5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Secondhand Clothes

5 reasons why you should buy secondhand clothes. #vintage #secondhand #ecofriendly

There’s always a bit of a stigma attached to pre-owned items – be it clothing, electronics, or even cars. Everyone wants the ‘brand new’; the novelty factor really keeps our species excited. But did you know that only about 15% of our textile waste gets recycled? I’m here to tell you that a spankin’ new item might be preferable for certain situations (innerwear, perhaps? Although there isn’t a hygiene-related reason, really, to claim they cannot be worn secondhand). However, there are 5 super compelling reasons why you should buy secondhand clothes:

  1. They’re eco-friendly. Secondhand clothes don’t consume further resources. They’ve been made. To not use them would be such a waste (like wasting food that’s already been cooked.) Besides, you’re helping to reduce the water waste and chemical pollution associated with today’s fashion production methods.
  2. They’re cheaper. You may find the dress of a lifetime in a designer store – and not be able to afford it. But secondhand clothes, even designer ones, are less expensive than brand new items of the same kind. For obvious reasons.
  3. They’re longer lasting. When you buy good quality thrifted clothing, the odds are that they will last you a long, long time (with proper care). Until a few years ago, clothes were built to be robust and long-lasting. But with the culture of built-in obsolescence and fast fashion taking over, clothes have, for the most part, become disposable almost. When it comes to artfully crafted vintage clothing (clothes between 20 to 100 years old), the quality is even better.
  4. You’re helping lessen the load on landfills. We produce 14.3 millions tons of textile waste per year. The average American throws away approximately 65 pounds of clothing and bedding, amounting to almost six percent of all municipal waste (which is 85% of all textile waste). A lot of this is actually in good condition and can be used for much longer, which would be the case is more people bought and sold from thrift stores.
  5. You’re helping reduce the demand for fast fashion. You’re helping reduce the demand for slave labor and sweat shops. You’re rooting for a fairer world.

Don’t Want to Buy Secondhand?

What’s the one biggest drawback that prevents people from considering secondhand clothes? That’s right: it’s the fact that these clothes have been worn by someone else. By a stranger. I know what you’re thinking (cos I used to think the same thing). “Someone’s worn this outfit, sweated in it, done god-knows-what while wearing it. Why should I wear the same thing?!”

Good question.

The answer to why you should, of course, is the five points above that I hope you read. But, in addition, let’s clear up this misconception that secondhand clothes are dirty rags that are being sold as valuable items. 

Clothes can be cleaned. That’s what we do when we wash our clothes, and they come back from the laundry looking and smelling pristine. In addition, good quality clothes continue to look pristine for much longer than that five dollar t-shirt you bought two months ago that faded and tore after three washes. The clothes being sold at thrift stores have gone through some process of vetting, and will go through your vetting before you buy them. If the thrift store is good at what it does, there will be no torn, damaged items on sale. If you keep a sharp lookout, you will not end up buying a damaged item that was accidentally placed on sale. Even if you did, I’m quite sure the store will replace it or take it back.

The point is this: quality checks happen at thrift stores, too. There’s a persistent misconception that only people who cannot afford anything else go to thrift stores, where they are forced to make do with the terrible clothes. If you believe this, please visit a thrift store. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find there☺

Here’s a bonus reason to shop at thrift stores: it’s like a super fun treasure hunt, where you are never sure of what you will discover. These aren’t advertised products, nor are they mass produced items that you can find elsewhere (usually). They can be quirky, gorgeous, sexy, simple, bold, seasonal, ethnic, and usually one-of-a-kind. It can be fun.


21 online thrift stores where you can buy secondhand clothes. #vintage #secondhand #ecofriendly

Leather, Wool and Fur at Thrift Stores

Warning: I’m going to get a bit preachy here. If you’d rather not listen to that, please feel free to skip to the next section!

Should you buy secondhand clothes and/or accessories made of animal products? I suppose that’s for you to decide. I’ve heard this argument: “The animals died a long time ago, and so you are not contributing to the cruelty.” Well, the brand new animal products on the store shelves are also dead. It makes no difference to the dead animals whether you buy and wear their body parts, because they’re dead. 

I’ve also heard this: “It’s better to buy secondhand fur / leather clothes than to buy new ones. At least you’re reducing the demand for new fur and leather items.” Well, you may be reducing the demand by buying one fur coat from the thrift store instead of a regular store, but what is the message you’re giving out to those you meet and know? Frankly, by wearing animal products, however old they are, you are saying it is okay to wear animal products. Ergo, it is okay to torture and kill them for our pleasure and vanity. Are you fine with that?

How about this argument? “By buying and wearing thrifted fur coats, you are preventing them from going to waste at the landfill.” 

Um, maybe if you bought the fur coat and gave it to a homeless person who was feeling cold, then the ‘at least it is being used’ argument holds true. The fur coat protecting a person (who has no other option) from feeling cold… is definitely preferable to it going to waste. But is this the same as you buying and wearing a vintage fur coat? You, who have so many other coats? You, who knows what animals are put through in order to get that fur coat made? You, who cares about animals and the environment?

Like I said, it’s for you to decide. I suppose it’s easy to see what I’ve decided☺

21 online thrift stores where you can buy secondhand clothes. #vintage #secondhand #ecofriendly

List of Online Thrift Stores to Buy and Sell Secondhand Fashion

Not everyone has a thrift shop nearby. And even if you do have one, you may not like the stuff they have on offer. Luckily, it’s the 21st century, and we can shop online. 

(WAIT – did I say “luckily”? I meant “unfortunately”, of course. Our online shopping habits are one of the reasons for the excessive consumption of products – and the resulting destruction of the environment. But you, dear reader, are only buying what you absolutely need, right? Keep in mind: this post is information you can use for when you need to buy a new outfit. This is not a call to go out and “shop till you drop”, or whatever the magic phrase du jour is.)

Anyway, so for the next time you find yourself needing to replace an irreparably damaged outfit, here, listed below, are 21 of the best spots online to buy some rad thrifted clothes, accessories, and sundry other items. And it works both ways: if you’re looking to sell some of your old clothes that are in perfect condition, hit these stores up to increase the odds of some other eco-minded woman getting her hands on your beloved outfit.


  1. ASOS Marketplace
  2. Beyond Retro | United Kingdom and Sweden
  3. Depop
  4. Ebay
  5. EcoThrift | Only in California!
  6. Etsy
  7. Facebook Marketplace
  8. GoodTwice
  9. LePrix | Sustainable Pre-Owned Designer Clothing
  10. Maeven
  11. Poshmark
  12. Refashioner | Includes designer pieces and vintage items from the private collections of fascinating people from popular culture
  13. Restitch
  14. Goodwill
  15. Swap
  16. The RealReal
  17. The Vintage Twin | Only one of each item
  18. ThredUp
  19. Tradesy | Pre-owned designer wear
  20. Vanguard Vintage | Canada
  21. Vinted


It’s always a great idea to keep up with thrifting experts on the internet, so you know the best stores and deals going on. Check this video out (by YouTuber ThriftYourHeartOut):

Because these are secondhand items, experiences will vary a lot. So do your own research, see what you like and trust, and continue shopping in those stores. And if you find a treasure chest of sustainable clothing somewhere, so let the rest of us know, too!;)

If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, please share across your social media. I’d really appreciate it!:)

21 online thrift stores where you can buy secondhand clothes. #vintage #secondhand #ecofriendly



7 Comment

  1. […] 5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Secondhand Clothes […]

  2. What a great blog post! Love the reasons and thank you so much for linking Le Prix as one of the companies to shop online for second-hand fashion.

    1. Hi Robyn!
      Thanks for stopping by! You guys are doing great work!:)

  3. […] Shop at thrift stores for some excellent thrift store fashion finds. But organic denim and cotton clothing. Fast fashion exploits workers along the supply chain and has a huge negative impact on the environment thanks to their basic business model. Let’s stop supporting fast fashion brands. […]

  4. Dianne Bondaroff says: Reply

    I enjoyed your article and have been a thrift shopper for decades. I disagree with your heading putting wool with fur and leather. Wool production does not kill the sheep – it is cut off every spring – like having a crew cut for yourself.

    1. Hi Dianne,
      Thanks for your comment. You know what? I agree with you. My own views are evolving, thanks to learning so much more about the details of sustainability. I’ve yet to determine how to update my posts to reflect my evolving opinions (which I try to base on facts). One mistake I’ve made – and I think many people in search of environmentally-friendly ways of living do, too – is to generalize and pass judgement. Things are actually more complicated than they seem (who’d have thunk!), and solutions are not easy either.

      Sorry to have gotten a bit preachy and ramble there – but yes, wool should not have been clubbed with fur and leather in this post. Wool production has its own set of problems, but it isn’t in the same category as fur and leather. I’ll try to update the post soon to reflect that. Thank you for calling that out:)

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I really appreciate it!:) (and wow! thrifting for DECADES?! That’s amazing!)

What do you think?