We are excited to post our first community Q&A - a content segment where we chop it up about ways in which the people around us incorporate sustainability into their lives.
A little while ago we linked up with our friend Taufiq Hosen to talk about how second-hand buying and re-selling has lead him to have a more sustainable outlook when it comes to the clothes he wears.
What do you consider ‘sustainable’ fashion?
Fashion that goes beyond one season. Fashion that can be shared. Fashion that is consciously made.
We heard you’re an active trader and re-seller when it comes to fashion. How’d you get into that?
I started to look for fashion items on Marktplaats years ago. If I wanted unique pieces for a reasonable price I looked over there. You’ll mostly find second-hand stuff, but if you look long enough, you might end up finding items of people who will sell them for a bargain price, just to get rid of them. Some of these items were never even worn, with the original price tags still on. No shady sellers, just people who bought impulsively only to never wear it in the end. The game is to find these people and make a deal with them.
Eventually it became a hobby, maybe even an addiction, for me to find key designer pieces online. I looked at every online shop just to see which collection they have. When there were pieces I liked I would hunt for them on sale, or maybe wait a few seasons to find them at a discount later on.
The re-seller part came at a later stage, when I figured out that the items I bought were sought after by others, too.
How has this impacted the relationship you have with your clothes?
I think that every item I buy should feel like an investment piece. Firstly, this means that I want to enjoy this essential item for as long as possible. Secondly, if I decide to sell this item at a later stage, then it will obviously be worth more in value if it’s in better condition. So either way, I have to treat everything I buy with care.
I have to say that I do share my clothing, such as my hoodies, sweaters, and pants with my girlfriend, so that she doesn’t have to buy anything that we already own. I’m still learning to be more conscious of how clothing is being made, but I can say that I try to skip the fast fashion. The sharing of clothes with my girlfriend, and reselling clothes to other people, is my way of helping to extend the life cycle of the clothes that I buy.
What advice can you give someone who wants to invest into their closet via second-hand platforms?
I recommend all the second hand shops, such as Grailed, Vestiaire Collective, Vinted, Depop, Marktplaats or even Facebook groups for finding second hand items. Also, don’t buy everything because it’s cheap. You’ll mostly end up spending more, because the quality is often worse, and because you’ll have less of an attachment with each individual item. That’s why I’d rather spend more on an item, and use it for longer.
Another thing is to always check what you have in your closet, to make sure that you don’t already have similar items. I have several pants and shoes but always end up wearing my favorite ones. What is your favorite pair of shoes? Which sweater or shirt do you wear on which occasion? and what is your best fitting t-shirt? Most of the time you can get rid of the other items. When you have cleared out the things you don’t wear, then start looking for that special item you can compliment your existing wardrobe with.