Hands down, without a question, Christmas is my favourite time of year. Sing it… It’s the most, wonderful, well, you get it! But it’s true. I blare oldies. I decorate with vintage birds and bobbles. I get to wear ridiculous sweaters and sport oversized plaid earrings because anything plaid is acceptable during the holiday season.
What’s not acceptable is when it’s at the risk of polluting the planet. And the fast fashion industry is quickly killing the Earth. But, what is fast fashion?
An approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Note the words quick and cheap. Not usually a good recipe for Mother Earth. Before I go further in this post, I thought a mental picture would be helpful. Please take a look at this trailer from the film “The True Cost” which opened my eyes to the damaging effects of fast fashion and the implications it has on the planet and families.
The holidays are filled with these (terrible) reasons why people believe they need to buy new clothes:
- accessories for stocking stuffers
- holiday party outfits
- Christmas morning pjs
- fake and reproduced “ugly sweaters”
- outfits for family photo shoots
- tons of baby and kids’ gifts
What if just changing the way we look at clothing could change our entire perspective on not only dressing up for a seasonal company party, but for the entire year?
I get it, this is not a cheap time of the year, and ’tis the season! You want to look fancy for that corporate shindig. You want to wear something ‘new and cute’ for Christmas Eve dinner with the beau. You’re feeling pressured to buy a gift and you only have $20 in the budget. What if the answer to all the above was to shop at consignment shops?
And believe you me, consignment shops are so much more than thrift shops; they’re little boxes filled with sparkling jewels of polished, pretty, party things. You could figuratively have your cake and eat it too. Unlike a thrift shop, the pre-loved items found are sold to them by customers and are selected and sorted so that the inventory you see is top-notch. You could leave a store with a vintage scarf for your mother-in-law, a funky sweater for Christmas Day dinner, a cute dress and jewelry for that special parté and still be in it for around $100.
Here are five of the top reasons why consignment shops are the cream of the crop:
- Never fast fashion, and always high-quality. Most consignment shops won’t accept fast fashion items. Mainly, they can’t compete with the already (ridiculously) low prices those items are originally priced at, and further, those items don’t hold their own, so the shops wouldn’t be making a name or a brand for themselves. They want the reputation of selling you well-made, beautiful, high-quality piece at good prices. You want to feel like you scored!
- Curated. They get to choose what their brand is. They get to accept or deny what they buy from customers to create their look and inventory. You’ll get to know which shops specialize in what look and then you’ll have go-to places.
- Unique pieces. You’re not going to look like everyone else because the things found in consignment shops vary. Nothing is cookie-cutter. The selected pieces come from people like you and me and even more interesting places like estate sales. Sure, there will always be a little black dress, but not the exact same one from a retail chain displayed the same way in each mall across the country.
- Vintage. This is one of the best parts of searching through the racks. From purses to jewelry to glasses and frocks, your new-to-you threads could have flapped in from the 20s or rocked in the 50s.
- Amazing accessories. Does this even need an explanation? This is when pictures are worth a thousand words. Look at these bejewelled, shiny, fancy, special, funky, lovely pieces? You can’t find all this at a megamall.
The best part about all this? The prices are incredible! You won’t believe how well-priced these pre-owned pieces are compared to what the designers sell them for. And for an extra bargain, you can make some money because consigners pay the owners a portion of the sold price. Bonus!
One of my fave places to visit is this adorable, boutique shop in my home town that’s so much more than a store, it’s an experience. Wild Rose Consignment Clothing offers some of the best pieces I have had draped on my body, and the loveliest staff. If you’re just getting started with consignment, check them out. As someone who’s a minimalist, and curating her own capsule closet, I want to own only great-quality, well-made pieces worth hemming to my short specifications. I own some crazy, vintage pieces, some well-made trousers, boots, scarves, classic-lined t-shirts and more from them.
This holiday season flock yourself in something fabulous, for a fraction of the cost. It’s easy to shop consignment, and fun! It’s easy on the planet because it cannot stand more implications from fast fashion practices, and it’s so easy on your budget, you’ll wonder why you were buying the same cheaply made items, season after season, when you could buy them once, well-priced. And it’s oh so easy, to look that good, sipping on egg nog in your new beautiful piece.