Fast fashion is responsible for 10% of global greenhouse emissions and 20% of wastewater, and the industry sucks up more energy than aviation and shipping combined. The good news is that you can make a change. Buying only about 600 kilograms of used clothes instead of new ones can reduce the CO2 emission by 2250 kilos and saves 3,6 billion litres of water which sounds pretty impressive.
Second-hand September is a movement that encourages people not to buy new clothes for a month. The campaign is organized by Oxfam, and their goal is to raise awareness of the environmental impact of fast fashion.
One way to join in on #secondhandseptember is by visiting second-hand shops and buying your clothes there. Don’t know where to go? Here’s a roundup of some great secondhand shops in Budapest – and for our readers elsewhere, some of these brands and stores even ship worldwide!
Where to go second-hand shopping in Budapest
Hagor is a clothing recycling family business in the heart of the city near Oktogon. They not only focus on the clothes’ material composition (how natural, environmentally friendly it is) but also pay special attention to their uniqueness and quality. So if you were looking for unique retro clothes, and sustainability is important to you, Hagor is for you!
Humana is a second-hand store you can find in many spots in Hungary. They sell used fast fashion brand clothing as well as vintage clothes. In fact, sometimes you might even find some handmade pieces too. Their prices vary during the week depending on when a new batch of clothes has arrived. If you are a fan of hunting for treasures, wait no more and visit one of their stores!
Cseriti sells not only clothes but furniture and other used household items too. Those who wish to donate can bring in their own used items and clothing to sell as well. The shop’s customers can buy these pieces at a reasonable price, so it’s a win-win situation.
Ludovika Vintage – in Budapest, near Madách Square – sells unique vintage pieces. Good news for those who can’t visit the store- they have worldwide shipping, so check out their Instagram page, browse, and buy your favourite items!
This thrift shop operates in the heart of the 11th district of Budapest on the same principle as the above mentioned Cseriti shop, but they mainly focus on clothes and smaller items.
Szputnyik, in the heart of Budapest, is selling vintage and new products alike. They support local creatives by making their work available in the shop. An added plus for shoppers trying to consume more ethically – you can only find ethical and sustainable global brands at their stores.
Retrock is a Budapest based vintage and designer shop with carefully selected individual and unique items. You can find the store in the city centre, in Anker köz, near Deák Ferenc Square. They sell both vintage and new clothes and accessories in Hungary’s largest vintage and designer store.
But what if you don’t feel like buying used stuff? Organize clothing swap events with your friends! Open your wardrobe, and get rid of all the clothes you don’t wear, ask your friends to do the same, and start swapping! (Before organizing, please check the current COVID-19 situation in your area and only hold an event if you consider it being safe! Wear masks and sanitize!)
Don’t feel like organizing your own event? Two times a month there’s an event in Dürer Kert where (after registration and a participation fee) you can bring your clothes and try to sell them. The prices vary depending on which table you choose to sell at. The event is called Gardrób Közösségi Vásár, and you can join as a seller or a customer. Now they have three dates announced, two in September and one in October. All of these events are fully booked for sellers, but you can join them for free as a customer.
Choosing a local, sustainable brand
When trying to avoid fast fashion and be sustainable, a good option is buying products from ethical, local businesses instead of supporting big multinational brands. So here are my Hungary-based recommendations for you!
These swimwears are ethically made in Hungary and Undersea Wear is committed to supporting local businesses. By buying their products you also help them support the Coral Restoration Foundation, which means after each item purchased a coral is being planted in the oceans. And if you think it is not cool enough, here’s the icing on the cake: all of their bikinis are made with ECONYL®, a 100% regenerated nylon from discarded fishing nets and other nylon waste materials from the bottom of the oceans. And another big plus – they just released their first men’s collection which is made of a material called RePreve, a fiber made of recycled plastic bottles.
Róza has been making polymer clay earrings since the summer of 2019. She is currently studying art theory at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts and the @rozagyurta brand is her love project which she hopes to develop into a lasting enterprise. She makes her pieces of jewellery of oven-baked plasticine in the Hungarian countryside at her family house. These earrings she makes are perfectly unique as each piece is 100% handmade. Besides making earrings, Róza also makes ceramics for sale, go check her work out!
This Hungarian brand offers sustainable and ethically made natural knitwear for their customers. They work with a local family-run manufacturer and source their materials from companies that are known for their sustainability pursuits. Although they are based in Hungary, worldwide shipping is available!
Stampp is a jewellery company based in Hungary with a focus on playful and simple designs. They use cute doodles stamped on their earrings, necklaces, and more. You can find their products in many Hungarian stores, but if you’re not in the country, you can also buy them online!
Finally, I want to share some tips on where to shop if you don’t know exactly what you want to buy, but want to support a small local business. In these stores, you can find designer items, handmade products, and ethical brands. Happy sustainable shopping!