, there will be a smug smile lurking somewhere about my face.

For many, topping the list of reasons to shop secondhand is money. Whether it’s clothes or crockery, there are always bargains to be found. And who doesn’t love a bargain!

Selfish reasons aside though, shopping secondhand is just one of the ways we are building a movement of men and women fighting climate change through the way we live. The most important reason why buying secondhand is not second best is sustainability. You’re using and recycling things that have already had a previous life. It makes sense to purchase good quality older items rather than waste money on brand-new, often lower quality, items. And with charity shops, you get the added bonus of knowing that your money is being spent ethically and constructively.

The thing that often brings the perfect secondhand outfit together though? A great piece of jewellery. I talked to two Queens of second hand shopping, Georgina and Annabel, co-founders of Little by Little Jewellery to get their thoughts and tips on the secondhand shopping trends. Here’s what they had to say.

Credit: Little by Little Jewellery

Credit: Little by Little Jewellery

Fashion activism and alternative ways of shopping is very on-trend right now, do you think it will continue?

We hope that it is here to stay and not a trend or fad. I think that it is essential that we all consider our purchasing and the effect we have on this world.

Do you see the industry giving up fast fashion any time soon?

We think that the creators of Fast fashion and current trends are ripe for a sustainability makeover, and have the opportunity to reduce landfill, streamline supply chains and use organic materials.

Credit: Little by Little Jewellery

Credit: Little by Little Jewellery

How do you personally aim to dress more sustainably?

At Little by Little, we are on a personal journey with sustainability. We are considerate purchasers, who seek out well made, well sourced lasting pieces.

What advice would you give to someone starting to shop second-hand?

 Be persistent, expect the unexpected, set your agenda aside and think creatively.



Any insider tips on where to shop second-hand?

In London, we particularly like the Crisis shop in Finsbury Park, has a great collection of things and is set out well and clearly.  In Brighton, London road is awash with great charity shops and always has a hidden gem to be discovered.


To celebrate their love for second-hand Georgina and Annabel are offering you the chance to win a piece of Little by Little Jewellery. All you need to do is share a flat lay, like the one above, of your favourite second- hand outfit and let them know which item of Little by Little Jewellery you would love to win to add some sparkle to the outfit. Tag #LbLlovesupcycling in your comments so the girls can find your post. You have until 22 April to enter.



Hanna Pumfrey