Is shopping good for the environment?

No – but what can we do to change that? The answer is shopping sustainably.

It has been widely reported that the fashion industry accounts for about 8-10% of carbon emissions globally. This figure is undoubtedly shocking. However, significant initiatives in the UK have been established to tackle textile waste on a national scale. These programmes mainly deal with clothing manufacturers and retailers but there are actions we can take at an individual level.

The joy of shopping sustainably at auction

Buying secondhand handbags and clothing is an easy and accessible way for us to shop sustainably and consciously. Benefits to the buyer for shopping at one of our auctions include:

Value for money

When you buy a secondhand (or pre-loved) handbag or item of clothing from an auction, you are looking at up to 50% off the standard retail price. It could be even less if it is not in excellent condition. When we value a handbag for auction, we take into account a few things:

  • Condition – the better condition something is in, the higher price it will command at auction.
  • Market value – we look at what price similar items have sold for in the past to benchmark it for the next auction
  • Current trends – if the model something we have seen demand for recently, it will be more popular and achieve more money.
  • Sizing – the average size for a woman in the UK is 16. As such size outliers (whether smaller or bigger) will not be as in-demand.

So if you are looking to save even more money, it pays dividends to compromise on any of the above – especially if you know a good tailor!

Shopping sustainably and contributing to the circular economy

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation defines the circular economy as:

The circular economy is a systems solution framework that tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation

By shopping sustainably for pre-loved items at auction, we are contributing to the circular economy. The second principle explores how we can circulate products when they can still be used as intended. For example, buying secondhand goods keeps them in use longer for their intended purpose. A report for WRAP estimates that “if clothes stayed in active use for nine months longer, this would reduce their carbon, water and waste footprints by 20-30%”.

When you buy vintage or secondhand handbags, accessories and clothing, you are enabling an important part of the circular economy and reducing your carbon footprint!

Finding an awesome item you will love

Is there a better shopping experience than finding the exact thing you were looking for? We don’t think so!

Even when it was a limited edition, you may still be able to find it in the secondhand market. We regularly see limited artist pieces from Louis Vuitton that are no longer available from the brand itself. Collaborations with the amazing artists Yayoi Kusama and Stephen Sprouse are just a few in recent auctions.

Because we want people to find exactly what they are looking for, we have Lot Alerts. When you set up lot alerts, you are telling us exactly what you are looking for. Our personal shopping service will send you an email when your piece becomes available.

If you’re ready to make a change to how you shop, why not check out our upcoming auctions? Or, if you’re looking to get rid of some designer clothing or accessories, we can help with that too. Our valuations are free, with no obligation to sell with us. Our experts will value your item with an estimate, so you can find out what it could achieve at auction. Find out more here.

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