Anne Hathaway does it. So does Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Mirren.
We’re talking thrift-shopping. In fact, everyone, it seems, is jumping on the bandwagon; The second-hand fashion market has seen some phenomenal growth in the last 5 years and is projected to double its current value, jumping to around $77 billion dollars, by 2025. That’s 11 times faster than the broader retail sector.
The growth of the second-hand market is not so much through charity stores, but through the sector known as ‘resale’, where pre-loved garments are on-sold in a more discerning and curated manner. Think the gorgeous vintage spin off of Na Nin Studio (if you don’t know it, go take a look, right now!), or the pre-loved jeans section of Glassons (where yours truly purchased a perfectly fitting pair of vintage Levi’s 505s for an absolute steal).
The stats are heartening because fashion is literally costing the earth; The textile industry contributes more to climate change than international aviation and shipping combined. The production of clothes consumes water and energy at mind-boggling rates, and creates chemical and plastic pollution. Washing clothes made from synthetic fibres (think nylon, acrylic and polyester) sends plastic microparticles into the ocean. We haven’t even touched on the social injustices along the fashion supply chain. Meanwhile, the supply of all this clothing far exceeds demand; Retailers have been known to burn perfectly good excess stock. Maddening, right?
Resale is the answer for those of us who love fashion but want to reduce our environmental footprint. And the good news is that thanks to ever-improving resale technology, you can shop and sell from your lounge room.
So, put on your comfy pants and go grab yourself a glass of pinot, and check out these platforms for some online shopping that won’t hurt the planet (or your bank account):
If you lurrrrve luxury goods, prepare to lose a couple of hours perusing the thousands of items on offer from this French luxury consignment company. Navigating the platform is made all the more easier by excellent search and filtering functions. And if you know what you’re looking for but it’s not available, you can set alerts for your favourite brands, and items within those brands, to alleviate the hassle of having to frequently jump back online. I’ve had my eye on a Realisation dress for a few months now but couldn’t bring myself to pay full price, so it was a nice surprise when it turned up on Vestiaire only two days after setting an alert, and at a third of the original cost. Oui oui – add to cart.
PoshMark brings a social media element to online second-hand shopping, encouraging users to create personal profiles, like and follow other users, share listings and upload stories. This one isn’t a luxury platform (although you can find plenty of luxury items on there), but it’s great if you need to revamp your work or everyday wardrobe, and the ability to interact with the seller means you can make sure you’re buying the right size and fit.
A consignment service, The Closet on-sells new or new near items with savings of up to 90% of the original price, and shipping costs are free if you spend more than $30.
It’s also super easy to sell your unwanted clothes via the platform, with the company paying for the cost to ship your items to them, and even paying upfront for items that are particularly special.