Where to buy Second-Life Clothes in Ireland 2023

where to buy second hand clothes in Ireland

We all know that the fashion industry generates a huge amount of waste and pollution, with a report in 2018 citing fashion as the 4th most polluting industry in the world. What makes that statistic worse – as if that’s possible – is that every second a bin lorry’s worth of clothes are landfilled or incinerated globally! This is largely because we now create more than 100 billion garments per annum.

Want to be part of the solution, and not the problem? Then the simplest, least expensive and most accessible way to help is to buy pre-loved clothes. In fact one study estimates that the environmental impact of reused clothing is 70- times less than new!

‘Nuff said, so here’s your guide on where to find second hand clothing in Ireland and some tips on what to look for!

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Photo by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash

And if you only need something for a short period of time, how about rental?

Swap shops were a great way of finding new garments pre-Covid and although most groups organising them haven’t started up again, here’s a few to keep an eye on returning

Kids Clothes (some of which are free)


And here are some tips on what to look out for when buying second hand

  • Look for extra buttons on clothes. It’s a sign that the maker expects the garment to last a while.
  • Avoid jumpers with signs of pilling. It’ll only get worse as time goes on.
  • Synthetic fibre jumpers are useless at keeping you warm, so opt for natural fibres if that’s what you need.
  • Avoid jeans that have a high percentage of elastane in them i.e. stretch jeans, as they will lose their shape quicker than others.
  • Jumpers with tape on the shoulders will hold their shape better.
  • In general the thinner the fabric the less well it’ll wear over time.
  • Partially-lined trousers are a sign of quality. In fact lined-anything can be a sign of quality.
  • Consider the reparability of shoes before buying them. I always check with a cobbler and return them if they’re not repairable.
  • Avoid fabric shoes with thin soles, like pumps. The sole is too low to protect the fabric from wear and tear and they’ll look like crap in no time.
  • Go big. A garment can always be taken in or altered if it’s too big, but squeezed clothes will rip eventually.
  • Love your Clothes have guides on how to buy the best quality clothes.

It’s always better to try and source your clothing locally but if you need something special and have to go further afield here are some online resources to check out

Here’s a global guide from Vogue on the best vintage and resale platforms

Till next time


Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy

3 thoughts on “Where to buy Second-Life Clothes in Ireland 2023

  1. Great article, and brilliant links. As someone who sews, I notice that as fewer people know how to make clothes (due to sewing no longer being a necessary skill) that this means a lot of shoppers can no longer assess quality, or how clothes should fit … a dog course online shopping totally takes this choice away.


    1. I think a loss of skills is at the root of a lot of our sustainability issues. I think it leads to a loss of awareness and confidence and so we outsource more and more of our decisions to people we see as experts. I’m a big fan of upskilling people to feel more empowered in their lives. I can’t abide buying online. I need to feel a garment to assess
      quality. The only way I see around this is to only buy from businesses that you know only sell quality pieces.


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