LIKE ALL great fashion trends, I have returned - back from the "big smoke" (or, more accurately in Wellington's case, the "airport-closing, mist capital of New Zealand").

So if you loved reading me the first time around, get comfy and be prepped and ready each week to join me as we discover some great fashions available through our local retailers.

I'll hand out plenty of style advice and muse over some of the more outlandish fashions, the whimsical, the must-haves ... and the plagues.

We will talk hair, make-up and adult colouring-in books, after all: "Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening," (Coco Chanel).


With that in mind, let's jump in boots and all and talk about how you can make a difference to your community and your wardrobe by altering - just a little bit - some of your shopping habits.

Our society is driven around consumerism and one of the best ways to benefit your own budget, save the environment, and satisfy your shopping craving for unique goods is to shop second-hand.

Before you cringe, hear me out! Buying pre-loved clothes is no longer the mothball, granddad's coat affair it once was.

Recycling boutiques are a trend that is here to stay as more people become aware of the waste and harm that constantly buying new clothes is having on our planet. It's green, it's affordable - and now it's super stylish.

I'm not saying never buy new - that would be absurd - just make one outfit each week a recycled gem and you've done your bit. It is a small, achievable change that will make a huge difference.

The following are some of the many reasons you should consider shopping second-hand; it can make a greater difference than you may realise.

More affordableOn average, used clothes are 70 per cent cheaper - allowing you to save money for other important expenditures (organic produce, anyone?)

The thrill of the huntFinding that have-to-have item at an unbeatable price can be exhilarating. In this way, second-hand shopping is much more rewarding than retail shopping could ever be. I have a naughty habit of finding the item I just purchased online at the actual store to see how much I have saved.

Your money stays in the communitySecond-hand perusing ensures your money stays in the community where it can benefit local businesses and charities.

It is easier to spot qualitySince most of the merchandise you come across has already been broken in, you can see what has quality and what is falling to pieces. A little bit of knowledge in this area is a big help. I'll give you tips each week about which designers are known in the industry for their quality production - and some to stay away from.

It is important to mention here that the clothes are sold as is, so it is up to you to check them over for any faults or imperfections before you buy them as you cannot return the item.

It's greenBuying used goods cuts down on manufacturing demands and keeps more items out of the landfill. Huge amounts of clothes are thrown away, with Ministry for the Environment figures showing 100 million kilos of textile waste thrown into the country's rubbish dumps yearly.

Inspire to recycleThe flow of second-hand giving goes both ways. Items or clothes you no longer use you can donate back to a local op-shop and they may be just what someone else is searching for.

New merchandise arrives dailyRecycling boutiques receive donations daily, so the hunt for that unique item is always new and fresh.

Because shopping is such an essential part of our consumer-driven economy, indulging in second-hand stores and opportunities is a way to beneficially promote the economy, save the environment, and still satisfy your craving for unique clothes and items.

With that in mind, I have accepted the challenge to wear at least one recycled outfit each week. Check in with me here to see what outfit I have put together this week from my pre-loved shopping expeditions.

Jade Teki - designer/entrepreneur/fashionista