Second hand clothing is clothing that has already been worn once. Distribution of second hand clothing is a process in which someone wears and washes an outfit or piece of clothing and then instead of throwing the clothing away they redistribute the item so another person can purchase the clothing or receive it and re-wear it as used attire.


Second hand clothing distribution had taken place before the 1960s with hand me downs or gifts of used clothing from friends and family. But the evolution of second hand clothing began in earnest in the late 1960s with the development of second hand shops and thrift stores. Since the 1960s, second hand clothing has raised in popularity and now is made available in consignment stores, garage sales and off of the Internet with auction websites such as eBay.


The significance of second hand clothing is that clothing that would otherwise get thrown away to fill up needed space in an landfill or dump will get a chance to be recycled and transferred to someone who can reuse the clothing and wear it on a frequent basis. Second hand clothing helps people save money and at the same time it also helps the environment.


The benefits of purchasing and wearing second hand clothing is that it is saves someone money. Many times there are people who can’t afford clothing or designer clothing but are able to purchase clothing at a fraction of the cost if they were to buy it new at a retail store or boutique. Vintage style clothing is also a popular style trend among people who purchase second hand clothing. Clothing styles that are not sold in retail stores can be found in thrift shops and consignment boutiques which create a unique look that many people are after in the fashion industry. Not only is purchasing second hand clothing beneficial for financial reasons it also good to donate second hand items or give them away. This gives someone else the chance to enjoy the clothing rather than disposing of the items.


There are different types of second hand clothing that you can purchase or receive. Any article of clothing from shirts to pants to shoes and lingerie can be redistributed as second hand. Used clothing from a family member or friend that is given to someone else is considered second hand. A good example of this would be someone who has lost weight and now their clothes no longer fit them so they pass the clothes along to someone who is that size. Second hand clothing that is passed down such as baby clothes, blankets or quilts can be reused by another baby or child who is in need of clothing attire. Clothing that is sold at a consignment boutique but still has tags remaining from the department store can be considered second hand clothing even if it appears to never have been worn. Clothing from goodwill or other thrift stores that has been worn by someone and then donated by them for further distribution is also a type of second hand clothing.


Identifying second hand clothing can sometimes be a difficult task because not all second hand clothing is in poor condition. The easiest way to identify something that is second hand would be where the item is being purchased. Most retail stores do not sell used or second hand clothing unless clearly specified. If you are shopping in a consignment shop or thrift store chances are you are buying second hand clothing. Smelling an item to see if it smells new is also another way to identify used or new. If it smells like fabric softener or soap, it has been worn before and has been washed. If there are buttons missing or stains on the clothing those are prevalent clues that an item in question is used or second hand.


Many believe that clothes that are second hand are dirty. While this can be true in rare occasions, many times second hand clothing comes from clean homes and clean people who wash the clothes before they redistribute them. Second hand shops are not always for poor or poverty stricken folks, many middle class and wealthy individuals shop at second hand shops and also swap designer clothing on a regular basis. Second hand shops have become very popular in many areas of the world and in all walks of life and are even a shopping addiction for some. Receiving second hand clothing from someone should not be taken as an offense, but rather as a token of giving.

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Second hand clothing