Updated: Apr 11, 2019
Anyone who has started on their sustainability journey must have heard that one of the most sustainable practices is opting for second-hand shopping whenever and wherever you can.
Second-hand shopping encourages people to donate or sell their unwanted items rather than throwing them in the trash, it creates a more circular economy by giving those items a second life, it allows consumers to find quality items at low prices, and of course, it reduces waste that would otherwise have been created if you were shopping new.
Second hand and vintage shopping are not always accessible to everyone, whether that is due to topography, needs, fashion style, and sizes.
However, here is a short list of websites and apps that will bring a little closer to mastering second-hand shopping and will also allow you to sell your own unwanted items.
Amazon (app available)
(PS. Always shop at Smile Amazon. Each time you make a purchase, Amazon will donate a percentage to the charity of your choice, at no expense to you. Simply visit smile.amazon.co.uk or the corresponding one to your country)
When looking at something on Amazon, it will often give you options to purchase second-hand, or even refurbished.
Here is an example. While searching for cameras on the left-hand column, you will often be able to narrow down your search by color, model, brand, as well as its condition; new, used, or refurbished.
Asos Marketplace (app available)
A great place to purchase high-quality second-hand items. However, make sure to click "vintage" in the filter section because they do offer new items from boutiques. It also allows you to see where each seller is located, so you can avoid high shipping costs and reduce the carbon footprint of your order.
Depop (app available)
My personal favorite, available all around the world, however, you have to be extremely careful as some people might not provide the quality promised. You can also sell your own items on Depop and make some quick money. Depop not only has apparel and accessories, but you can often find technology and other small things for sale.
eBay (app available)
One of the most popular second-hand websites, where you can find anything, from clothes to limited edition shoes, furniture, electronics, the list just goes on, and you can also sell your own items on eBay. However, it is only available in some countries.
Poshmark (app available)
Very similar to Depop community, Poshmark is a small marketplace with US sellers only, where you can sell your unwanted fashion items.
Thred Up (app available)
This website is perfect if you want to do a mass clean out of your closet. Thred Up allows you to order a plastic bag, fill it up with your unwanted clothes and ship it back to them. Once they receive it, they will let you know how much your pieces are worth and give you the money. You can also buy other users' items; however, it is only available in the US and now Canada.
Vestiaire Collective (app available)
This is the perfect place if you're looking for high-end brands like Prada, Gucci, Off-White, etc. Everything sold is inspected by the Vestiaire team before shipping it to the customer so you can be sure you will get the quality you paid for. You can also sell your high-end fashion items if you'd like to clear up some closet space or make good money.
- Take your time and don't give up if you do not find what you are looking for second-hand. It takes time and practice to get good at finding quality pieces
- Trust your gut. Do not spend too much money on something that you are not 100% sure of its quality. If you want to invest in a piece, make sure to either purchase it from sites like Vestiaire or Thred Up, as they double check the quality for you, and protect you as a consumer
- Do not purchase second hand shoes or undergarments for the sake of your health. It’s really a sanitary issue.