Taking the #nonewclothes pledge doesn’t mean you need to stop shopping altogether. Between thrift shops, clothing swaps, rental companies, and online second-hand platforms, there are endless opportunities to shape and grow your wardrobe without purchasing new items. Aching to get your fashion fix while still doing good by the environment? We’ve got you covered.
Both monetary and environmental benefits come with second-hand shopping. Not only are thrifted clothes less expensive, but by purchasing second-hand, it keeps these items from going straight to the landfill. The more times an item is worn, the less waste per wear there is. As an added bonus, by choosing to shop second-hand instead of through retailers, it decreases the demand for new clothes, leading to a decrease in waste across the entire supply chain.
Shopping second-hand, partaking in local clothing swaps, and trying out clothing rental services allow for the discovery of unique pieces and the chance to develop a strong personal style without looking like everyone else. Even for the avid trend follower, it’s easy to find pieces that fit modern trends since fashion is always repeating itself. Here are five ways to get your fashion fix without buying anything new.
Rediscover Your Wardrobe
Before scrolling through countless pages or racks of second-hand clothes to acquire new items, start by rediscovering your own wardrobe. Do a deep dive into everything you own — it’s likely you’ll discover many items you forgot you had. Make an effort to create five new outfits with the clothes collecting dust in the back of your closet. Use Instagram and Pinterest as tools for inspiration. It’s surprising how an old item worn in a new way can refresh your closet and alleviate the shopping bug altogether!
One of the most economical and sustainable options to update your wardrobe is to partake in a clothing swap. Whether it be with friends, family, or co-workers, a clothing swap is a fun way to clear out your closet without creating waste. If your friends are in the same city, all the better — the environmental impact of shipping from another state or country is diminished in this option. Pro Tip: If quarantining at home, try scheduling a clothing swap over Zoom — if something in your giveaway pile catches your friend’s eye, deliver it to them in a freshly washed care package.
Online Thrift Shops
While it’s impossible to casually walk into a thrift shop during quarantine, there are dozens of online thrift stores to peruse. Consignment stores like Housing Works and The Real Real offer second-hand designer items that have been checked for authenticity. ThredUp (find a discount code on our #nonewclothes pledge page) and Awoke Vintage are incredible options for scoring everyday wardrobe essentials. For someone on a budget, Swap Society offers a great proposition: send in old clothes and receive points based on the brand and quality of the piece. Use these points to buy other items on the website.
The idea of renting clothes has gained incredible momentum over the past year and for good reason: it solves the problem of wanting a constantly rotating wardrobe but not wanting to contribute to excessive materialism. Rent the Runway, Wardrobe, and OpenClosit are great places to start. Rent the Runway offers one-time, monthly, or unlimited programs depending on how often you want to rotate rentals. NYC-based Wardrobe allows community members to put pieces from their own closet up for rent so you can rent clothes from someone else’s wardrobe or allow others to rent from yours. (It’s like borrowing your friend’s purse for the weekend!) OpenClosit is an option for those based in Los Angeles looking for event dresses. Like Wardrobe, the rentals come from community members.
Apps and Social Media
Apps like Poshmark and Depop were pioneers of creating a space in which buyers could shop second-hand. These apps are still a great place to buy and sell clothes. A relatively new take on these apps are the various Instagram accounts that focus on reselling vintage pieces. Just make sure the account is trustworthy before sending any money. If possible, try buying from accounts based in the same city as you to lower your environmental impact by avoiding shipping. A few Instagram accounts to follow for vintage items are listed below:
- @thevintageriot, based in NYC
- @fripouillevintage, based in Paris
- @viis_suits, based in Melbourne
- @iviaretro, based in Florida
With so many options for second-hand shopping, you can get your fashion fix while still remaining faithful to your #nonewclothes pledge!