Second-hand clothing in the UAE? Yes, it really does exist. Lindsay Judge trawls the country to find the most stylish pre-loved pieces out there
When I lived in London, some of my best clothing purchases were from charity shops. The place is inundated with them and you can find the most amazing bargains. So when I moved to Dubai five years ago, it was a bit of a shock to find that the only place I could really go shopping for clothes was mainstream malls. But earlier this year, I made it my mission to discover where in the UAE you can find second-hand clothing that you actually want to wear.
And not just for myself – for the environment, too. According to Planet Aid, a US-based non-profit that collects used clothing for charity, every year 12 million tonnes of clothing ends up in landfills across the world. Landfills lack the oxygen needed to break down clothing, so once there, clothing decomposes through anaerobic digestion. This results in the emission of greenhouse gases that play a role in climate change.
If we can reduce the waste by recycling or reusing clothes, we are subsequently doing our bit to help the environment, and today there are lots more options to find secondhand bargains – and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know many of them are very affordable. What is perhaps even more surprising is that around half of the items I found have never been worn. I won’t say it was easy to find stylish items – weeks of scrolling through apps and traipsing around the flea markets to find the good stuff was hard work, but there really are some great pieces out there if you take the time to look. It’s so good, we were able to put together this entire fashion shoot.
STYLING BY LINDSAY JUDGE PHOTOS BY AIZA CASTILLO DOMINGO Jacket Dh150, Zara at Shedd Skirt Dh35, ASOS at Shedd Top Dh10, New Look at Dubai Charity Centre Shoes Dh150, Coco at Dubai Flea Market