About 2 years ago, I decided to put more effort into making my wardrobe a bit more planet-friendly. I decided to move away from fast fashion and to move towards more classical pieces that I could wear over and over (even though I know the best way to help Earth would be to go on a shopping ban, but that’s more complicated to realize).
I also decided I would try as much as possible to buy these basic pieces second hand. Shopping second hand is without any doubt better for the planet. Not only do you prevent another item ending up in landfill but you also don’t have the associated water, carbon and human labor impact associated with the garment. Not to mention, second hand shopping opens up a whole new world. It’s exciting to search for that perfect item, not knowing quite what you’ll find.
I know there’s a certain privilege that goes along with shopping second hand through choice and not necessity. Also, being a standard-sized able-bodied woman means shopping vintage is far easier for me. Both things are something I always try to be mindful of.
(NB: That being said, I also know there are some things I can’t find second hand, some things I don’t want to buy second hand and sometimes I can’t resist some very cute pieces on the fast fashion shops. But as long as you’re taking your purchases into more consideration, avoiding impulse shopping, and still trying to have a positive impact I really do think the occasional new purchase is perfectly OK.)
What should I keep in mind when buying second hand?
Buying second hand has definitely been quite a learning experience. Most of it has been a lot of trial and error. If you’re interested in second hand shopping but not really sure where to start there are a few easy things to keep in mind.
Measure expectations: Unlike normal shops (online or physical), you might not find that garment you’re looking for in different colors and different sizes. Most things you will find are unique. You’re not likely to find the exact item you were looking for, but keep your mind (and your eyes) open to other treasures you might find.
Do your due diligence: unlike online websites for normal clothes, most won’t accept returns. So you better ask all questions before. I personally ask about measurements, wear and tear, if the house is smoke free, etc. Any good seller should always be happy to answer these questions. And if you’re buying designer or luxury pieces, make sure you have all of the authentication information.
Still ask if you really need it: Just because it’s second hand doesn’t mean you need an item. Still ask yourself if you actually need it, will wear it or have anything else that goes with it. If the answer is no then don’t pick it up, leave it for someone else to find and love.
Where can I shop designer second hand items in Luxembourg ?
For everything that is designer or mid-luxury, my favorite shops are:
FIRST & SECOND HAND CONCEPT Luxembourg is my personal favorite. The shop is incredibly well curated and has things for all budgets. The white Armani dress I was wearing on this post came from there, and it was just 20 euros!
SecondLuxe comes a close second. I recently visited them for the first time and came out with a few items at great prices! Their website lists all the items in stock.
Royal Second Hand has a shop conveniently located on Boulevard Royal and has some good deals.
Secondhand4sale has a physical shop in Ettelbruck, but also a website that lists all their garnments!
I discovered Huntessa when they had my dream Oran sandals in the perfect color and the perfect size. They mainly sell products that are in new condition, so it’s a great way to save money on things that have barely been used.
Pardonmycloset has pop up stores throughout the year, and that’s where a lot of my designer treasures have come from!
Second hand designer items are great, but how about real thrift shopping in Luxembourg?
The concept of charity shops doesn’t really exist in Luxembourg (read this opinion piece by Nathalie Lodhi that explains it quite well here). The above shops are mostly designer-oriented and therefore have higher prices. I have nevertheless found certain locations in Luxembourg that are charity-based and that will allow you to get pieces for very low prices:
Nei Aarbecht, while mostly focused on furniture and decoration items, also has a section for second-hand clothes. It always has a nice selection and sometimes you’re able to get great items that have been donated for quite cheap.
Vintage Mood by the Red Cross also has a small selection. As for the furniture and decorations, their new location has a smaller selection than the shop they used to have in Hollerich, but I trust as more and more people become aware that they’ve reopened, their selection might get larger.
Pilea is a new second hand shop, that also sells plants and that doubles as a Café. I mean, how perfect does that sound? I have yet to visit them but from what I’ve heard and this article on RTL, it sounds very promising!
How about specialized platforms online?
I will say that most of my shopping is done via Vinted. I have found THE BEST deals there. You can find there luxury designers, mid-luxury designers, vintage pieces, second hand fast fashions – the choices are endless. Plus, the fact that you’re rated (as a seller and a buyer) for each transaction means that most sellers will be willing to answer all your questions. The only problems with this website is 1) THE AMOUNT OF CHOICES and 2) how addictive it gets. But if you’re looking for something quite specific (ex: black A-line skirt in silk in size M), chances are that there will be plenty of offers that match what you want. Deliveries to Luxembourg are usually done via Mondial Relay.
Depop offers similar options from the UK. If you know what brands to look for, they provide great deals!
Vestiaire Collective is the biggest second hand luxury seller in Europe. You can find virtually anything. They have managed to bring the experience of an actual consignment shop online by providing the authenticity of 100% of the pieces sold on the website before being shipped to the buyer.
Similarly, Vide Dressing provides a service to authenticate at a distance the products that are up for sale. Most of the products listed are designer finds.
Ethic2hand proposes second hand ethic products only! A lot of people also list their handmade creations, so it’s the perfect opportunity to find truly unique pieces!
VinoKilo is a German vintage reseller that also organizes fairs across cities. Their handy filter function lets you easily sort by size, style or color. I love the way that their pieces have been curated, it certainly makes me want to buy everything! However, seeing their pieces are second hand and not designers, I do find them very expensive! If you want to see with your own eyes, they’re organizing a pop up store in Luxembourg on Aug 22-23rd!
Instagram also allows to list products, but be careful who you send your money to! Among my favorite ones there’s The Vintage Bar, Sellier KnightsBridge and the “local” (Brussels based) Comptoir du Luxe (the last one doesn’t have too many followers but she’s got GREAT reviews on the Louis Vuitton Community Belgium).
Thank you for reading all the way down! I hope I can keep updating this article with more information during the coming months!