'For some reason people feel funny about it': Meet the woman who buys EVERYTHING second hand - even her underwear

  • Tamara DiMattina buys everything from clothes to furniture second hand
  • The Melbourne resident shops at charity stores and on Ebay
  • She buys second hand for environmental, ethical and moral reasons
  • She even buys underwear from second hand stores as long as it is unworn
  • In 2010 she founded the initiative Buy Nothing New Month in October 

Tamara DiMattina is not afraid to buy anything from a second hand store.

She even purchases underwear there - as long as it is unworn with the original labels attached.

The Melbourne resident is committed to sourcing everything from clothes to technology from the secondary market, and told Daily Mail Australia while she initially did so to save money, it is now a conscious decision.

Changing the way we shop: Tamara DiMattina, from Melbourne, buys everything second hand, including her dog Leopold

Changing the way we shop: Tamara DiMattina, from Melbourne, buys everything second hand, including her dog Leopold

‘I started buying second hand stuff when I was living in London and working at a posh auction house,’ she said.

Needing to ‘look smart’ for her clients, but unable to afford the price tag that came with high-end couture, she turned instead to charity stores.

‘I did it for financial reasons in those days’ she said

Despite the bargains, Ms DiMattina said she used to ‘feel bad’ about herself for not being able to afford new clothes.

New ideas: She first started buying second hand for financial reasons, but made the shift to buying for environmental, ethical and moral reasons. She is pictured with the Sunrise team

New ideas: She first started buying second hand for financial reasons, but made the shift to buying for environmental, ethical and moral reasons. She is pictured with the Sunrise team

New lease on life: Everything in her home is second hand, including crockery and furniture

New lease on life: Everything in her home is second hand, including crockery and furniture

Now she feels bad if she does buy new.

‘Now I do it [op shopping] for environmental reasons, ethical reasons and moral reasons,’ she said.

‘It flicked, I feel guilty if I buy something new.’

Ms DiMattina said she changed the way she consumed after going on an educational trip to Antarctica in 2010 where she learned about sustainability.

Since then she has founded the initiative Buy Nothing New Month, which runs throughout October.

Educated decision: She made a conscious decision to buy second hand after travelling to Antarctica where she learnt about sustainability 

Educated decision: She made a conscious decision to buy second hand after travelling to Antarctica where she learnt about sustainability 

‘We live on a planet where we have finite resources, there’s not a never-ending supply of stuff for us to consume,’ she said.

‘From a moral and ethical standpoint I see we need to change the way we are consuming.

‘Over-consumption doesn’t make anyone happy, the more materialistic we are the less happy we are.’

Quality over quantity: She chooses clothes from op shops made to last with good quality fabrics

Quality over quantity: She chooses clothes from op shops made to last with good quality fabrics

Inside Ms DiMattina’s home everything is second hand.

The couch, which she plans to reupholster, was bought on Ebay, her clothes from various op shops and even her iPhone was second hand online.

In her wardrobe she has pieces from Hugo Boss, as well as silk scarves worth $100 she bought second hand for $10.

The trick, she said, is to change the way you approach shopping.

‘Look for good quality, get to know what a nice fabric is,’ she said.

Loving the environment: Ms DiMattina is pictured at Burning Man Festival in the US where she learnt to ‘leave no trace’ and take all your rubbish with you

Loving the environment: Ms DiMattina is pictured at Burning Man Festival in the US where she learnt to ‘leave no trace’ and take all your rubbish with you

Tips and tricks: ‘One of the most important things you can do is spend some time looking for the best op shop in your town,’ she said

Tips and tricks: ‘One of the most important things you can do is spend some time looking for the best op shop in your town,’ she said

And she said that rather than go out with the intention of buying a specific item, be open to purchasing good quality items that will serve you well in the future.

‘One of the most important things you can do is spend some time looking for the best op shop in your town,’ she said.

‘The other thing is coming down to “do I really need this”.

She started Buy Nothing New Month in 2010, and said people have responded well to the initiative.

Why the stigma: ‘We stay in a luxury hotel and use towels someone else has used, but for some reason people feel funny about buying a second hand t-shirt,’ Ms DiMattina said

Why the stigma: ‘We stay in a luxury hotel and use towels someone else has used, but for some reason people feel funny about buying a second hand t-shirt,’ Ms DiMattina said

Some people chose to embrace the concept by asking for no gifts at their baby shower, while others found they saved money for things they could not otherwise afford like a trip to the dentist.

She said while there was a stigma around wearing second hand clothes, there really shouldn’t be.

‘We stay in a luxury hotel and use towels someone else has used, but for some reason people feel funny about buying a second hand t-shirt,’ Ms DiMattina said.

‘I feel good about the fact I buy stuff in charity stores.’ 

To learn more about Buy Nothing New Month, visit the website.  

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