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Recycling in fashion: it’s not just ebay anymore

September 12, 2015

jessonline

Love getting designer fashion at bargain prices? If you really want to save, there are a number of great options online where you can shop for gently used, even unworn fashion at thrift shop prices.

The behemoth, of course, is ebay, with infinite options if you know what you want and have a lot of patience, but the experience isn’t pretty. Now, there are a number of delightful online boutiques where you can shop online for gently used, or new fashion at thrift shop prices.

It’s not just about bargains, it’s a great movement towards sustainability and re-use. Not wasting. Getting rid of things you don’t love, so someone else can enjoy them. And making it easy to do so.

Thredup.com

Thredup threduphas “like new clothes from designers you love”. You can shop and buy, sell, or donate your unwanted clothing. The beauty of it is how easy they make sending your clothing in. Thred up will send you a bag, which you fill and send in. You can opt to sell your clothing outright, or on consignment. They’ll evaluate your clothing for salability, and you can have the unaccepted clothing sent back to you or donated. 5% of all purchases go to charity- you can even choose a school for the $ to be donated to.

A few excerpts from Thredup’s DO GOOD page:

It takes an average of 700 gallons of water to make a piece of clothing, so we’ve collectively helped save over 3.5 billion gallons of water—about the same amount of water the city of Los Angeles uses over ten days! We’ve helped families put nearly $10 million back in their pockets and saved shoppers more than $40 million compared to what they would spend buying new.

We’re committed to supporting organizations that make our communities stronger. Every year, we donate 10% of our Clean Out proceeds to Teach for America. We’ve also made it possible for customers to donate their Clean Out earnings to nonprofit partners, and to use Clean Out to fundraise for the causes you care about

It’s a great concept- and it’s based on doing good, conservation, and helping others. What’s not to love? You can see more about how thredup works, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DCf7-p8g-4

The RealReal

The RealReal is an upscale designer consignment shop where you can “shop designer brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and more at up to 90% off retail prices.

The RealRealYou’ll find everything from a $70 bag to a $2000 handbag on the site. Neiman Marcus has partnered with RealReal, and is offering a $100 gift card if you consign 10+ items with RealReal. If you want to consign, RealReal offers free shipping & pickup for your items. This isn’t particularly “thrifty” thrift shopping, but if you’re coveting a Gucci or Prada bag, you’ll get a deal.

Eileen Fisher’s Green Eileen

Green EileenWhile Green Eileen is not available online- it’s the beginning of a worthy trend in fashion, one in which the brand itself is taking a stand on sustainability and recycling. Green Eileen accepts gently used donations of Eileen Fisher clothing, which it will sell in flagship stores at a great discount, with all proceeds going to “support programs that improve the lives of women and girls in our local, national and global communities.” For more information about Green Eileen and Eileen Fisher’s sustainability program, see Green Eileen.

While recycling and re-use hit a tipping point with ebay years ago, mass retailers haven’t found the right way to make this work yet. Lots of brands have experimented with it- Gap, Banana Republic and J.Crew have all run programs encouraging customers to bring in gently used clothing in exchange for a discount, as one-off events. Thredup makes it easy to donate, and easy to shop great brands inexpensively. It’s a better experience than a thrift shop, with a great way to build a wardrobe on a budget. RealReal takes your gently used designer fashion, handbags and more on consignment- with a quick turnaround, and a 70% cut on the sale.

It’s good to see more brands doing this online. The more we can avoid living in a throw-away world, the better. For all of us.

2 Comments

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  1. September 13, 2015

    Interesting. Thanks for sharing that. eBay also bought another one I’d planned to include- Twice. It seems they either see the opportunity of a branded do-good point of view, or simply don’t want the competition. What do you think?

  2. Anonymous #
    September 13, 2015

    I am familiar with Thread Up and as a re-seller, it’s not always such a good deal. Whatever you send in, they will let you knot the $$ amount for what they feel it’s worth – usually way below what a re-seller paid in the first place. Then, as a seller, you have the option of either accepting their offer or not. Even though they give you individual values for each item, whether you accept or not is based on the entire bag so it’s all or nothing. You are also responsible for return shipping costs should you want your items back. It is also known that Ebay has recently purchased Thread Up and will partner with them shortly.

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