How Torri Webster shops vintage for back-to-school

For many years, one of my favourite aspects about heading back to school was the annual shopping spree with my mom. All throughout middle school and high school, I would get to choose a couple of pieces at the mall before getting my head back into the books and was always on the hunt for unique and bold pieces that would match my outgoing personality.

However, like most young adults, I suddenly had new financial responsibilities when heading into university. My eagerness to buy new clothing pieces was increasing while my budget was decreasing. Not only was I transitioning into the social aspect of university life, but I was starting to document my daily looks and outfits online, and on my own Instagram feed. This is when the pressure to feature eye catching pieces for my followers began. It was at this time that I realized I had to find new and creative ways to afford the ‘fashionable’ lifestyle looks I wanted. So, I started exploring the second-hand economy.

Not only did I realize buying slightly worn or used pieces was financially savvy but that I had the opportunity to make money as well by selling items I no longer needed. Did you know Canadians are actually saving an average of $825 dollars annually just by swapping and buying used pieces? I didn’t.

Clothing is also the most exchanged good, making it easier than ever to donate, or buy clothing.

This September, as others are starting university, or heading back to campus for another year, I wanted to share how I stayed fashionable while on a student budget. I’ve done a lot of online shopping in my day, but I have found so many hidden gems shopping second hand. It has also allowed me to buy and sell pieces efficiently and effortlessly.  Since I am constantly sharing new trends and outfits on my social media channels, buying brand new is also not affordable or sustainable for me.

What’s even more shocking is that it’s not only clothing that gets marked up dramatically but also household items. When I entered my first year of university, I moved into a condo downtown Toronto and had the responsibility of furnishing my entire space, and was only able to do so by scouting out lightly used and antique furniture from stores, family, friends, and online. New furniture can often be more than four times more expensive than used which can be a daunting thought for a first-year university student entering their academic career.

Heading back to school on a budget can be nerve-racking, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up on taste or quality. Some of my favourite pieces to buy used are accessories that are unique and bold that no one else would have. There is something so exciting about buying a backpack, a necklace, or sunglasses that are exclusive to you and your style. I have since become very passionate about moving away from fast and I am much more interested in finding pieces that are timeless and rare, which is exactly what I am able to find on Kijiji.

Plus, I have learned that I am not alone in this! Over 40% of Canadians who buy used pieces do so to also find truly unique items. For me, finding a piece that feels special and that no one else can replicate is the true value of fashion in the second-hand economy. I am now more excited than ever to head back to school this fall, and will be sporting vintage and used clothing all year long.

Learn How to Get Involved in the Second-Hand Economy!

Learn How to Get Involved in the Second-Hand Economy!

If you’ve bought or sold used items, swapped, or donated, you’re already an active contributor!

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