My family and I have worked hard this year to produce less day-to-day waste. We have eliminated all paper products from our kitchen and use significantly less plastic whenever we can. With sustainability a goal in mind, I was appalled to find out that Americans throw out something like 15 million tons of textiles a year, with most of that being clothing. While 100% of clothing is recyclable, only 15% of clothing is actually recycled. At the same time, Americans are buying an average of 60% new clothing every year. Simply put, we’re buying more but recycling less clothing than ever.
So what’s a shop-a-holic to do? Something about Fall gives me a MAJOR shopping bug. This year, I’ve been especially conflicted when it comes to buying clothes brand new. Here are two things I am trying this shopping season to help combat textile waste:
- When buying brand new, I am trying to make sure I get timeless pieces that won’t go out of style quickly or pieces that are complete looks.
- I am trying to pass on my clothing I no longer wear or buy second hand clothing as much as possible.
By far, my favorite resale app is Poshmark! I’ve used it to buy and sell many items. My favorite feature as a buyer is that I can pre-load the app with my sizes and favorite brands. So when I log in my feed is already pretty custom to me. As a seller, I love how easy it is to print the mailing labels and mail out items. You can transfer the money from your sales into your bank account (or you can keep them in your Poshmark account to go towards your next purchase). If you sign up for Poshmark using my referral link you can get a $5 credit. Enjoy that and let me know what your first purchase is!
Note: I also tried using another resale app called Mercari, but I didn’t like it as much. You can sell more than just clothes on Mercari, which is convenient. However for things like home decor and toys, I’ve found using Facebook Marketplace to be the most convenient option.
Another dilemma for me is how much I love designer items but not designer price tags, especially when it comes to handbags! A while back, my husband asked me, “What is your dream purse? What is the last purse I’d ever have to buy you?” I knew exactly my answer, a Louis Vuitton Neverfull duh, and we struck a deal for when I’d be able to get one.
My husband challenged me to look into a second hand Neverfull, which lead me to one more resale app called The Real Real. TRR is known for being a “luxury consignment” shop. It’s online and even has some brick and mortar stores. Their designer items go through an authentication process, which really takes the pressure off buying designer items site unseen. One thing to note about TRR: I found that many of the designer items in good condition were not much cheaper than their brand new counterparts. So when it comes to investing in a designer item and deciding if you want to buy second hand or not, I really feel that is a personal decision you will have to settle on.
Another thing I learned when doing research for my Neverfull: there is such a thing as “Unauthorized Authentic” designer handbags. For some brands, this can mean their items that did not pass strict quality standards but were made in the same place as their authentic items. However, many brands keep their items that don’t pass quality inspections, so UA most likely means replica or a dupe. It’s important to know the difference! If an item is just made in similar style as a designer item, it’s called a dupe. However, if an item is made using a designer logo but isn’t actually authentic, then it’s considered a replica. Buying and selling designer replica items is technically illegal here in the U.S. So when buying second hand designer online, be careful! I highly suggest buying through TRR or having your items authenticated before purchasing. Many designers will have a process in place for this, just check their website.
In closing, I got my real-to-me Neverfull earlier this year (just in time to go nowhere for several months) and I am very happy. I’ve jokingly used it to deliver farm fresh eggs to friends and have found I can even fit a bottle of champagne in it. Also, I’ve already passed on some clothes this year and have plans to buy some second hand items from friends soon. 🙂
Happy shopping season!
XO – Olivia