My Secret and Surprising Way to Find Cheap Ethical Clothing!
Is ethical clothing too expensive for you to buy?
Well if so, you are not alone. I have been contemplating this subject ever since I watched the documentary The True Cost. Some of these things I already knew but this documentary was so eye-opening it made me reconsider my entire process of shopping! But the truth is that most of my clothes are not ethical. Are yours?
The only thing holding me back from purchasing more from ethical brands is honestly the price tag-and if you’re reading this it is probably true for you too. Although I agree that we should be willing to spend more to invest in quality and ethical clothing that will last, it is not always something that my bank account will let me do.
But I am here to give you some good news: there is another way to buy ethical clothing!
Secondhand means that the item was previously worn or used. I used to be much more skeptical of secondhand clothing as I thought it was gross or dirty or even poor quality-but that is not always the case! You need to know what to look for.
Secondhand clothing can be great quality and in great condition if you look hard enough. I recently completely changed my views on second hand clothing when I discovered the right way to look for the good quality pieces. So I am going to share with you some secrets that I have learned as we discuss why, where, and how to buy good secondhand clothes.
Why Buy Secondhand?
There are three basic reasons why you should buy your clothes second hand.
- It’s good for the environment. Buying your clothes already used once means that you are choosing something that already exists and serves a purpose over something brand new and creating more items. Think of this as reusing or recycling for your clothes! So great!
- It is so much cheaper. Everyone knows that new items cost more than used ones, this applies to cars, homes, and yes even clothes. The crazy thing about this is that most of the time it doesn’t even have anything to do with quality! Used is often cheaper simply because it cannot be labeled as new-even if it has only been used once!
- It’s very easy to find. Secondhand clothing is so easy to find and is so readily available! You can borrow from your friends, find clothes at yard sales, go to secondhand stores-there are so many options!
Where Shop Secondhand?
There are many places to get used clothes-especially now-but I am only going to discuss a few of the most popular places to get your clothes secondhand.
Thrift Stores/Consignment Stores
Thrift consignment stores are probably the most obvious and the easiest place to find used clothes. These stores are also the best places to look because you can see and know exactly what you are getting as well as even try it on to make sure it fits! You also have many options including additional sales and even a chance to haggle prices lower.
I have also found that thrift stores (like Goodwill and others) are where I can find clothes the cheapest. I can find countless great quality tops for less that $10, and many under $5!
Buying used items online has skyrocketed in popularity since Ebay launched. The best part of buying online is that you can search for very specific brands and items that could take you forever to find in stores.
Some great online secondhand stores are:
- Poshmark (use invite code BRAVELYBLONDE when signing up to receive $5 credit on your first purchase!)
Just to name a few! When I want a specific brand yet I still want to buy ethically my secret is to check these websites out first! For example; let’s say I want a cute Patagonia sweater but it is out of my budget, I can search these sites listed above and find many for much cheaper and in nearly new condition! It would take me forever trying to find it at thrift stores and that wouldn’t even guarantee that I would find it in my size. This also works if you want an item that isn’t ethically made but still want to have an eco friendly wardrobe!
How to Shop Secondhand
Before I knew how to shop the right way for secondhand clothes I honestly did not want to. Like I said, I thought it was weird and gross. But now I know how to shop and I love it!
- First, before you even leave your house, look at the clothes you already have. This will help you to determine what you need and will help you to make sure you aren’t buying multiples of pieces you have!
- Make sure the item you are looking at is in great condition. Are there any stains? Does it need to be mended or stitched? What is the quality of the fabric? I also always double check the brand and the fabric of the clothing to make sure it was made to last.
- Always make sure the item fits and that you love it! If you do not absolutely love the piece, or it fits even just a little funky you will never wear it-trust me.
You will always be able to find affordable pieces at secondhand stores if you know what to look for! Buying secondhand is the cheapest and honestly the most ethical way to buy clothes.
Do you shop secondhand? What are your favorite secondhand finds? Share with me in the comments!