With the cost of living crisis and the impeding financial struggles facing students at present, investing in fashion may feel like squandering scarce resources.
However, there are some practical options out there that do not cost the earth. To begin with, students on a budget can thrift, and not shy away from purchasing second hand clothes. Galway city has many great charity shops where you can find quirky preloved fashion.
The Irish Cancer Society shop on Merchants Road for instance stocks a great selection of very affordable second hand clothes. Similarly, Enable Ireland on High Street also stock preloved fashion and have an online shop on eBay. In Cope Charity shop on St Augustine Street you can find ‘pre-loved ladies’ and men’s fashion, vintage and occasional wear, accessories, shoes, jewellery’ and much more. Cope also have an online collaboration with Thriftify.ie, a company who make used clothes from charity shops available online.
There is also an Age Action charity shop on St Francis Street where you can find pre loved fashion while also contributing to an NGO who ‘supports and advocates for equality and human rights for all older people’. Finally, Oxfam on Abbeygate Street is the perfect place to ‘snap up pre-loved clothes, books, vintage items and lots of other hidden treasures’. Why not help out a great cause while picking up pre-loved fashion gems?
Another option for students on a budget is swapping clothes or engaging in peer to peer selling on forums like Depop. According to their website, Depop is home to ‘30 million+ stylists, designers, artists, collectors, vintage sellers, sneakerheads and more’. The Depop ecosystem allows you to buy, swap and sell clothing and other items. You can also search for a particular brand or category and come across an item that you were going to buy first hand.
Many sellers also engage in swaps; meaning that you can trade one of your pre-loved pieces for one of theirs. Also, if you search for Galway you can find some sellers who are willing to meet with you to give you the item rather than paying for postage, cutting down costs and emissions on the way! This blog post on Depops website is a great indicator of how to get started on the app, whether you are looking to create some wardrobe space or find some unique, fashionable items for the new semester. (How does Depop work? – Depop Blog)
Finally, another great way to save money while also getting to wear some high-end fashion is renting. Particularly for occasions where you may only get one wear out of an outfit such as a graduation, wedding or birthday.
‘Greensaregoodforyou’ is a brilliant shop set up by two women Johanna and Kara in Dublin, whose mission is to ‘give women more sustainable ways to shop, to make aspirational brands accessible and affordable, and to help every woman feel empowered’. The business also have an online presence and an Instagram account where you can see the outfits on other people who have rented them before you! By paying a fee for rental, the item is dry cleaned, delivered by DPD for the requested number of days and you can return it in any retailer affiliated with DPD. The business also allow you to purchase the item if you so wish and if you have a suitable piece you want to part ways with you may be able to sell the item to give it another life via Greens.
Other Irish, online circular fashion rental companies include ‘Theragrevolution’ and ‘Happydays’ who ‘seek to provide women of all sizes, ages and backgrounds with access to beautiful and stylish clothing’ without being too pricey. Again the items are dry cleaned, delivered and there is flexibility in booking and cancelling orders.
Whether you buy preloved pieces, rent, engage in peer to peer buying, selling or swapping, there are many thrifty ways to find your style!
More information on all of these places can be found below: