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Thrift shopping has been having a big moment lately, and for good reason. Buying second-hand clothes is a fun and affordable way to build a unique wardrobe while still embracing the idea of low-waste living. But what if you don’t have access to quality thrift shops in your area?
Fortunately, online thrift stores are booming right now, making it easier than ever to find second-hand clothes that suit your personal style. Read on to learn more about the environmental impact of online thrift stores — plus, the best online thrift stores to score affordable threads.
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Is Online Thrift Shopping Good for the Environment?
Buying clothes from second-hand stores is by far one of the most sustainable ways to shop. When you go thrift shopping, you’re helping to keep beautifully worn clothing out of landfills. Not only that, but you’re also doing your part to dismantle fast fashion and industry that is rife with ethical and environmental problems.
Still, shopping online for second-hand clothes isn’t without problems. Although the carbon cost of shopping online versus in-store is still hotly debated, there’s no question that online shopping generates an astonishing amount of plastic waste.
To help reduce your impact on the environment, keep the following tips in mind the next time you shop at online thrift stores:
- Buy only what you need. Take stock of your wardrobe before you start thrifting. You’re less likely to be tempted by impulse purchases when you already know what you have in your closet.
- Know your measurements. Whip out the measuring tape and write down measurements for your bust, hips, waist and inseam. This will help you shop more efficiently.
- Befriend a tailor. If your online clothes don’t fit you correctly, consider taking them to a tailor.
- Find other ways to offset your environmental impact. If you can’t figure out how to use less plastic when shopping at online thrift stores, try looking for other ways to cut plastic from your life. Avoiding single-use plastics and choosing plastic-free products can help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, waterways and oceans.
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The Best Online Thrift Stores for Second-Hand Clothes
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- ThredUP – One of the largest online consignment and thrift stores, ThredUP is known for its massive selection of women’s clothing, shoes and accessories. You can find thousands of quality items every day, from vintage skirts to throwback sneakers. They also have helpful filters that allow you to sort by size, price range, color, brand — you name it.
- Poshmark – Like ThredUP, Poshmark is known for its gently-used women’s clothing. But unlike ThredUP, Poshmark is more of a social media app where you can “like” and follow your favorite clothes and sellers. Poshmark also has a “make an offer” option that allows you to haggle down the price.
- Grailed – For guys who are into high fashion and cool streetwear, Grailed is the perfect place to shop. The online marketplace is known for its curated catalog of new and lightly-worn men’s clothing. If you’re hoping to score hard-to-find items and runway pieces from luxury brands, Grailed has you covered.
- eBay – Launched back in 2009, eBay is an oldie but a goodie. While it may not be as new or trendy as other websites, it’s still one of the most popular ways to buy and sell pre-loved goods online.
- Depop – One-part eBay and one-part Instagram, Depop is a social reselling website that largely caters to Generation Z. If you’re looking to score trendy, throwback outfits (hello, ’90s and noughties fashion trends), Depop is a great place to shop.
- Mercari – Founded in 2013 by Yamada Shintaro, Mercari was originally designed to be an online flea market. Although it’s most well-known for its used electronics and home décor, the online marketplace app is also great for scoring deals on second-hand clothes. Another reason to shop at Mercari? The Japanese platform released the Mercari Eco Pack in 2019 as a way to reduce packaging waste.
- Vinted – If you’re looking for a bargain, Vinted is worth checking out. While you probably won’t find too many high-end brands on the Lithuanian online marketplace, it’s good for everyday basics. Plus, you can swap clothes with other Vinted members to refresh your wardrobe on the cheap.
Keep Your ‘Green’ Momentum Going
If you’re looking for ways to save money and reduce your clothing waste, online thrifting is one of the best ways to do it. But why stop there? At the Earthling Co., we’re happy to help you keep your “green” momentum going strong. Browse our entire collection of low-waste products and give your daily routine a sustainable upgrade!