Secondhand swimwear gets a bad rep. Here’s why it’s worth buying

Is it okay to wear secondhand swimwear? Despite what your first assumption might be, the answer is yes. Buying and selling) preloved swimsuits can save you money and support a zero-waste lifestyle.

In this blog, we shed light on three common secondhand swimsuit myths, and share tips to care for a bathing suit you’ve purchased or one that you plan to sell with ModTod.

Myth #1: Wearing secondhand swimwear is unhygienic

This is the most common misconception about secondhand swimsuits. You can’t get sick from wearing a preloved swimsuit any more than you can by using a hotel bath towel.

According to Lauren Streicher, M.D. Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, as quoted in this story, catching something from a used bathing suit is unlikely and not a “true health factor.”

As is the case with any swimwear you buy – new or previously owned – wash it before wearing it.

Myth #2: Everyone will know it’s secondhand

The tide is turning on the public’s perception of secondhand clothes. Gone is the belief that only families who can’t afford new would buy preloved clothing. Now, it’s a lifestyle choice. In fact, mom influencers show off their stylish thrifted hauls on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok all the time.

The good news is, if you’re feeling uneasy about making your debut in a thrifted swimsuit, friends and family members won’t know unless you tell them. If they complement you and are curious about where you got it, you can choose to proudly declare it’s preloved or simply say it’s an old suit.

You control the narrative and can share as much or as little as you want. Chances are they’re asking because they like it and want to check out what’s available for their family.

Myth #3: Used swimwear will be in poor condition

Swimsuits are often made of a polyester/elastane blend which gives them their stretchy, water-wicking texture. These fabrics are durable and long-lasting. This fabric makes swimsuits retain their shape and color even after numerous jaunts at the beach and pool, making them a good category of products to consider buying preloved.

If you’ve made the leap to re-love something pre-loved (or if you’re planning to sell a once-loved swimsuit of your own), follow these guidelines to keep your suit in good condition.

Tips for your new-to-you swimwear:

  1. Before your first wear, machine wash the swimsuit with mild liquid detergent in a mesh bag on a delicate or hand-wash cycle. If you’re worried about hygiene, soak the swimsuit in one cup of vinegar diluted with water for 10 minutes. Vinegar is a natural softener, and it helps eliminate germs and odors.
  2. For every other time you wear your bathing suit, rinse it with cool tap water to rinse away sand, sweat, salt, and chlorine, or wear it into your post-swim shower. After rinsing it in the shower, handwash it with a dollop of shampoo. 
  3. Gently squeeze (don’t wring) your swimsuit to remove excess water, then lay it flat on a drying rack, on top of a towel on a waterproof surface, or on a pool chair away from direct sunlight to dry.

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