Sustainable Shopping Steals (a.k.a. Second-hand Shopping)

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

Given the economic slowdown in Tokyo, job security is threatened and financial spending is curbed. Tokyo, known as Asia's fashion, food, and technology capital, has spurred even its big spenders into "best sellers." If you think premium brands like Supreme, Yohji Yamamoto, and Visvim are out of your league, think again. Tokyo's neighborhood second-hand shops are just treasure troves. And... isn't "sustainable shopping" now the most fashionable thing?

"We don't need a handful of people being perfectly sustainable. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly," I read somewhere. I live by this, I'd like to think. So while I still could not give up my wagyu and scallops from Hokkaido as my vegan friends would advocate, I've done my fair share of caring for the environment. Reusable bags. Choosing eco-friendly options whenever possible. Recycling. Proper trash segregation.

But my version of "sustainable" truly lies in cooking and shopping. I revamp leftovers, and make sure that pantry ingredients and food stock are fully utilized. For example, we would have a steak for dinner, then if it's too much, it would become a taco filling the next day, then possibly omelette for breakfast, or a Philly cheesesteak sandwich ingredient. Stale bread becomes bread pudding. Fresh salad veggies would become roasted accompaniment to a baked chicken dish.

My kitchenomics also translates to my shoppingnomics. While I still buy from regular stores, whenever possible, I would choose pre-loved items more. My heart always breaks for "leftovers" in whatever form. "Mottainai" as the Japanese would say. And why not? Japan is notorious for breeding shops that sell really fashionable and updated second-hand items; some of them only used for a season. Some of them still with tags (hello, impulse buying). If you know where to go (hint: the residential areas of the moneyed populace), and you're pretty familiar with brands to watch out for, you'd definitely get #goodbuys. Definitely, not your Salvation Army kind of shopping. In my recent visit to two second-hand shops, look at what I found:

A statement Christian Lacroix skirt that usually sells for 100,000 yen to only 1,000 yen (yes, minus two zeros).

A Visvin denim backpack/shoulder bag that usually sells for 160,000++ yen to only about 6,000 yen.

Flats priced 4,000 to 8,000 yen, including a Louis Vuitton, a Gucci, and a Ferragamo.

An almost new Gucci sneakers sold at almost half the price of the brand new one.

A camel Tory Burch and a United Arrows Tokyo sleek, shiny, and sharp army green coat.

Artsy limited edition Tommy Hilfiger "rock and roll" sweater for 4,000 yen.

A classic Chanel backpack for only 143,000 yen!!!

So may I recommend that you level up your WFH video calls (even if half of your body is on #athleisure wear)? Why not an Hermes Scarf worth one pricey weekend dinner?

Of course, all forms of #GoodNews must be shared to the #GoodVibesMovement so if you want our personal shoppers score second-hand steals for you, email and tell the Good Gurus about your style (brands you prefer, pictures/fashion style board, things you're looking for), set your budget, and say your size details. Or, simply fill out THIS FORM. We'll keep you in mind during our treasure-find!

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