Close this search box.

Buying clothes by the kilo is kind to your pocket and the environment too


Contrary to popular belief, vintage fashion isn’t just reserved for hipsters and the cast of Made in Chelsea – and it’s become quite the trend in Manchester.

As 80s and 90s fashion continues to be recycled by this generation, vintage and second-hand clothing is becoming more and more popular, with dedicated stores and trendy charity shops taking the Northern Quarter by storm.

A variety of vendors in Affleck’s and stores such as Blue Rinse, Pop Boutique and Cow Vintage all offer second-hand and reworked vintage goods, selling a variety of branded and on-branded threads.

Thanks to the cheaper prices and fashion appeal, thrifting has become so popular with the younger generation – especially students – that it’s not just confined to permanent stores on the high street.

Kilo Sales and clothes swap events tour the country, filling warehouses and student unions with rails of sweatshirts, plaid shirts, dungarees, Levi’s jeans and anything and everything oversized. Some offer a kilo of clothing for £15, so it’s hardly surprising students are so attracted. Nike sweatpants and a Carhartt fleece for a tenner? Yes please.

It’s not just the prices and great value that attracts youngsters to thrifting, but the benefits it has for the environment, too.

Darcy Ratcliffe was a volunteer at The Vintage Kilo Sale held in the student union building at Manchester Metropolitan University last weekend, is a strong advocate of thrifting.

“It’s more ethical in comparison to fast fashion,” she said. “If you go into charity shops to buy clothing instead of high street shops where you’re funding bigger franchises, some of the donations are going to a good cause.

“[The Kilo Sale] is good because it’s bringing a community of people together that enjoy second-hand and vintage clothes, that don’t want to buy into fast fashion”.

Fast fashion is the concept that a lot high street stores espouse, regurgitating new collections of clothing every other month, with the last one no longer seen as ‘trendy’. Where we once had four seasons, we now have 15, and this can have incredibly bad impacts on the environment.

More than 300,000 tonnes of clothing end up in UK landfill sites every year, according to clothing waste prevention charity Wrap, and the CO2 emissions created in order to get rid of it is one of the biggest contributors to climate change to date. In other words, fast fashion is killing our planet.

Shopping at charity shops, reworked vintage clothing stores and Kilo Sales all help reduce the amount of textiles found in landfills as you’re just reusing the clothing someone else has bought or produced rather than buying something brand new. It reduces carbon emissions, too.

The more we shop second-hand, the less unnecessary clothing the high street chains will produce. It’s a simple supply and demand equation.

So it’s time to start getting eco-friendly and get thrifting. Make Greta Thunberg proud, and get a huge haul of clothing at the same time.

Here’s some of the kilo sales and clothing swaps coming up in Manchester in the next few weeks:

Manchester University Students Union Vintage Folk Sale – 24th October
Manchester MMU Vintage Clothing Sale – 31st October
Chorlton Clothes Swap – November 9th


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

Got a story worth sharing?

What’s the story? We are all ears when it comes to positive news and inspiring stories. You can send story ideas to [email protected]

Get the Newsletter
Timeless Reads
Latest News
Upcoming Events