There are a lot of people out there who don't like buying secondhand clothes. They may have misconceptions about it, or they may have been burned in the past. But – ta dah! – there's now something called "sustainable luxury."
Sustainable luxury is probably one of the easiest ways for you to do your part (while looking good!). You can buy name brands with nary a mark on them, or even pieces that, while having been purchased by someone else, still have tags on them. We’ve all had that one piece in our closet that never quite gets worn – here’s the chance to snap up somebody else’s mistake!
It’s not just clever marketing: Clothes are actually part of a new environmental crisis. Those crazy-cheap clothing hauls are made for people who don't know any better, because they are contributing to landfills at an alarming pace. In fact, 85 percent of our clothes ends up in landfills, which is equivalent to 10.5 million tons of clothing. It's as scary as it is preventable – if we mix up our purchases with the brand-new and the secondhand.
If you care about the earth, and about our future, I hope you’ll try to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle (and if you do already, thank you!). And if you're new to buying sustainable, and not just sustainable, but pre-owned, I recommend starting small. If you've always turned your nose up at used shoes, blouses, or jeans, how about handbags, jewelry, and scarves? Begin with an exhaustive clothing edit, and then fill in the gaps with lovely accessories.
As a longtime buyer of all things pre-owned, here's where I think you could start shopping more consciously:
The RealReal: My number-one favorite stop. This dream location stocks oodles of designer goods, and, most importantly, they hit every price point. Whether your budget is $25 or $2,500+ (because they do have a nice collection of Chanel!), you are thrillingly spoiled for choice.
Rebagg: Again, if this is what “sustainable luxury” means, then I believe everyone will want to get on board! Rebagg stocks a wonderful assortment of high-end designer pieces, and you can even sell your own designer gear to them each season for cash or a store credit. That’s how I do it: I methodically clean out my closet each season, sell my old designer handbags to Rebagg, and start fresh again.
Swap.com: This one’s a little different, because it covers all brands, not just the exclusive and elusive ones. I like it for mixing up the high (from Rebagg and RealReal) with the low (my favorite secondhand brands are Leota and Levi’s). You can also find never-worn shoes on Swap for a song.
Schoola: Schoola has some fantastic sales, and if you’re a fan of a specific label, this is the place to go. I recently purchased 14 items from Talbots in good condition from Schoola for around $27… because you can always find a coupon if you look hard enough! A word to the wise: they even sell blemished items, so watch your filters.
Thredup: With tons of promotions and lots of brands, Thredup is one of the more mature secondhand purveyors. I’ve been impressed with the thorough descriptions of each item, as well as the sheer number of pieces available. It’s a must-stop.
Enjoy the hunt!