Lauren, also known as @positivelyloz on Instagram, is a 22-year-old Illustration graduate.
Originally from the north, she moved to Milton Keynes with her partner recently and began blogging about living and shopping ethically and sustainably.
She is also participating in #SecondhandSeptember, an initiative and a competition by Oxfam, to encourage people to shop secondhand and share their finds on social media. We got the chance to speak to her about her thrifting experience.
G: When and why did you first start thrift shopping?
L: I first started thrift shopping with my Mum and my Nan; we would go on day trips to nearby towns and scour the charity shops for bargains! We started doing it as a cheap, fun day out; we would each have a budget and would see what we could find within it.
G: Do you have a budget for thrift shopping, and how often do you thrift?
L: When I was at uni we had a charity shop nearby where everything was £1, so I would give myself a maximum of £5 to spend once every few months, at other shops I tend to give myself around £20. And, usually just whenever I fancy getting some new clothes. I like to thrift at the start of a new season when the weather changes, before an event to get a new outfit if I think I need one, or sometimes if I’ve had a bad week and just fancy a little shopping spree!
G: Where do you shop at the most?
L: When I thrifted with my Mum and Nan, we would always go to a little town nearby where we knew there were some really great charity shops such as Oxfam, Sue Ryder, and Barnardos – I often found some great vintage pieces in those. I even got a brand-new pair of Doc Martens from one of them for a tenner!
G: What do you enjoy most about thrift shopping?
L: Definitely being able to find things you wouldn’t normally find in regular shops, and knowing that you’re doing your bit for the environment and different charities. By switching up your shopping habits you can contribute to so many different charities, and save the planet one thrifted shirt at a time and I think that’s so incredible.
G: Tell us about your favourite thrifted item.
L: I have two absolutely gorgeous jackets that I love the most out of everything I’ve thrifted! They are both originally from small American indie brands, the first being Indigo Moon and the second being Hearts of Palm. Both are incredibly unique, light, beautiful jackets with gorgeous embroidered details, and I’ve never found anything like them in typical high street stores.
The Indigo Moon jacket (left) is this gorgeous tie-dye blue and purple jacket, with stunning floral embroidery on the front, back and sleeves, and the other one (right) is a beautifully made jacket with gorgeous tropical scenes embroidered on the front and the back-right shoulder and is full of lovely warm colours.
G: What do you think are the benefits and disadvantages of thrift shopping?
L: There are so many benefits of thrift shopping! The first one is the positive impact it has on the environment; fast fashion is a huge problem for the planet, so any time you thrift and give clothing a longer lifespan instead of buying new, you know that you’re not contributing to water waste, material waste, unethical work conditions or carbon emissions. Plus, if you’re thrifting at charity shops you know that your money is going to good causes. The only real disadvantage is that it can sometimes be difficult to find something really specific.
G: How did you find out about #SecondHandSeptember and why did you choose to take part?
L: I saw their Second Hand September campaign on their Instagram page and, because I shop second-hand most of the time anyway, I decided to take part and share about it on Instagram to try and spread the word about how great shopping second-hand is. I even wrote a blog post about it which you can find on my blog!
Illustration by @positivelyloz
G: Do you have any tips for novice thrifters out there?
L: Just do it! Give yourself a budget, grab some pals, and go and find somewhere where there are a few different charity or vintage shops so you have more options. You’re more likely to find some absolute gems if you dig in and really search through the rails. Also, I’m a 16 and I have things that range from a 10 to a 22, so don’t be afraid to try lots of different things on. Thrifting is a really great way to grab some bargains whilst also doing your bit for the planet, so enjoy it!