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New But Old!

In the world of conscious shopping we are told that secondhand is best because it diverts unwanted clothing items from landfill and reduces the need for new items. We also know that buying new gives us the opportunity to directly support businesses that do good. The bit where it all get a little confusing is when buying new also means buying secondhand. It can be difficult to get your head around the fact that once upon a time the item you owned was owned by someones else used for something else entirely but this model of purchasing often gives the best of both worlds.  Thrifted but not. New but old. Secondhand but firsthand. All very head-scratchinlgy-good!

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The Buzz of Knowing Your Maker.

Thrift shopping can be wonderful and a very on trend way to shop (if you don’t believe it check out the Interview with Faye De Lanty for thriftspo) but there are times when you just want something a little special. Upcycling and recycling kind of take the idea of shopping consciously to a whole new level. While thrifting is great for diverting unwanted waste and supporting charities, sometimes the purchases you make at thrift stores can be lacking that connection with source that you get from buying ‘new’. When one purchases and item from a designer or a brand they are buying into the lifestyle that the label is conveying. There is a sense of connection, emotion, and pride that comes with making a purchase from a company that you feel fits with your values. This is why many of the social-network-famous fashion bloggers have accounts splattered with (what is for many) envy inducing high end labels. People like to see a connection between brand and lifestyle and fantasise about how their life would be if they owned a *insert label here* bag. Not to discount the pride that comes with an amazing thrifted find (because all us thrifters know thats one of the best feeling ever) there is something really special about being able to support a company or a maker directly whether your desire is high end luxe or eco/ethical/ and sustainable beauties!

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Upcycled and Recycled.

One of my personal favourite ways to shop ‘new’ is to look for companies that use upcycled and recycled content to create their products. Recycled content can be as obscure as taking discarded fishing line and turning it into new material for swimsuits, to the less complicated act of taking unwanted vintage fabrics and making them into modern designs (like this pretty dress I’m modelling here that I borrowed from Fabled and True). Upcycled items are a little more confusing because they something unwanted and use it in a way to turn what was essentially rubbish, into a new and improved design. This might be turning an old car tyre inner tube into a totally-tote-able gym bag, or making a broken teacup into an amazing bangle. They still resemble the original item, just in a way that makes it more desirable for a different purpose. The best thing about many of the companies who use upcycled and recycled content is that they are either small scale operations, the kind where you actually get to talk to the maker of your goodies, or social development projects that support makers who wouldn’t have secure employment if you weren’t buying product from them. So while yes, thrifting is a great way to shop and recycle, why not do yourself and the solo-makers and social entrepreneurs a favour and save up for the odd ‘new but old’ purchase? It’s a very exciting feeling to mix a ‘feel good’ upcycled or recycled buy into your closet of thrifted finds because there is a strong emotional connection to these sorts of ‘research’, ‘save’ and ‘buy’ kinds of shopping experiences. A very different rush to the ‘oh-my-god-I-can’t-beleive-I-just-thrifted-it-for-five-bucks’  find (which is demonstrated in the picture below).

Here are some of my ‘New But Old’ favourites from past posts on the blog:

There are SOOOOOO many more labels our there that I would love to include but alas, my research time is committed to getting a book together for you guys. I’m 12,000 words in and there is no stopping me (I have mouse RSI in my wrist and might have to move to the laptop trackpad for a bit). Can’t wait to share with you one day soon.

No Cash For Comment Here!

Just a little reminder that Sustainability in Style does not accept cash for comment, and only on the odd occasion will accept an item from the kind labels that offer (and this is only when it’s something that fits a gap in hubby or I’s closet and we LOVE the brand and design). So be assured that the brands mentioned above are just ones that I came across, loved their values and manufacturing processes, and really wanted to share with you. Also… as much as I am head over heels for the dress pictured it was just on loan from Fabled and True. Was hoping it might work for me for an upcoming event but sadly it is a bit firm across the chest so if anyone has fallen hard you can most definitely  give it a good home by clicking here. It fits me perfectly as an AU size 8 but just a little too firm around the ribs for my yoga breathing trained belly so I just took some pretty pictures and gave it back to the designer/maker Jaye Wolfe :-).

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