They say you should dress for the life that you want. However, it can be quite a challenge to live sustainably when the shirt you’re wearing comes with a considerable carbon footprint. 

Footprint in soil
Footprint in soil

In case you don’t know it yet, the fashion industry is one of  the world’s major environmental polluters:

Because of this sobering truth, clothing brands like Levi’s are taking steps to make sustainable apparel more accessible. Clothing rental sites such as Gwynnie Bee are also becoming a viable option for many, offering rentable garments for your closet minus the heavy environmental cost. 

Despite being good for the planet, however, these options can be expensive. Sustainable clothing usually entails higher-than-average production costs, and some wardrobe-sharing platforms might demand pricey subscription fees. 

But don’t fret—there’s another approach you can take to dress for less: online thrift stores! 

Instead of spending money on brand-new clothes, thrifting for second-hand yet stylish outfits online via eBay, Etsy, or Asos is an excellent alternative. It’s also great for the environment as it encourages people to use clothing that’s already available

Aside from the online marketplaces mentioned above, check out these five online thrift stores that won’t break your wallet—or the planet! 

A women looking at clothes on a clothes rack
A women looking at clothes on a clothes rack

1.ThredUP: Making Thrifting Sustainable

Price Range: $-$$$

ThredUP offers an extensive collection of stylish clothing for women and kids ranging from luxury labels to lifestyle clothing brands. 

This online thrift store has detailed filters to help customers find their ideal outfits with ease. It also closely inspects each item of clothing before shipping it out, so it’s unlikely for customers to receive anything that’s ripped or damaged. 

ThredUP also offers discount codes on top of their already-discounted clothing pieces. Imagine taking home a vintage designer dress for below $100, and probably with free shipping. Cool, right? 

Are they Eco-Friendly? 

Yearly, 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean. ThredUP aims to minimise its contribution to the growing global plastics problem via its 100% recyclable mailer. This signature green polka-dotted packaging is resealable, reusable, and made entirely from recycled plastic!

2. Urban Outfitters: Vintage Clothing Reimagined

Price Range: $$-$$$

Urban Outfitters has been known for its contemporary take on clothing, but it’s now being recognised for offering vintage wear—with a sustainable twist.

The brand’s Urban Renewal collection features unique vintage clothing for men and women that are upcycled from dated pieces. For as low as $20, you can buy timeless designs ranging from ’70s tie-dye tops to upcycled flannels from the 1980s!

Are they Eco-Friendly? 

On a global scale, we produce more than 10 million tons of textile waste each year. Urban Outfitters is committed to making fashion more sustainable by cleaning, repurposing, redesigning, and upcycling each vintage item to give it a second life. 

3. Poshmark: Spend Less through Second-hand Shopping 

Price Range: $-$$$

Poshmark is a social commerce site with over 100 million garments available. This popular peer-to-peer clothing platform allows its 60 million members to sell and buy second-hand fashion items. 

The site is an excellent place to score affordable women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing. The Poshmark community is so diverse, and so are the brands, styles, and prices of the items available. You can even find ‘good-as-new’ Adidas trainers starting at $50. 

Aside from discounted prices, Poshmark also offers promo codes to help you spend less on stylish preowned fashion ensembles. 

Are They Eco-Friendly? 

The average person discards 70 pounds of clothing each year. Poshmark offers users a hassle-free way to sell second-hand clothes—all while preventing perfectly wearable garments from going to landfill and at the same time giving people a chance to score excellent fashion deals! 

4. Depop: Sustainable Fashion in an App

Price Range: $$-$$$

Described as a cross between Instagram and eBay, Depop is a fashion marketplace app that allows users to buy and sell unique clothing—whether it’s preloved, designer, or even vintage wear. 

As a platform known for selling second-hand items, Depop encourages users to keep unused clothing in their closets in circulation. Aside from being budget-friendly, Depop also has coupons and promo codes for free shipping and discounts.

Are They Eco-Friendly?

Aside from promoting second-hand clothes-buying as a way to minimise our consumption footprint, Depop sees shipment packaging as an opportunity to make fashion more eco-friendly. Recognising that more than 90% of packaging waste ends up polluting the environment, the store encourages its sellers to use eco-friendly alternatives to plastic packaging. 

5. The RealReal: Authentic Luxury and Vintage Wear 

Price Range: $$$

For authenticated luxury finds and vintage wear, The RealReal is your go-to online shop. 

A consignment store with over nine million members, the store features a vast collection of handpicked luxury and vintage dresses, shoes, and handbags from some of the biggest names in fashion, including Ralph Lauren, Gucci, and Chanel. 

Despite offering exclusive designer-label pieces, The RealReal attracts users with its affordable price point.  For as low as $90, you can get a vintage piece from one of these brands and experience a major retro rewind. 

If that sounds like a good deal, then you should try TheRealReal for free. As a new member, you will receive a $25 starting credit.

Also, if you’re wary of being duped by fake luxury products, you don’t have to worry about the items that you buy from this store. The RealReal hires more than 150 authenticators just to ensure the originality of their consigned clothing.

Are They Eco-Friendly? 

The RealReal believes the future of fashion is circular. It aims to empower buyers and sellers to extend the lifespan of their luxury items, one consigned item at a time. 

Final Word

Now that you have acquainted yourself with these online thrift stores, you might consider making your wardrobe ‘green’ with sustainable yet superb fashion deals from these sites. 

Of course, using what’s already in your closet is still the best choice, but in case you need a new outfit for a special event, it’s better to check for second-hand options first before buying anything brand-new! 

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