are second-hand garments slow fashion? pros and cons of buying second-hand

what is slow fashion?

Slow Fashion is a term used to describe the fashion movement that directly opposes Fast Fashion and its short manufacturing cycles that destroy our planet and exploit its workers. Fast Fashion quickly turns trends into clothes its customers can devour with no regard for its impacts on our planet and society, today, Fast Fashion is responsible for 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and for 20% of wastewater production that pollute our rivers and seas.

Slow Fashion promotes sustainable clothes, small brands, and an ethical business model that cares for the environment, the people, and the customers. It opposes the buy-n-throw Fast Fashion culture, overproduction, and unnecessary consumerism that generates tons of textile waste every year. We will talk a little bit in more detail about this subject because there is a lot more to be talked.

Slow Fashion combines other movements like Sustainable Fashion, which especially focuses on the ecological sustainability of its clothes, using organic and ecological materials and production processes, and Ethical Fashion, which focuses on the welfare of the textile workers who are exploited in the Fast Fashion industry. At the end of the day, they all want to achieve the same thing, a sustainable fashion industry but have different means of achieving that goal. If you want to know more about these differences be sure to check this article on What Is The Difference Between Slow Fashion And Sustainable Fashion.

are second-hand garments slow fashion?

We all know what Second-Hand garments are, they are clothes that were once used, but now the owner wants to sell those for whatever reason they have. But, is this form of „fashion” slow fashion?

Well, we first have to take into account that by buying second-hand garments you are consuming fashion without contributing to the effort of creating additional clothes, polluting and leaving a carbon footprint on our world. Not only that, but you are also preventing those garments from being thrown and ending up in landfills, polluting the soil even more with the toxic chemicals that the garment is probably made of.

On the other hand, you’re still kind of demanding fast fashion garments, just second-hand fast fashion ones. This could incentivize some people to buy very cheaply fast fashion clothes and resell them to you as second-hand, which is definitely not ideal.

Overall, you could say that buying Second-Hand is kind of Slow Fashion, it is definitely better than buying fast fashion directly, so it’s a 6/10 on the sustainability scale. Now that you know this, what are the real pros and cons of buying second-hand?

Are Second-Hand Stores Slow Fashion

pros of buying second-hand

We have seen before why second-hand is somewhat considered to be slow fashion, but we are now going to discuss a few of the pros, and the advantages that buying from these types of stores have. Having said this, here are 5 pros about buying second-hand:

  1. You are saving money, by buying second-hand you are definitely saving some money that the same item in the original store would have cost you, and the garment may not even be that bad or old for the price it is selling at. It is great if you are struggling with money.
  2. You are helping other people, by buying from these stores you are helping others that are selling their old clothes (although many times the items are from other sources) financially, because who knows for what reason someone started to sell second-hand items, you may be making someone else’s day by purchasing their products.
  3. You are not directly contributing to additional pollution, by purchasing these already-worn garments you are not directly contributing to the additional carbon footprint than making new products involves, which is always a great thing.
  4. The garments are offered a second life, as we said earlier, you are buying already-worn garments, which means you are also giving them a second life without them being thrown away and ending up in landfills polluting our soil even more.
  5. There are many undervalued items waiting to be discovered, you never know what you will find in a second-hand shop, sometimes you may even find gold at a bargain price, don’t think that only because the price is low the item’s quality is the same.

These were 5 of the pros of buying second-hand garments, we have a similar list with thrift stores and sustainable fashion, if you want to check that out you can do so by clicking this link right here.

cons of buying second hand

Now that you know the pros, you have to know the cons, just to be fair, you know. Although buying second-hand has many advantages, it also has many disadvantages that you want to look for. Having said this, here are 5 cons of buying second-hand clothes:

  1. The products have no warranty, when you buy already-worn garments you already-know that you have no warranty on those, as the person who sells the items to you is not the same as the one who made them. This can make you encounter some bad situations.
  2. You are still consuming Fast Fashion indirectly, you are buying garments that have already been used, but those garments are still Fast Fashion, which you still want to avoid at all costs as a conscious consumer. Many times the toxic materials used in Fast Fashion make it so that the garment never stops polluting our planet, not even after its lifetime is over.
  3. Second-Hand garments are not Ethical Fashion, as we have said before, these garments are still Fast Fashion items that were used once, which means that the garment itself is probably made with modern slavery methods of production, which is definitely something no one wants to be involved in.
  4. Although it is better than buying Fast Fashion directly, it is not nearly as good as buying Slow Fashion; directly choosing Slow Fashion or Sustainable Fashion garments is the superior action, you should always try to consume sustainable, ethical fashion and never unethical fast fashion. Although some people with poor financial conditions, college students, etc. may not be able to spend money on more sustainable garments in the short term.
  5. You are developing a bad mentality, by buying second-hand garments you are subconsciously assigning a low monetary value to all garments as a whole, so in the long run, you may be tempted to choose Fast Fashion clothes instead of Slow Fashion ones just because the former has a price range closer to the second-hand clothes you were used to purchasing.

Overall, buying second-hand has many pros and cons. With this list, however, we are not trying to convince you to not buy these garments, we are just trying to show you a few of the inconveniences and positive aspects of it.

Cons Of Buying Second-Hand Slow Fashion


We hope you have learned today all about Slow Fashion and second-hand garments, if you want to learn more about the subject feel free to check out our articles linked below or directly from our blog, where we have tons of different articles like these that you can enjoy.

We are thrilled to teach people all around the world 🙂 Also, did you really know what Fast Fashion really is and its terrible consequences for the environment, the planet, the workers, society, and the economy? Do you know exactly what the Slow Fashion or Sustainable Fashion movement is? You should really take a look at these articles about this forgotten and unknown but very urgent and important subject, click here to read „Can Fashion Ever Be Sustainable?”Sustainable FashionEthical FashionSlow Fashion or Fast Fashion 101 | How It’s Destroying Our Planet because knowledge is one of the most powerful strengths you can have, while ignorance is your worst weakness.

We also have a big surprise for you! Because we want to give you the right to know us better, we have prepared a carefully dedicated About Us page where we will tell you who we are, what our mission is, what we do, a closer look at our team, and many more things! Do not miss this opportunity and click here to check it out. Also, we invite you to take a look at our Pinterest, where we will pin everyday sustainable fashion-related content, clothing designs, and other things that you will surely love!