10 tips to shopping affordable ethical fashion online

Woman folding clothes: Credit to Sarah Brown @sweetpagesco via Unsplash

More of us than ever are becoming alert to the impact that fast fashion has on both people and planet and are keen to be a part of the solution. 

Releasing 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, the textile industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, so making our fashion purchases count, truly matters.  

After making great use of what we already have in our wardrobes and repairing garments, shopping secondhand is the best way to help our clothes go further. These top tips for shopping for affordable secondhand fashion online will help.  

1. Review your existing wardrobe 

A 2018 survey by Weight Watchers has estimated that shoppers in the UK own £10bn worth of clothes they do not wear. That’s on average around £200 per person; a lot of money that could have been spent on other things and a lot of garments that deserve an airing and an outing.  

Not everyone who considers a garment that’s been worn a couple of times to be old. Often there are good reasons for no longer wearing something, from changing size to lack of occasion (our lockdown wardrobes became even more limited as we stayed indoors and donned the sofa-wear instead), so making use of the secondhand market is not only a great way to pass on items you no longer need, but also to discover someone else’s perfect-for-you treasures.  

Have a good delve through your existing wardrobe first and revive items you already have. Mending or even ironing can restore an item’s beauty easily, while helping you not to duplicate any purchases with your next shop. 

2. Make Marie Kondo proud 

You don’t have to ditch every garment that’s fallen out of regular use and doesn’t ‘spark joy’, after all, some items are purely practical, weather or occasion-specific. But what the famous organising consultant would like to see is a rigorous sort-out so you know exactly which items are in every cupboard and drawer. 

It’s amazing how much hidden value there already is in a wardrobe, but it’s also a great way to find out whether you do need to add to it. How many winter coats do you already have? The same with bags and shoes. Often sorting through these and donating your excess to charity can be a great place to start. 

3. Identify gaps and duplications 

Organise your clothes into seasonal wear. If you are heading off on holiday and lack the pair of shorts you need, then if your garments are organised into seasons you won't miss a pair bought last summer that’s hiding under a pile of knits.  

Fashion is keen to re-sell the same fashion staples like a denim jacket in new incarnations every year, so check what you already have. Minor nuances in style between seasons shouldn’t prevent a garment coming back into regular use. 

4. Check your size 

The size we were last time we shopped and the size we are now can be at odds, and when you’re buying online you will want to limit the times you return an item because it is the wrong fit.  

Sizes tend to vary according to brand, and sometimes differing quite radically across labels, which isn’t helpful. Drop our website a line to ask for measurements if you are unsure about a garment and a staff member will be happy to give you more information about it, if that item is still available. 

You can browse a range of sizes inclusive of plus sizes using the filter on our site. 

5. Browse the site (brand, size, category) 

The ShopDaat website is easy to use. You can search by your preferred brand, or by category of clothing, or both. Filtering by colour (shoes and bags) and cost is also great way to narrow down your search and see what has been newly added. 

6. Curate a sample wardrobe using screenshots 

As we recommended in a previous blog, you can easily curate a look using screenshots of the items you are interested in. This is a fantastic way to see what goes together and to get a little creative with your outfits.  

7. Set a budget 

Shopping secondhand is the most sustainable way to shop. It is also an affordable option not only on the high street but online too. We have outlined how we price our online garments previously so you can see how we select the best quality garments for online resale, which gives you confidence to shop. Although secondhand is much more affordable than new, it is always helpful to set a budget. The ‘haul’ culture promoted by social influencers – even with secondhand clothing – is not one that is helpful to tackling textile waste. 

8. Head to the checkout 

Once you have found your lovely items in our shop, the checkout process is easy. And in the event it is not the right fit then our Returns Policy is there to help. You’ll receive instant notification of your order once it’s been placed. If you’d like to lend your support to Devon Air Ambulance at checkout then there is also the option to leave a tip! 

9. Offer your feedback 

We always welcome feedback to help us to improve your experience on our site. You can contact us directly through the site, or when you make a purchase you will be offered the chance to leave a review using Trust Pilot. This is a great help to us as not only does it help us to improve our service but it also helps more people to find their way to our store, which in turn supports our charity. 

10. Share your fantastic find! 

We love it when customers share shots of their purchases with #FoundAtDAAT and tag us in their social media posts. It's always great to see how garments are assembled into outfits by our fantastic supporters. Not only does it help other shoppers to find us but it shows off your support for a local lifesaving charity.  

For sustainable secondhand fashion choices browse our collections today! 

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