Woman saves thousands only buying second-hand clothes - including bras

·4-min read
Becky Hughes has saved thousands by committing to only buying second-hand clothes for two years - including bras! (Caters)
Becky Hughes has saved thousands by committing to only buying second-hand clothes for two years - including bras! (Caters)

Buying second-hand clothes not only helps us do our bit for sustainability, it can also save us some pennies.

Now, one woman has revealed she's thousands of pounds in pocket, thanks to her pledge to only buy preloved clothes - including bras.   

For almost 15 years, Becky Hughes, 24, from Wolverhampton has enjoyed trawling charity shops and thrift stores for second-hand bargains, but in 2018 she committed to buying no more fast fashion, and says she now rarely, if ever, buys anything brand new. 

The fast fashion industry, while cheap, can be ethically questionable, and is a major reason why Hughes has vowed only to shop at second-hand stores.

She started off searching through charity shops, but she now uses a whole range of websites and apps, including Vinted, to expand her wardrobe at rock-bottom prices.

Read more: ‘Why I buy all of my clothes second-hand’

Hughes also sells on her finds and has made over £2000. (Caters)
Hughes also sells on her finds and has made over £2000. (Caters)

Her thrifty style vow has had a financial benefit too, with Hughes saving around £840 every year since making her preloved pledge. 

"Before, I used to spend £20 a week on a new outfit to go out," Hughes, who works in marketing for a charity, explains. "Now, it's maybe £10 a month, if that. As someone who's quite young, and very into fashion, it feels really good to be able to ignore trends and focus on what I like."

Read more: How this shopper batch cooks two weeks' worth of dinners for just £5

Since 2018 Hughes has only bought second hand clothes, and saves thousands by sticking to charity shops and apps like Vinted. (Caters)
Since 2018 Hughes has only bought second hand clothes, and saves thousands by sticking to charity shops and apps like Vinted. (Caters)

Not only does Hughes now shop more mindfully, choosing pieces she knows she'll wear time and again and only buying unique items she really loves, she also shops a lot less.

"I'd wear something, and then wouldn't want to wear it again because I'd posted a picture on instagram," she says of her previous mindset. I would think, well everyone's already seen that so I can't wear it again.

"Now when I'm shopping, I think really carefully about when I will wear something, does it go with the clothes I already own, things like that.

"I'm much slower about the whole process in general, I usually favourite a few items and then come back and review them a day or two later.

"You'd be surprised how many things you realise you don't like or wouldn't wear just by doing that!"

Watch: Height of fashion? Clothes mountains are building up

Hughes has also made money selling on her own pre-loved clothes, and estimates she's made around £2,000 from sending her clothes to a new owner. 

"I hate the idea of stuff ending up in landfill, that's why I like to sell stuff on," she explains. 

"If you have something just sitting in your wardrobe, not being worn, it's so easy to post it for sale.

"Then, there's someone out there who will actually wear it and enjoy it, and you get some money from it, so it's a win-win situation."

Read more: How this shopper batch cooks two weeks' worth of dinners for just £5

Hughs says she's much happier since quitting fast fashion. (Caters)
Hughes says she's much happier since quitting fast fashion. (Caters)

Hughes has bought a whole range of stylish preloved garments, but one of her favourite second-hand finds is a designer Valentino top which she bought for just £4, despite it originally costing over £500.

While she's happy to buy almost anything second-hand, she draws the line at knickers, but says she has bought pre-loved bras from Vinted. 

"My attitude has always been, I can always just give it a wash, and then I'm happy to wear it," she says. 

"That doesn't bother me at all, but I do understand why some people don't want to do that."

Now that she's become something of an expert in second-hand shopping and selling, Hughes wants to help encourage others to shop more sustainably and mindfully, sharing her best finds and tips on Instagram at @beckymaryhughes.

"My attitude towards clothes and how I treat the clothes I have has completely changed," she says. 

"I'm genuinely so much happier now that I've stopped buying fast fashion."

Additional reporting Caters. 

Watch: Stella McCartney: Fashion industry getting away with murder

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