“Before, I was called lousy”… Second-hand clothes are becoming fashionable today among young people

They were overwhelmed. During the first hours of the dressing room they were organizing, the students of ESIR saw hundreds of people pour into the hall of Rennes-1 University. Offered free to all students, these second-hand clothes quickly found takers. Much more than during the first event organized by this handful of students enrolled in an engineering school. An effect of inflation and the difficult end of the month suffered by the younger generation? It’s possible. But it is not the only reason. While the climate emergency greatly worries “Generation Z”, part of the youth are abandoning the fashion industry, considered too polluting. “More and more of us are moving away from fast-fashion, for a whole host of reasons. The textile industry has a very negative impact on the environment and more and more people are aware of this,” explains Enéa, one of the students behind this empty-dressing room.

The students of Rennes-1 University are not the only ones to pinch for the second hand. Across this country, thrift stores are seeing more and more people turn up to dress. Less expensive, the occasion is acclaimed by a generation that seems to deviate from mass consumption. “When I was in high school and I said that I was going to Emmaüs to buy myself clothes, they called me lousy. And now, the thrift store has become fashionable, ”continues Enéa. The student sometimes offers something new, but it has become very rare. “If I decide to buy new, I want it to be ethical, made in France. But I don’t have the money to do it very often. »

“Some people still think that the thrift store is dirty”

His friend Theo is in the same situation. White T-shirt, navy blue vest and jeans, the engineering student has only dressed “second hand” since leaving high school. “The first reason was financial. When I was 18, I was looking for my style a bit and I went to a thrift store because it was cheaper. Before, I was like everyone else, I absolutely wanted Vans and especially not damaged. The ecological dimension only came later. But today, I only dress second hand. And it pisses me off… to put 50 bullets in a piece of clothing. This is why these students decided to organize this empty dressing room within the walls of the Beaulieu campus. To help, of course, but also to impress the idea of ​​the second hand in the minds of their comrades not yet “converted”. “Some people still think that second-hand clothes are dirty,” says Théo.

This is not the case for Anne-Laure. A student in environmental sciences, she is a convinced “fripeuse”. Leaving with a little “Hell was boring” sweatshirt, the young woman believes that her relationship to consumption “has changed a lot” since she left college and high school. “Before, I used to go shopping with my mother and my sister and I loved it. I do not do it anymore. Zara, H & M, I have a real disgust for these stores. I limit myself today to what is necessary and it is always second-hand”. A fan of thrift stores, the young woman regrets however that the second hand is a victim of her success, driving up prices. “For the environment, it’s good, but it creates problems for those who don’t have the means. Even at Emmaüs, prices have gone up so that makes the opportunity less accessible. »

The acclaimed Vinted solution but…

The other solution favored by the younger generation is called Vinted. This clothing version of Le Bon Coin has become a reference for many under 30s, who can buy and resell their clothes there at low prices. “I’m a big Vinted consumer,” admits Noa. According to her, “the choice is wider than in thrift stores. When you are looking for something special, you can find it and the prices are very attractive. Last time I bought three pants and three t-shirts for 10 euros! “. Clearly unbeatable. At the age of 23, she specifies that she does not abuse the platform based in Lithuania and focuses “only on the essentials”. At his side, his friend Alice is less a fan of the second-hand sales site. “Vinted, I go a little bit but I’m careful. If you buy something that comes from the other side of France, that limits the ecological interest. »

A free dressing room was organized by students in November within the walls of Rennes-1 University.
A free dressing room was organized by students in November within the walls of Rennes-1 University. – C. Allain/20 Minutes

Among those under 30, some continue to swear by new things, but fast-fashion seems to be less and less popular. However, there are still complicated pieces to buy second-hand. “Swimming suits, socks, underwear and even shoes are not easy and that’s understandable”, explains Enéa. The opportunity yes, but not at all costs.

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