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Style: New Data Has Revealed People Who Shop Second-Hand Are Likely To Be More Stylish, So Catchya At The Thrift Shop

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All those compliments about the Levi's we found at the local flea market weren't for nothing—new data reveals that people who shop second hand are likely to be more stylish.

Yep, that means opting for second hand clothing is not only better for the planet (bye bye, fast fashion), but it also justifies the satisfying humble brag of telling someone that the jacket they just complimented was $5 from Vinnies.

The study, shared via The Conversation was conducted by two researchers at The University of Tasmania, Louise Grimmer and Martin Grimmer, who found that in the 2020-21 financial year, 72 per cent of Australians purchased at least one item of second-hand clothes.

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But here's the clincher—when the duo then delved deeper into who those Australians were, they found that those who rated higher on style consciousness were more likely to shop second hand.

That is to say that the desire to be stylish was a bigger reason for Australians choose to go thrifting over the desire to be environmentally conscious, or in the hopes of buying clothing that's more affordable.

Of course, this doesn't mean that environmental preservation isn't part of it. It's no surprise that people who are climate-conscious are more likely to shop at second hand stores (there's plenty of research to prove that point), and as that consciousness grows, so too does the market for second hand shopping.

Per the new study, the online second hand market is predicted to grow from $7 billion in 2019 to $36 billion by 2024.

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The surge comes at high time in a world where fast fashion has never been so accessible. Particularly when you consider the current trends of the day. As we all know, Y2K fashion is having a real moment. Think itty-bitty tops exposing bare midriffs, endless styles of jeans from low-rise to boyfriend and, how could we forget the not-so-humble mini skirt?

We're all for embracing the circular nature of fashion as old trends return, but it pays to note the early 2000s marked a time where fast-fashion was accelerating fast. In fact, between 2000 and 2015, global clothing production doubled.

Realistically, it's not hard to see why. How many of us purchased multiple tube tops and flimsy sheer shirts that lasted us all of about three wears?

Now, as these peak fast-fashion trends return, it pays to be mindful that our planet simply can't keep up with this consumption rate—research from the National Waste Report cites more than 800,000 tonnes of textiles, leather, and rubber can be discarded in Australia over a single year.

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The stats can feel quite doom and gloom, there's no denying that. But that's where small steps to help remedy the issue come into play—and second hand shopping is a blissful answer—whether you're more stylish for doing it or not.

When you think about it, thrift shopping has been the answer to the fashion cycle all along—the clothes we wore 20 years ago are suddenly the trend du jour—and where does one find those items we loved back in 2002? Op-shops, of course.

The accessibility of second hand shopping these days is also a huge win. How many times have you complimented a friend on an item of clothing, only for them to say they found it on Depop?

And if you live in a city, you'll be overwhelmed at the areas known for their vintage shopping stores. Think UTurn, Recycle Boutique, and of course, the iconic Salvos, Red Cross and Vinnies.

As the second hand clothing market booms, so too does our eye for style. We all had that one designated friend who was a gun at spotting gems in a jam-packed op-shop—now, that friend could be all of us. Slowly, we're all becoming experts at it in our own rights.

And if we're statistically more stylish for doing it? Well, that's a bonus.

Duchess of Sussex is polished in a £2,100 white Valentino blazer .
The Duchess of Sussex, 40, opted for a double-breasted wool blazer costing £2,100 which she paired with high-waisted pair of trousers costing £1,100.The Duchess of Sussex, 40, opted for a double-breasted wool blazer costing £2,100 which she paired with high-waisted pair of trousers costing £1,100 for the occasion, which she daringly wore without a top.

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