Thrifting and secondhand shopping are having a moment. Years ago, rummaging through the disorganized secondhand clothing racks found in church charity stores or bargain basements wasn’t trendy or cool. In fact, there was a stigma attached to it.
In recent years, thrifting, consigning and second-hand shopping have gained an immense amount of popularity. Apps like Poshmark, Depop, thredUP and the RealReal have made buying used pieces easy and appealing. From affordable basics to high-end luxury items, you can find almost anything you’re looking for on the resale market.
There are a number of reasons why reusing, recycling and reselling clothing has become so popular. Let’s discuss
1. It’s sustainable
Our planet is hurtling toward disaster and concerns about the impact that fast fashion has on our climate are growing by the day. Retail recycling, or buying and selling gently-used items, is one of the small ways that we can tackle fashion's enormous footprint.
The average person cleans their closet out twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Where do those clothes go? Statistically, they end up in the trash. In fact, the average American throws away 81 pounds of clothing each year. Oftentimes, the clothes that we discard are still in good shape and could be used by someone else. Many pieces of clothing, like the brands that we carry at Retail Therapy, will last forever if cared for properly. By reselling, you’re giving your clothing a new lease on life while protecting the environment (and making some money!).
2. Doesn’t promote exploitative working conditions
If there is something we would like to educate all our customers about, it’s the dangers of fast fashion—and no, we’re not being dramatic. Fast fashion is dangerous—and downright deadly—for many of the factory workers. The working conditions that employees in garment factories are subjected to—and the criminal wages they are paid—are not a secret. A study found that the average Bangladeshi garment worker works 60 hours a week and makes 95 cents an hour.
At Retail Therapy, we only carry brands that are made ethically and responsibly by workers who are paid a living wage in humane working conditions. Making a point to buy ethically sourced clothing—or reselling/buying secondhand—doesn’t immediately fix these issues, but it does send a message to big corporations that consumers are no longer willing to accept such atrocities and human rights violations.
3. Saves money
One of the most obvious perks to buying gently-used clothing is the money that it saves. Buying and selling gently-used clothing isn’t just for thrifters or people on a budget. As organizations like the RealReal have shown, retail recycling is for anyone—and any budget.
Buying resell items is a great way to branch out and try a style that you wouldn’t necessarily try. If you don’t like it, all you have to do is pass it on to someone else. No harm, no foul. It’s also a great way to purchase items that were already on your list, while saving a couple bucks in the process.
Buying secondhand clothing is a small way to do your part in reducing fashion’s climate footprint—and it’s a chic way to feel good about your consumer habits. If you missed our Retail Recycle Facebook Live Sale, this past weekend, you can catch a replay of it here.