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The Way to Shop Secondhand in 2023

We all know we should be introducing preloved into our wardrobes. The Economic Times reported this week that we should buy a maximum of five new items a year if we are to combat global warming. (Collective gulp). But even with the best will in the world, if we don't have easy go to's for 'non new' buys, we face an immediate stumbling block: Most of us are time poor, and the idea of aimlessly trawling through one of the large preloved sites, let alone the minefield of an IRL charity shop, is often enough to stop us in our well intended tracks. Enter the Boutique Preloved Site: Small, but perfectly formed; A site with a slow fashion ethos; A site that has already been curated, often with a clear style aesthetic, that is generally wildly different to any musty preconceptions of 'vintage' . Think of those small slow independent stores we are all learning to incorporate into our shopping habits. This is the same, but secondhand.


The new secondhand: Aspirational, modern, and beautifully shot. No mustiness ( Pic courtesy of One Scoop Store)


So far, so good. The only problem is, these smaller sites aren't as easy to discover as, say wandering down the high street, or logging on to *insert favourite fast fashion brand here*. So I've done the hard work for you. And interestingly it actually was quite hard work, because even when it comes to preloved the same big names pop up again and again. I've covered some small sites I know and love, and some new to me that I'm already excited to start browsing. And what to do after checking these out? Choose a couple that speak to your aesthetic ( ie the type of clothing that you would buy new): Follow them on instagram, and browse new drops regularly. I promise you will start to find it even easier than a high street raid, as the right choice of preloved site will be serving you pieces directed to your style. Here are a varied selection of boutique businesses that will hopefully start to make that 'five new pieces a year' seem a little more achievable. Or at least stop the panic attack. PS. I can't be held responsible for any new preloved habit.

  1. The Curatory Former head of buying at Topshop for 16 years, Jenny Garcia set up an instagram site encouraging people to get more out of their wardrobes, and started the curatory microsite after sourcing preloved pieces for customers who might not have the time or inclination to shop secondhand. BEST FOR: CLEAN CONTEMPORARY DESIGN

  2. The Second Row markets itself as an 'essential online hub for designer pieces.' Founder Katie, a former TV producer, collaborates with influencers and celebrities to host one off flash sales on instagram where we can literally buy into their wardrobes. BEST FOR: INSTA FABULOUS MUST HAVE PIECES


3. Retold Former high street visual merchandiser Clare Lewis launched Retold in 2018 to fill the gap for customers wanting secondhand and vintage, but with a minimalist style. Fortnightly drops to the site are beautifully shot and aspirational, plus she regularly features collaborations with vintage jewellery The Nines. BEST FOR: MINIMAL CLASSICS

4. Stixstyled Originally creating beautiful editorial styled images using sustainable brands and vintage, the Stix girls now sell hand curated second hand pieces, always selecting things they would wear themselves and offering stying tips. Their aim is to encourage people to buy second hand first, and have fun doing it. BEST FOR: FOREVER VINTAGE AND SECONDHAND

5. Pi London. Launched in 2019 Isabel Procter has a mission to make vintage jewellery 'less elitist.' Created with sustainability in mind, the brand aims to take the time and effort out of sourcing vintage jewellery ourselves, plus adds bespoke elements like engraving. Oh and Beyonce is a fan. Enough said. BEST FOR: ACCESSIBLE ANTIQUE JEWELLERY

6. Laura Von Behr. Launched in 2018 after ten years in the fashion industry, Laura sources feminine vintage. If you're London based you can take advantage of a private appointment at her London store, or have browse by zoom, to encourage the slow shopping experience. The store offers specialist repairs to extend the life of purchases. BEST FOR: FEMININE ROMANCE

7. The Preloved Edit Curator of 'supreme vintage knitwear' for the last few years, founder Holly has since branched out to making ethical knits over at the Slow Love, many inspired by he vintage pieces she sells. BEST FOR: OVERSIZED STATEMENT ONE OFF KNITS

8. Edit Secondhand What Starting as an irl store in 2010 , founders Darcy and Amy have since stormed instagram and now have a showroom and private apppointments to support online selling of their expertly curated collection BEST FOR: INSTA FRIENDLY PREMIUM BRANDS AND LUXURY ACCESSORIES

9. The Denim Library Established a year ago, by Claire, after 30 years working for one of the worlds best known denim brands. With sustainability at the core of her ethos, she decided to create a 'library' where denim lovers can browse preloved and preworn jeans, ready for their next chapter. BEST FOR: AN ENORMOUS AND PURSE FRIENDLY DENIM COLLECTION

10. One Scoop Store Holly Watkins started selling secondhand on instagram on maternity leave, and never returned to her previous job in fashion. She scours car boots, thrift markets and private sellers for pieces that catch her expert eye that can be shopped online or at the London store. Voted 'The Fashion Industry's worst kept secret' by WhoWhatWear. BEST FOR: STANDOUT SECONDHAND

11. Rebound Store With a physical store in Brighton but a big online presence, and international shipping, Rebound's Siobhan Trewick has targetted the premium and luxury end of the market since 2017. She sells authentic vintage and preloved designer from Chanel to Louis Vuitton to Gucci with lots of contemporary in between. BEST FOR LUXURY PRELOVED

12. Chilli London Magazine stylist Natalie Hartley and personal shopper Lydia Mcneill launched Chilli london in 2021 to help people become 'inspired by second hand clothes'. The uber cool pair style up curated preloved collections on the site, and offer personal styling experiences with items tailored to fit perfectly. BEST FOR: 80's and 90's ECLECTICISM


13. Manifesto Woman Founded in 2018 in Suffolk, by Sally who wanted to create a destination to shop sustainably for vintage designer and highstreet, but all in one place. She sells via the website, with stock updated daily on the instagram feed, with its aspirational imagery and contemporary vibe. BEST FOR: CONTEMPORARY STATEMENT PIECES

14. Atijo Meaning 'In the Past in Yoruba, Atijo was founded by four london based stylists in 2019 with the aim of bringing a more curated luxury experience to vintage shopping. Mixing designer preloved and vintage with artisan jewellery and homeware, the store celebrates diversity and culture. BEST FOR: MINIMAL STYLING AND ARTISAN ACCESSORIES

15. ByElleven Ex Stylist Rachael and Fashion Consultant Joanne founded ByElleven during lockdown, with sustainability in mind. They offer a hand curated and often upcycled vintage selection of gender neutral blazers and shirts to wear with the sports influenced pieces from the main sustainably produced collection. BEST FOR: UPCYCLED OVERSIZED BLAZERS AND SHIRTS

16. Matisamarket Matisa Market was established by Philippa ( who previously worked for Gucci and Versace) eight years ago, as a 'global marketplace' of preowned items and ethical brands from around the world. The Suffolk store has recently launched into rental, with lustworthy pieces from The Vampires Wife to Chloe BEST FOR: PRISTINE PREMIUM AND LUXURY

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed- if so subscribe here for a weekly sunday morning style based read


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