Best Online Thrift Stores: Take Back Pre-loved Pieces

Around 85% of all textiles in the US eventually end up in landfills or incineration facilities [1]— and only a small portion is ever recycled. The result is an ever-growing mountain of problems (literally) borne from the fast fashion industry and our still inefficient recycling systems.

Unsurprisingly, fashion is an industry that frequently exacts a steep environmental cost, with emissions from the fashion industry comprising around 8% of the global total. [2]

And the worst part? Much of the production that occurs in the industry stems from artificial demand and perceived notions of value.

As conscious consumers, we also play a role in guaranteeing a future that links sustainability with fashion and style. One of the best ways to do that is to avoid buying new and start turning towards second-hand clothes. And once you start, you’re never going back.

Thrifting is a beautifully gratifying experience, especially when you come across a piece that feels like it’s meant for you and you alone. But it isn’t just that thrifting is a great hobby. It also helps divert waste from the landfills and disabused us of the notion that preloved clothing can’t be stylish or pretty.

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This list includes our hand-picked stores for beginner thrifters and casual shoppers as well as those for more serious bargain hunters or luxury collectors.

Depop - The UK

Founded in 2011 as a simple store where people could buy items from young creatives, Depop has transformed into one of the most popular thrift stores online. It is now a marketplace where anyone can buy, sell, and see what their friends are interested in as well.

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Thrift Range

Because Depop is not a curated collection, the items listed on their mobile space tend to vary by quite a lot. You’ll see bodycon dresses, jumpsuits, outwear, lingerie, and so much more. They also have categories for jewelry, beauty, kids, art, books, and even sports equipment!

Perhaps because of the demographic of Depop users, you are more likely to find newer items like handpicked trendy recycled fashion or trendy pieces from the global marketplace. Depop is not the best place to go if you are looking for sought-after vintage clothes.

Again, although staying on top of trends is not the most sustainable way to shop, style should be timeless (or at least, last long enough for you to feel great in your clothes for a very long time!). If your personal style aligns with retrofits, then Depop will be an excellent place for you.

Plus, as we’re going to talk about in a bit, Depop deeply promotes a circular fashion model, and they have progressive views surrounding sustainability and fashion that does better for the planet.

Sustainability And Accessibility

In the last few years or so, Depop has improved significantly on its sustainability measures. They are one of the few of the best online thrift stores that actually make a solid effort to reduce their impact beyond already operating with a relatively sustainable business model.

For instance, in 2020, Depop began to offset the greenhouse gases generated by the shipping from each transaction. Their goal was to be Climate Neutral certified by the end of 2021. As of now (Jan 2022), they haven’t given an update on that, but it seems too early in the year to tell how far they’ve come on that goal.

What’s more, is that they understand that offsetting emissions is not the only solution towards more sustainable business practices. Among the hundreds of brands we’ve featured here, Depop is one of the few who acknowledge that offsetting emissions is only the short-term goal.

Considering offsetting emissions as the ultimate sustainability goal might even be damaging to the environment. Because while it does provide for more sustainability in business, it blatantly ignores the main drivers of increasing emissions and thus may give people a sense of complacency in their actions.

The ultimate goal should be reducing our emissions through a congruence between ethical production and responsible consumption.

And while their prices are set by individual sellers, most of the items they sell are pretty affordable and average less than $20. This shows that Depop is committed to making secondhand shopping a viable choice for everyone regardless of budget or income.

Ethics And Community

Depop believes in a vision for a new fashion system by making circularity and Reuse at the center of their operations.

Aside from the sustainability measures we’ve covered, Depop is also actively involved in ensuring they apply a preference for brands that operate circularly and produce responsibly. This helps create an internal systemic solution that will help them achieve their sustainability goals much faster.

Not only does Depop make these goals the heart of their practices, but they also have tangible and actionable plans to get to those goals. Some of the goals in their 2022 plan are aligning their practices to the B Corp certification level, conducting pay gap diagnostics, and improving diversity across the organization, among many others.

If you’re interested in their 2022 Sustainability Report, you can check it out right here.

ThredUp - US

ThredUP is a US-based online thrift store that roots all its business processes in the idea of a sustainable fashion future. The ultimate goal is to shop with intention, champion sustainability, all while rejecting the notion of throwaway fashion culture that’s so popular in today’s time.

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Thrift Range

ThredUp has a wide thrift selection that consists of hundreds of brands worldwide. They stock everything from Banana Republic and Nine West to designer brands like Jimmy Choo and Marc Jacobs, making them one of the biggest online thrift shops in the US.

Their major categories include thrift apparel for women, kids, and those who need plus size or maternity clothing. They also have shoes, handbags, and other accessories.

From their collection, you will find dresses, sweaters, coats and jackets, skirts, shorts, and even performance clothing like activewear and swimwear.

Their sizes range from XXS-5X for both tops and bottoms.

Sustainability And Accessibility

One of the best things about this online thrift store is its extensive clothing range. Their selection isn’t limited to luxury vintage clothing, making them much more accessible to the regular shopper.

They also advocate for sustainability in more than just what they sell. They use FSC certified paper packaging, and any plastic they use is 100% recycled and recyclable. They also practice responsible shipping methods and encourage customers to do the same.

In 2019, they also stopped steaming their clothes, which resulted in a savings of 665K kWh of electricity.

Ethics And Community

At the core of their practices, ThredUp aims to better the fashion industry by recirculating and elevating fashion to a more sustainable level. Instead of just throwing away clothes, ThredUp promotes and provides a smarter way to trade in the online marketplace.

Aside from providing great incentives for their employees, ThredUp also focuses on promoting equity progress through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

They also have a Future Fund, which mainly supports local grassroots organizations fighting for social justice and equal opportunity. If you’d like to learn more, you can read the report here.

Swap - US

Started in 2013, Swap is an online thrift and consignment store that has seen tremendous growth over the past decade. With more than 2 million unique items in stock at any given time, Swap is now one of the industry leaders in thrift store shopping.
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Thrift Range

Swap has a massive selection of clothing for every member of the family. Since they started as a children’s online thrift store, their collection also boasts options for kids and babies. Of course, there are also choices available for masculine or feminine fashion.

Swap carries a lot of brands, many of those you might be familiar with, like Old Navy, Michael Kors, Anne Klein, and many others.

You can also shop their range by material! From linen and modal to cotton and cashmere, Swap has any type of textile you might need. If you don’t like using animal-based fabrics, check out our analysis on vegan fabrics for an idea about which fabric types are the best for your tastes.

Sustainability And Accessibility

Swap’s prices are definitely within an affordable range. While they might have some pieces that can be a bit out of budget, none of their items are priced beyond what’s reasonable.

If you are shopping for your family on a budget and love online thrift stores, Swap is a great place to start.

Ethics And Community

Swap places a high value on thriftiness and reuse. Keeping stuff away from landfills while providing their customers with affordable family options is what the business is all about.

The business is also rooted in creating a warm community of sellers and buyers that finds value in discovering something new in the old.

Patagonia Worn Wear - US

Patagonia Worn Wear is the outwear giant’s entry into the world of online thrift stores. The platform gives their customers an opportunity to trade in their old Patagonia clothing and purchase secondhand ones for a fraction of the price.

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Thrift Range

Since Patagonia Worn Wear is Patagonia’s own online store for secondhand clothing, they only carry Patagonia products.

Patagonia is well-known for its outerwear, and they’ve been in the business for decades. If you are looking for high-quality and durable outerwear for camping trips, hikes, or even just preparing for the cold weather, then this is one of the best online thrift stores you can find.

However, they do stock more than just outer clothing and also have tank tops, tees, pullovers, pants, skirts, and even dresses.

Sustainability And Accessibility

The very fact that Patagonia encourages its customers to trade in their products or extend the items’ useful life through repairs is a great indication of internal sustainability. They are confident enough in the make and longevity of their products that they are more than willing to create an online store for second hands Patagonia clothes.

What’s more, the market is excellent for individuals who need outdoor wear but are on a budget. Because these are secondhand clothes, Worn Wear products are significantly cheaper than their new counterparts.

But that doesn’t mean you’re giving up functionality! Although some Worn Wear products may have cosmetic defects, they are completely functional without a fault.

Patagonia is also part of 1% for the Planet, giving at least 1% of all their revenue to relevant environmental groups.

Ethics And Community

As a clothing retailer, Patagonia belongs to an industry well-known for its unethical business practices. However, we’re happy to share that the brand engages in numerous programs and initiatives that put the fashion industry in a positive light.

They have programs for ensuring their workers are paid living wages and operate in safe and healthy working conditions. They also advocate for migrant workers and fair labor in their processes. If you’d like to know more about how they’re taking social responsibility, you can read more about them here.

Patagonia also gives grants to environmental grassroots organizations to support long-term solutions for environmental issues.

ASOS Marketplace - The UK

ASOS Marketplace is one of the largest online platforms that connect independent brands and vintages boutiques with customers worldwide. Founded more than a decade ago in 2010, Marketplace has grown unprecedentedly and remains the leading platform in the industry.

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Thrift Range

ASOS Marketplace’s collection comes from a variety of great online thrift stores and boutiques. Some of their most prominent styles come in the form of 90s fashion and vintage jeans.

While not all of the items on their website are secondhand, they still provide one of the largest assortment of vintage apparel you’ll ever find. Plus, many of these boutiques curate their collections, which translates to one-of-a-kind, high-quality clothing.

They also stock some items from local and emerging designers with independent brands.

Sustainability And Accessibility

Price-wise, ASOS Marketplace offers pretty average numbers. The boutiques are the ones responsible for setting the prices on their products, so the end result is a platform of wildly varying price ranges across different types of garments.

Because Marketplace is such a large platform, it is inevitable that some brands may not align with your principles regarding sustainability in clothing. Marketplace boutiques aren’t limited to vintage items, and many of them sell brand new and made-to-order clothes.

Conversely, this also means it can be challenging to gauge the platform’s overall sustainability. If you want to buy from them, we recommend going through the boutique’s details first and ensuring they don’t participate in unethical practices.

Ethics And Community

Being a global marketplace, the brand is adamant about specific rules within its community. For instance, they completely prohibit any counterfeit items in their directory, so you know you are getting authentic vintage items.

Moreover, they also have an animal welfare policy, which details what kinds of animal-based materials they are willing to put on their website. Although they are not strictly vegan, they do have responsible policies in place to protect the abuse and unethical treatment of animals. If you want to know more, you can read about their policy here.

One more important factor we should also discuss is ASOS itself. Although ASOS may not fall under the umbrella of large fast fashion retailers, they’re also not a brand we would prioritize in any of our recommendations.

However, we chose to include Marketplace in this selection since we believe it truly does offer one of the best online thrift experiences you can get. This is especially true if your style leans toward retrofits and staples.

Mirth - US

Mirth is a New York-based vintage thrift store specializing in vintage denim and pieces from as far back as the early 20th century. The brand focuses on classic, timeless, and well-made pieces that transcend time and trends, making them useful season after season.

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Thrift Range

Most of Mirth’s collection centers on feminine fashion. They have tops, skirts, dresses, jewelry, handbags, shoes, and other accessories to complete your vintage closet.

Although these pieces are vintage and tell stories from another time, the timeless nature of their curated collections makes every piece blend seamlessly with modern fashion.

If you’re looking for vintage clothes online at relatively affordable prices, Mirth has an excellent selection for you.

Sustainability And Accessibility

Mirth does not have much information on their sustainability measures, nor do they have a relevant report for the matter. However, it is understandable as they run a pretty small operation.

One of the things we like about Mirth is that they offer vintage clothing at prices that won’t break the bank. Although likely still more expensive than a non-curated collection, the price is worth it if you’re looking for high-quality vintage clothes.

Ethics And Community

Mirth is a relatively small business. They work out of their New York studio and store their online merchandise off-site.

The owner also does most of the curation herself! Although we couldn’t find anything about their workplace community, it’s a nice change of pace to see an owner so deeply involved in actual business processes.

One Scoop Store - The UK

One Scoop Store is a UK-based online thrift store that offers a beautifully-curated range of preloved pieces that you are sure to love. The brand was started only a few years ago (in 2017) by Holly Watkins, a woman with already 15 years in the fashion industry.
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Thrift Range

Most of One Scoop’s collection gears towards feminine fashion. They stock a wide range of colors, from muted yellows to emerald greens—we’ve even seen some more adventurous cow prints in their selection.

One Scoop has everything from accessories and bags to staples like jeans and coats. If you are interested in swims, we have also seen them add the occasional piece or two.

The goal of their collection is the curation of simple yet beautifully wearable pieces that add value to your life.

Sustainability And Accessibility

Many online thrift stores in the market today are susceptible to tagging their pieces at more than retail prices. What we like about One Scoop is that they’re an affordable thrift store.—keeping in mind that thrift stems from an area of need, not branding and excess consumption.

Here at Puratium, it’s always important that sustainable options like online thrift stores become accessible to the broadest range of customers possible. To us, this means products that are affordable to the regular individual. But more on this later on.

If you want, you can also sell clothes to One Scoop. Just drop them an email with the details, and they’ll get back to you on the rest of the particulars.

Ethics And Community

At its core, One Scoop operates on the idea that secondhand clothing is the most enjoyable and sustainable way to shop for clothes. Like many other thrift stores, this brand is all about reducing textile waste and bringing more sustainability to the fashion industry—a value that it (currently)desperately lacks.

By giving each piece a new home, online thrift stores like this one help divert waste from the landfills and help a part of the industry become more eco-friendly.

Still White - Australia

Still White is the biggest online thrift store for preloved wedding dresses. Started in 2010, the brand has now grown to connect brides from more than 100 countries with each other through the dress of their dreams.

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Thrift Range

We’ve already covered a wide variety of streetwear, outerwear, and even winter clothing. But we still haven’t talked about vintage clothing for one of the most memorable days in anyone’s life: weddings!

Still White is the largest online marketplace for secondhand wedding gowns, so if you were looking into where to buy a dress for the big day, your search ends now.

The brand carries labels like Vera Wang, Maggie Sottero, Jenny Yoo, Stella York, etc.

Because the wedding dresses are sold directly from the seller, Still White’s selection depends on what sellers are willing to part with. Regardless, you’ll find a lovely selection of gowns in an assortment of sizes.

There are also plenty of bridal stores on Still White that sell their discontinued designs for a steep discount. Most of these dresses have been tried on but not worn in actual wedding scenarios.

One of the best things about buying these dresses preloved is their lovely history. The listing often involves detailed descriptions of the dress and reasons for sale, and these personal anecdotes and stories make the dresses much more beautiful and radiant.

Sustainability And Accessibility

We all know that wedding dresses can come at really high costs, and most wedding dresses from a prominent label will set you back at least a few thousand dollars. And yet, after the big day, many dresses are simply left to retire in a garment bag somewhere.

Still, White’s platform offers a solution to both ends of the transaction. The seller gets to pass on their beloved dress while the buyer gets to wear their dream dress for a fraction of the retail price.

While secondhand clothes may not have been your first thought when it comes to wedding planning, it’s a great idea that will not only save you money but is environmentally beneficial as well.

Think about it. Around 9,000 liters of water are required to make just a single dress! By purchasing one that’s already in circulation, you help cut the impact of said dress and improve its life cycle outcomes. Wedding rings play a significant role too, but that is for another story.

The concept of second-hand isn’t just abstract ideas either. Still White has saved around 216,000 kg of carbon emissions and about 180 million liters of water. Not to mention they have helped brides worldwide save an accumulated $20 million!

Ethics and Community

Still White believes that there should be sustainable dresses for every bride. And having sold thousands of gowns throughout the years, it’s clear that they’ve fostered a strong community of brides and brides-to-be.

Thriftsome - Canada

Thriftsome is one of the best online thrift stores you’ll find in Canada. Based in Winnipeg, the brand’s ultimate goal is to make buying used clothes more accessible and cool, thereby helping the fashion industry become more sustainable and planet-friendly.
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Thrift Range

Thriftsome has thrift clothes for men and women. Their selection mainly rotates around hoodies, sweaters, jumpers, coats, and vests.

However, they also have dresses, bags, shoes, and other accessories. They don’t have the largest collection, but their range is still quite expansive, and you will have plenty to choose from.

Since Thriftsome seems to specialize in secondhand apparel for the cold weather, you’re best off buying from them if you need something for the colder months.

Sustainability And Accessibility

One of the best things about Thriftsome is its affordable prices. They don’t charge exorbitant amounts like some other online thrift stores. Instead, one of their primary missions is to make online thrifting as accessible as possible by making sure their products are simple, affordable, and functional.

Other than that, however, Thriftsome also endeavors to make fashion more sustainable by making thrift shopping mainstream.

Ethics And Community

The main inspiration behind Thriftsome is the idea that a vast majority of all our clothing eventually goes to landfills. And with billions of pieces being made each year, the garment industry is among the most polluting sectors in the world.

Thriftsome believes that buying used clothes in good condition is one good way to limit our impact on the planet. By buying used, we inadvertently extend the life of these products and thus, lessen their environmental impact.

2nd Street USA - US

More valuable than new, 2nd Street is all about unique, eye-catching vintage clothes from Japan and the USA.

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Thrift Range

2nd Street offers the most unique vintage secondhand clothing we’ve seen. Although many of their items are products of another time, these are retro items that most would consider trendy today.

Although trends may not be the best marker for sustainability, their collection is perfect for people with unique styles and tastes.

They offer high-end and designer brands for masculine and feminine fashion preferences. Some of the brands available on their online thrift store are Burberry, Valentino, Alexander Wang, Levi’s, and many others.

If you are looking for statement pieces like a unique print or an irregular bag, then 2nd street is one of the best thrift stores you can find.

Sustainability And Accessibility

By actively promoting the sale of gently-used clothing, brands like 2nd Street contribute to a more sustainable fashion future by reducing waste and extending a garment’s life.

2nd Street provides a wide range of retail prices. Some of their pieces retail at a purchase price of less than $10, although these may be far and few between. That said, they still offer competitive prices for many of what they sell, even for the more well-known fashion labels.

If you get tired of shopping online, 2nd Street also has numerous locations in different states. You can check out their store locator for more information.

Ethics And Community

At their core, 2nd Street is all about making a fashion statement through thrift shopping and vintage clothes.

With a vast collection of lovely vintage pieces and timely fashion garments, 2nd Street remains one of the most popular thrift stores for eco-conscious fashion-forward individuals who want to vibe with the times.

Thrift+ - UK

Thrift+ was founded a handful of years ago in 2017 under the idea that charity shopping should be as enjoyable as buying new clothes from large retailers. With a goal of a lower fashion footprint, Thrift+ is one of the best online thrift stores for quality secondhand fashion.

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Thrift Range

Thrift’s range of items covers a wide base of clothing and accessories for men and women. They have everything from outwear and winter coats to summery tanks and flowy dresses.

They also carry a good selection of staple fabrics like linen and cotton and animal-based fabrics like cashmere or wool. If you prefer vegan fabrics, you can also shop their range by material.

Thrift+ carries a long list of high street brands, including Levi’s, Allsaints, Monsoon, among many others. They also have designer brands like Burberry, Acne Studios, Givenchy, plus a lot more.

Sustainability And Accessibility

Although Thrift+ carries a wide range of items, they don’t price too much for the pieces they sell. While there may be an odd piece here and there, many of the garments sold on their high street page are within affordable means.

One of our favorite aspects of Thrift+ is their profound understanding that fashion is one of the world’s largest polluters, and we need to take action now.

This brand actively believes in and promotes the acceleration of circularity in fashion. In this day and age, it’s high time we left behind the linear model of the past and started subscribing to more progressive production models and systems.

Ethics And Community

Thrift+ believes in a world where secondhand clothing is everyone’s first choice. This paints an image of a fashion industry that is more sustainable and kinder to our planet.

Thrift+ can also become a great source of funding for charities, and this is one of the main driving forces for what the brand does. They provide a platform and an opportunity for charities to tap into the growing secondhand clothing market.

Pretty Penny Clothing - US

Pretty Penny Clothing is a small vintage clothing store selling out of Etsy, their website, and a brick and mortar in Berkely. Pretty Penny’s mantra is fun, creative, and ethical sustainable fashion made and curated for everyone.

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Thrift Range

Pretty Penny’s vintage clothing are beautiful pieces pulled out of some other time. A significant portion of their collection comes from 1920s o 1970s clothing, although they do sell items from different periods as well.

Much of their collection are items for feminine fashion tastes. They have skirts, dresses, tops, and even outerwear.

Their collection of jumpsuits, rompers, and 2-piece sets is particularly eye-catching. The bold colors and fancy prints truly feel like they’ve been pulled out of a closet from decades ago, offering a beauty that’s unique yet timeless.

Sustainability And Accessibility

Price-wise, Pretty Penny doesn’t have the most competitive prices. Many of their garments go upwards of $100, especially those from their dress and jumpsuit collection.

Still, Pretty Penny is an excellent vintage shop if you’re looking for late 20th century garments that aren’t priced too steep.

And of course, just by participating in a secondhand clothing market, it’s already a given that they’re a sustainable step above most large retailers.

As a small business, Pretty Penny may still not be able to scale its impact to large measures, but every little bit helps. And you’re part of that as well! By buying from small, local curators, you help promote the idea of thrifting as more than just a niche hobby but something we can do for the betterment of the future.

Ethics And Community

Pretty Penny Clothing believes that vintage fashion is ethical, unique, and contains a history that you would otherwise never find in a brand new piece.

And beyond all this, one of the most significant intentions behind the brand is the inherent sustainability to be found in the secondhand clothing market. And in this, Pretty Penny unites vintage lovers and eco-conscious individuals towards a common goal: a sustainable shopping experience.

Raleigh Vintage - US

Raleigh Vintage has been in the business for over a decade. Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, this thrift store has a brick-and-mortar studio as well as an online platform for its products.

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Thrift Range

All the other brands we featured on this list were predominantly clothing stores. However, Raleigh Vintage is an online thrift store that also offers furniture, apothecary, and miscellaneous home goods.

This online thrift store carries a range of unique clothing items from as early as the late 1800s. Most of their pieces are super unique items that you aren’t likely to find anywhere else. To add, they also have available many types of clothing, most notably from non-western cultures!

Many of their clothing options, especially the dresses and tops, are incredibly eye-catching and full of detail. Think handpainted fabric and dainty lace.

If you are looking for a place to get early 1900s clothing, then Raleigh Vintage is the best online thrift store you’ll find.

Sustainability And Accessibility

Raleigh offers a range of prices for their products, but most are priced above the average online thrift store find. They have some home goods priced less than $10, but their clothing collection predominantly comprises pieces that are at least $100.

However, their selection does carry the value they promise, so their price choices seem pretty reasonable.

One of the brand’s main goals is to make sure its beautiful and historical pieces belong in a modern, sustainable wardrobe.

They have also expressed a preference towards natural fibers in the vintage clothing they buy, which just goes to show that vintage clothing is quite clearly the optimal choice, longevity and sustainability-wise.

Ethics And Community

Raleigh Vintage is mainly an online thrift store, but they also have a location in Raleigh, North Carolina. If you’re ever within the area, their studio is a curated space featuring handpicked products from their collection.

Raleigh makes sure that their studio is a safe space for everyone, welcoming anyone who is inspired by the stories and potential behind vintage items.

Luxury Garage Sale - US

Luxury Garage Sale is one of the best secondhand stores online for luxury bags and shoes. They carry only guaranteed authentic new/vintage luxury items, so you know you’re not shopping for counterfeit goods.

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Thrift Range

Luxury Garage Sale is a bit different from the rest of the brands we’ve featured here in that it is a designer online thrift store. They mainly deal with brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Louboutin, Gucci, Dior, and many other well-known fashion houses.

The bulk of LGS’ collection is bags and shoes. However, they also have an extensive collection of luxury clothing, accessories, and jewelry.

And while the majority of their products are for those with feminine tastes, they also have a sizable collection of men’s luxury items.

Sustainability And Accessibility

Understandably, this isn’t the most accessible nor practical online thrift store for everyone. Most of their products are quite expensive, being that these are luxury goods.

However, this could be a really good platform if you’re looking to buy an item to mark a special occasion. It’s also a great way to let go of some luxury goods that you might no longer see yourself using—your Louis Vuitton bag or Louboutin pumps aren’t going to do you any good just sitting in your closet.

Luxury Garage Sale is not at the top of the game when it comes to sustainability, but we do commend how they advocate for extending the life of luxury goods as much as possible.

Ethics And Community

LGS believes in authenticity—in the products they sell, with the team that keeps the site going, and in the curation and resale of their items.

While luxury goods are not technically thrift items and may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s still nice to hear that a platform like LGS exists for those that might need it.

The Importance Of Shopping Vintage

Thrift stores have been around for quite some time. In fact, some of the most prominent thrift stores today were started in the very early 20th century. And although the thrift store you know now may be different from what it was back then, it’s still remarkable to know that thrift shopping already has such a lengthy history.

However, motivations for shopping secondhand have drastically changed throughout this time. Where before they may have been in place primarily for the price, the thrifting landscape today is much different.

With online thrift stores opening left and right, it seems that thrift shopping has now entered the mainstream—which we’ll talk more about in the next section. But shopping for vintage clothing isn’t merely a trend.

Indeed, its value lies in so many important facets of living. One of the most important of which is the environment.

It comes as no surprise to any of us that fast fashion labels have become somewhat of an evil figure in the fashion industry. For the last few decades, major brand retailers have been exposed for unethical working conditions and environmental injustices.

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And the impact doesn’t stop there. Fast fashion heavily contributes to the amount of clothing sent to landfills every year, not to mention how it perpetuates hyperconsumption and the burning desire for more.

By supporting secondhand shopping, we keep old clothes away from landfills and circle them back into the market.

Although it seems deceptively simple, an extension of a product’s life highly influences how it impacts the environment. The longer a garment is used, the lesser its environmental consequences.

Here at Puratium, we have numerous guides from vegan bags and shoes to eco friendly undies and watches. But while that may be the case, one of the most sustainable options we believe in is buying secondhand as much as possible.

Whether buying through your locally-run vintage boutique or some of the online thrift stores we mentioned above, buying preloved garments is one of the best ways to show your dedication to a more sustainable planet.

Keeping Thrifting Accessible And Affordable

For the longest time, there has been a stigma associated with thrifting and the buying and selling of old clothes. Until very recently, many people looked down upon others who thrifted, thinking it unappealing and tacky.

And although shopping for vintage clothing has long been a staple for many fashion-forward individuals, thrifting has never really been a mainstream practice. That is, until the last couple of years.

It probably has not eclipsed your notice that more and more people seem to be interested in thrifting these days. The rise of thrifting in pop culture is quite multifactorial and may have stemmed from prevalent influencer culture and the popularity of environmental movements.

And while the shift to more sustainable shopping options is undeniably beneficial to the planet, it comes with it one major disadvantage: rising prices.

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A rudimentary understanding of demand and supply will tell you that as demand for a product increases, so does its price. Put into context, this means thrifted items have become increasingly more expensive over the last few years.

This can be incredibly damaging to certain demographics that purchase second-hand items primarily for price and not merely for their aesthetic and environmental value—although those can indeed be a nice bonus.

For this reason, we highly advocate for brands and companies that want to keep the secondhand clothing market accessible to all (not just those who can afford premiums on vintage clothing).

Plus, through this way, we can further the environmental benefits of thrift stores because more people are able to participate. And as we always say, it takes collective action for us to actually see tangible and significant progress towards a sustainable future.

Final Thoughts

Online shopping is easy for the most part. And thrifting online adds ease and accessibility to secondhand shopping that wouldn’t have otherwise been there in a brick-and-mortar store.

But just like with every other form of shopping, there can be dangers with online thrifting.

For instance, it can make you more susceptible to overconsumption and buying what you don’t need; not every thrift store advocates for responsible consumption and sustainable and recycled fashion. Some stores are merely there to provide vintage pieces or luxury goods.

To protect yourself from these risks, focus on your personal principles and go back to what’s essential.

At the end of the day, caring for the environment doesn’t have to mean never buying anything ever again. Sometimes, it’s as simple as taking back a pre-loved piece and passing it on to keep the cycle moving.

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