Why do we buy second-hand?
Up to now everyone knows at least one online second-hand buying platform: Vinted, Depop, Vestiaire Collective, Yoox or Farfetch are just a few.
Any of these lives according to a common denominator: a cost saving buyer (most of the time).
As a matter of fact, if the selling side, c2c speaking, branches out between those who are trying to do some clearance, who want to round up, who want to get rid of that out-of-fashion accessory or random purchase; on the other side we have someone who would like to buy (and not always, actually almost never, have a real need for it) a garment while spending as little as possible.
Of course, how can one be blamed for not wanting to waste money they could save, yet, what to dwell on in my opinion is the motivation that often underlies the purchase: "I wish for that item of that brand, but I can't afford it, so I look for it second-hand".
Great by strict logic, the environment thanks and fast fashion loses a point, but ... yet people often look for a garment just because it is from a particular brand, without paying due attention to the true quality, without asking why that piece of clothing costs so much, or why they want it.
"I buy second-hand to pay less for the quality of this brand." This, give or take a word, is one of the most popular explanations.
My own perception is that we look for something on the cheap for the sheer pleasure of having something "branded" in our closet. Without liking that item for its own characteristics.
How often do we really stop to check the labels on a T-shirt? To check where the shoes we have been lusting after so much are made? How often do we really ask ourselves: is it worth spending 150 euro on that T-shirt? May it sometimes be just the desire to "have"?
A friend, who works in the b2b of leather supply for very well-known brands, revealed to me that often the raw material used by luxury brands is the same as the one of the tiny store that sells bags, handmade to boot, at a quarter of the brand's price.
Always himself, walking through the streets of the fashion quadrilateral, he stops at a store window crying out, "No, come on! Look at those wrinkles! I really have to show this one to my father! It's of awful quality!" and takes a picture of the handbag zooming in on the creases.
An anecdote that has some Pirandellian humour: How often do we think we are buying of quality because it is effectively "branded" and yet how often are we fooled by the mere brand name when the trouble lies in recognizing, in understanding the workmanship.
Nevertheless, I am convinced it is often we who deceive ourselves, first aware that all that money may not be worth that item, and, therefore, we prefer to buy it second-hand, as it cost less even if it's still overpriced in terms of quality.
Perhaps aware that we want to show off, that we want to have something for the pure pleasure of displaying it, flaunting it as something that perhaps we don't even like but rather society does, for that brand is in hype.
Hence, huge shoutout to all the second-hand platforms, for having really got us figured out, children of a world of appearance but still somewhat conscious of the actual vision in which we believe in.