Shopping for second-hand clothing has recently become more popular in Copenhagen. Some people are looking for a way to add more unique, affordable and sustainable items into their wardrobe. A variety of second-hand stores have opened in the last few years. Some stores offer name-brands for a fraction of the price whereas other stores offer more unique pieces.
By Adela, Denicia and Sofie
Second-hand shopping is when consumers buy used clothing for affordable prices. Some stores sell top brands and others sell a selection of different brands. There are two different types of concepts that second-hand shops can use. People can give their unwanted clothes to a store that will resell the items for them. The store will then profit a fraction of the clothing and the supplier gets to collect the rest of the earnings. While other stores buy bulks of used clothes from different places from around the world and retails them for a cheaper price.
Second-hand shopping does not always consist of vintage collections. Some second-hand stores can carry newer pieces due to fashion models handing in the latest collection they used once for a photoshoot.
“Some models or stylists get the clothes as a part of their salary. Then if they do not like the colour or fit they bring it here for me to resell,” says Mette Jakobsen, owner of Tú a tú second-hand.
Tú a tú is a second-hand shop for women located in Nørrebro, Copenhagen. The store retails the pieces they receive for 50 percent of the original price and that profit is split in half by the business and supplier. The trendy second-hand shop receives clothing from about 10-15 people everyday. Tú a tú mostly carries the top scandinavian brands and bases their selection of clothing on the different seasons.
Prag Copenhagen is another second hand shop that carries a wider variety of styles and brands. Prag Copenhagen is a shop located both in Copenhagen and Aarhus – two of the big university cities in Denmark. Their focus is on vintage and second-hand clothing, offering the customers a sustainable and affordable alternative to unique items.
“The style we aim for here is kind of wacky, but in a good way,” says Katinka Boel, retail representative in Prag Copenhagen.
Prag Copenhagen also carries a section with new clothes created from recycled fabrics. This gives customers the option to find a one of a kind piece that is still environmentally friendly. In their experience, people shop there because buying vintage and second-hand clothes makes them feel better about themselves, opposed to buying new clothes.
Can second-hand compete with fast fashion?
Neither Mette Jakobsen or Katinka Boel feel like their stores are in competition with high-street brands.
“Those stores come out with new collections multiple times a year, and with the concept of this store that is not really a possibility,” says Mette Jakobsen. Katinka Boel agrees and adds that their customers are looking for items that stand out from mainstream fashion.
Tú a tú aims to offer the customers slightly more expensive yet high-quality brands for a fraction of the original price. Mette Jakobsen opened her store 5 years ago and the business has been steadily
growing. At the moment she is looking to expand her store to a bigger location
“We are going to stay put. This street has a lot of cafés and nice, interesting shops so a lot of people are already roaming the area, we can definitely feel the impact here, so we are waiting for an available space on Jægersborggade,” said Jakobsen.
The successful growth of Jakobsen’s business shows that second-hand shopping is becoming a staple in the fashion industry.