HOLLY ROSE, LEOTIE LOVELY - "I’ve been second-hand shopping since I was a kid. I used to spend all the money I made from selling femo figurines at the market, babysitting and the few little acting parts I got, at a second-hand store which was about a ten minute walk from my house. Back then, I had no idea shopping outside the mall was “Green,” to me, it was just an avenue to a sense of independence and individuality that I couldn’t find elsewhere. Today, it is a sense of magic that draws me, I feel much-loved pieces find me, not the other way around. The second-hand shopping here in Paris is insane (I did a whole Vlog post on it here for Fashion Revolution Week), they make their second-hand stores look like any other Parisian boutique and they are filled with French women’s unwanted clothing which leaves little room for complaint!"
CHANDRA FOX, THESE NATIVE GOODS - "Whenever I go home to visit my mom a closet raid is a must, we have always loved swapping clothing. It is very nostalgic sorting through the pieces with her, the clothing she wore and loved throughout my childhood. Lucky for me she is always happy to share, to see the pieces continue on to new adventures. Last year she handed down a pair of Levi's that she had set aside for me. I gave her the jeans as a gift back in the 90's, they no longer fit her so she wanted me to take over ownership. My mom loves gardening and she did a ton of it in these jeans. They have a slight brownish tinge that doesn't wash out as a reminder of that and the fit is a little boyish, with a serious case of cowboy crotch. But they are perfect, I hope one day to pass them down to my own daughter."
RENEE PETERS, MODEL FOR GREEN LIVING - "I have a pair of boots from my favorite consignment shop that I have worn almost every day, for the past two winters, all over New York. The soles are worn and the heels need repair. The effort to restore them pales in comparison to the joy that they bring me. They have endured countless city miles, northeastern arctic chills, and Parisian cobblestone streets. They have also shared some my best memories and proudest moments.
Whether worn for work or for play, these boots are an essential in my life. I am thankful for whoever resold them rather than throwing them away. They gave an old item new life. They prevented more waste from entering our ever-crowded landfills and provided me with the perfect shoe for my needs. That is why, whenever I am ready to lose the items that no longer serve me, I am happy to participate in a clothing swap with my friends and neighbors. I know that my unwanted things could bring even more joy to someone new, just as those boots have for me. And who knows… maybe I will find my next favorite thing at the clothing swap too!"
ALDEN WICKER, ECOCULT - "I have this one pair of pants I got from the last EWC fashion swap - well, I got two great pairs actually. One is a pair of black jeans from Banana Republic that I wear constantly. The other pair of pants are the ones I'm thinking of, though. They're super skinny, with a black-and-white abstract pattern and a lay-flat zipper on the front. Honestly? I'm sure they weren't expensive to begin with. And I probably never would have bought them new. And yet, they were free at the swap, they were in my favorite colors (black and white) and they fit, so I took them home with me. I pulled them on one night to go out to a party at a nearby bar. I met my fiancé there, and he took one look at me and said, "Your butt looks so good in those." He grabbed my female friend and dragged her over to confer. She agreed. "Your butt. Amazing." Now I wear them whenever I need a particularly sexy confidence boost.
I think we all buy different things secondhand than we do new. Shopping new is an exercise in careful selection. It is reasoned. You come in with a plan and execute. Secondhand shopping is all serendipity. You could go in with a plan, and that might sort of work in a large store, but more likely you'll stumble on something you never knew you wanted, for the perfect price. And it will become a favorite."