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Falling for Pre-Loved

Pre-loved has become a buzz word, especially within the fashion industry, over the past few years and is fast becoming the favourite method of the fashionistas for adding new pieces to their wardrobes whilst standing up to fast fashion and its detrimental impact on the world. Previously buying second hand was seen as something only the cash strapped did, with charity shops being uncool, but with the help of people such as Mary Portas, giving pieces a second lease of life has become normal and expanded on the vintage culture with more and more people wanting to be individual. Before we discuss my foray into the pre-loved world lets clarify what the term means......

Preloved is an informal word that describes an item that was previously owned. Preloved is a euphemism, which is a milder way to say something to make it less harsh or blunt. Preloved is typically used to describe something for sale to avoid calling it used or second

I love the term pre-loved, it sounds so much better & more refined than calling it second hand, especially when the item is designer. Up until this point, I have only ever dipped my toe in the pre-loved market finding the occasional piece in charity shops or Ebay, but my latest transaction is so much more than that. There are now many sites specifically for selling/buying beautiful pieces - sites like Vestiaire Collective, that showcase amazing fashion in need of a new home. A much more pleasant experience than your run of the mill transaction on Ebay, where you run the risk of receiving a faulty, damaged or god forbid fake item. Sites such as Vestiaire pride themselves in being a third party platform for genuine sellers to sell on their loved designer items, authenticating pieces before they arrive with their new owners. These sites are also ideal as they can sometimes be the only way to track down older/rarer items, especially limited edition colourways or prints. I became aware of the site after watching a video from Victoria @inthefrow, one of many bloggers/influences who work with these sites and showcase the best of the best available pre-loved.

I actually found my pre-loved piece on Instagram, after a friend of mine sent me a link to the Closet Detox UK, who just so happened to be selling my dream bag! Closet Detox UK is a London based detox service - "helping to reduce textile trash. Detox, Organise, Removal, Donate, Resell" @closetdetoxuk. They have so many amazing pieces, I just spotted a pair of Chloe Susannah boots that look amazing!!!

So onto my purchase.... I have been on the look out for this particular Mulberry bag for years....the black leather, medium Tillie satchel.

The Tillie was part of the SS11 Mulberry collection and has been the IT piece for me for years. I do already own one of these bags, an oversized version in cream tweed (bought in the sale), but sadly she isn't the most practical bag (especially with a toddler) so doesn't get used much, but I love everything about the style and detailing on this bag. I was in two minds at one point, about sending my cream bag to the Bag-Spa and getting her dyed black but I had a deep fear of it getting ruined! So finding this has made me so happy 

A classic satchel shape, with top handle and gorgeous gold hardware, the perfect size to be worn on the shoulder, cross body as well as on the crook of the arm. It is also a great everyday size, ideal for all my essentials plus the odd car, dinosaur or tub of playdoh and because it is preloved I am a little less precious with her, because she has already been "broken in". The bag was exactly as described, no faults, a little wear on the hardware but far less than I expected considering she is nine years old.

So this bag originally retailed for around £900 and although I have been on the look out for a couple of years now, the cheapest I have ever found one, was about £300 but that was on Ebay, and I am not very trusting of sellers on there, especially when it comes to designer items...... going through a verified pre-loved retailer means that it has been authenticated and best of all this beauty was only £120. I know for some people that even this is still a lot to spend on a handbag, but this piece has such a place in my heart and it is a real treat to be able to purchase it, especially as this style of Mulberry is no longer in production. The transaction was conducted via Instagram direct message then once agreed, through Paypal (hello buyer protection), and although the item was sent Royal Mail 2nd class it arrived the next day! and was beautiful wrapped in tissue paper.

Overall I found this pre-loved process, to be a really positive experience and will definitely be doing it again, as I do believe that items should be loved for years, not worn once and thrown away. I also really love the idea of a piece having its own little story, its own history.

Have you ever bought a designer piece pre-loved? Any recommendations?

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