It’s Vogue’s world and we’re just living in it. What’s trending according to them? Recycled clothing, duh! We’re being good to our wallets and the environment with this trend, babe. As an avid thrifter, I’m ecstatic about this trend, but also, like, where’ve y’all been? Depop made buying old clothes cool long before Vogue and the New York Times were reporting on this trend, but I digress. While recycled clothing has the spotlight, I’ll be dancing through the streets in the tee-shirt I got from the kid’s section of Goodwill. I said what I said. Here’s everything you need to know about shopping for used clothes and how to make the most of this moment.
Where To Buy
You can start with your classic thrift store, of course, but digging around in bins for the good finds isn’t everyone’s jam. I feel you. The faint of heart can head to The Real Real for luxury products at (somewhat) reasonable prices. I’ve found used Vetements, Dior, and Saint Laurent that is almost too good to be true! There’s also Treasures of NYC, who I found out about on Instagram, who sells vintage luxury clothes and accessories for those looking for unique pieces you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Not feeling designer? Beacon’s Closet and Friends in NYC are quality spots that never fail to deliver amazing pieces all of your followers will be totally jealous of. The main trick to thrifting is finding the time to search for something you really want to wear. Wearing recycled clothes is about making a statement about fashion and the environment. It’s no longer cool to buy new, let’s be honest. But this means if you’re looking to get a specific piece, you’re going to have to be ready to hunt. Good things don’t come easy! Luckily, there are online stores like the ones I mentioned above that don’t lessen the thrill of the hunt but do make things a little bit easier to navigate.
Recycled clothing helps the environment, and it’s cheaper. That’s a fact. Another fact: Buying previously loved clothes allows you to make connections with other buyers and sellers, which is an experience you miss out on when you take a trip to the mall. This is where Depop comes in. The site was founded on the basis of being a social network where users could buy items featured in the magazine PIG, but it only grew from there. It’s become a mobile marketplace where people like you and me can shop our friends’ closets, and even buy from models and influencers.
The incredible thing is that Depop grew into what it is today through word of mouth. Social media has made it easier than ever to spread the word about something, and clothing gives us even more opportunities to connect. The app is especially popular with the environmentally-conscious Gen Z. The more people shop from a certain seller, the more likely they are to earn Top Seller Status. This lets users know that seller has good stuff, and that signpost isn’t something you have at traditional thrift stores. If users know a seller has good stuff, they’re more likely to build a relationship with that seller, and they’ll let their friends know about that seller, which allows the seller to grow even bigger. Bam! That’s how a community is made. Crazy Stuff. Some sellers earn a decent income from their Depop page, so everyone benefits from this relationship.
Closing the Loop
Fashion is an extremely damaging industry for the environment. An immense amount of water and energy is wasted to create textiles. Our society is beginning to examine what all that waste is good for. Everyone knows that trends come and go. A dress you bought new last summer probably won’t last you a year, especially if you bought it from a fast-fashion mecca like Shein or Forever 21. Buying recycled clothes closes the loop on fashion, allowing the industry to become more sustainable. It prevents unnecessary waste by allowing clothes to circulate through society instead of being tossed out in the trash. That’s a major win for the environment. Every time you buy a used tee-shirt or skirt, you’re preventing that baby from ending up in a landfill. Yay!
The benefits of buying used clothes are pretty much endless. I work at a used clothing store in Williamsburg, and it’s so much fun building relationships with regular customers and sellers. Everyone always leaves happy because they got to buy something new (to them) for cheap, and the seller got to make some money off it. Sustainable fashion is the future, and it’s a relief to see that Vogue agrees. Carry on with your bad self and buy used all day, baby. I know I’ll be spending half my paycheck on recycled clothes.