Words by Miranda Parkinson. Miranda is a Creative Writing graduate based in London. When she's not crying over job applications, you can find her writing about all things film, TV, fashion, and beauty. Check out her work on LinkedIn, or slide into her DMs on Instagram @mirandaparkinsoni.
Whether you want the lowdown on shopping second-hand or are intrigued about the ethics of fast fashion, look no further than new Climate App Ambassador @threadsforapenny ! Here, she chats to staff writer Miranda Parkinson about charity shop steals, finding a unique style and the perks of sustainable shopping.
[Miranda] When did you first become interested in second-hand fashion and sustainability in general?
[Penny] I’ve shopped at charity shops for a very long time – I used to go with my friends after school because we could find unique and affordable clothes! Once I started my Instagram, I was introduced to the sustainability side of second-hand fashion and my motivations for it changed. So my interest in sustainability has been quite a recent transition for me!
And how would you say that your style has changed as a result of this?
I feel like I’m much more experimental with my style now that I shop fully second-hand! Because I find more unique pieces, I have to think a bit harder about how I’d style them. This has definitely shifted my style from mimicking what I see on fast fashion websites to actually styling for myself and my taste.
Now that we're out of lockdown (and straight into Tier Two for London – but we'll take what we can), what charity shops/vintage meccas will you be heading to first and why?
Oh, I cannot wait to visit the charity shops! Honestly, I’ll head straight for my local high street and go into every charity shop there – I just think it’s so fun to traipse around the shops local to you to see what you can find! I also want to visit Shelter Kings Cross as I follow them on Instagram. The clothes they have and the displays they make are stunning!
Seeing as we can't really try things on at the moment, do you have any tips for working out whether that charity shop steal will actually fit you?
Yes – bring a measuring tape and measure the clothes to see if they’ll fit your own measurements! Also, I saw this hack on @slowitdownbaby ‘s insta – wrap the waistband of jeans around your neck and if it fits exactly round then it’ll fit your waist. Genius!
What's the last item of clothing you found that (to quote yourself) made your "heart twang"?
[Laughs] The heart twang has been my holy grail for clothes! I found a purple check blazer on eBay for a very reasonable price which made my heart twang, and then when I tried it on and paired it with some of my clothes it made my heart twang EVEN MORE! There’s nothing quite like it.
I love your creations – especially the floral print hat and mask combo you whipped up from a pair of old trousers! What advice would you give to someone who wants to start making their own pieces but doesn't know where to begin?
Thank you so much! I would say start with something small, like hemming a t-shirt or adding elastic to a waistband. That way you can get a bit more confident in the processes behind it and then you can branch out into more complex things!
As it's officially acceptable to play Christmas songs (although – full honesty here – I've been doing it since November), what are a few small, sustainable businesses you'll be supporting this festive season?
[Laughs] I think we should milk the festivities of Christmas this year because it’s a spirit lifter for many! I've bought some beautiful macrame baubles from a lovely Etsy shop called knotsandloopsbyjess. I’ve also bought a brooch from an Etsy shop called coffeepodcreations and they make jewellery from recycled coffee pods – it’s actually brilliant! I love seeing the unique and fun designs that small businesses bring to the table.
And finally, if there's one message that you want people to take away from your (Instagram) account, what is it?
Shopping second-hand can be amazing and fun but always remember it is a privilege and there's never any shame in buying fast fashion!
Depop, eBay or Vinted? Vinted
Sewing or crocheting? Sewing
Bumbag or bucket hat? Bucket hat
Corset top or scarf-as-top? Corset top