Alexa, play "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

In The Wall Street Journal’s recent Snapchat feature, “What’s behind the rising demand for secondhand goods?” the article discussed the increase in thrifting and the growing resale market. According to WSJ, “technology has made thrift shopping more accessible, reliable, and cool.” Technology has also increased awareness of the benefits of buying secondhand goods. WSJ isn’t the only one noticing this trend; Fortune’s “The Resale Market is Taking Over Fast Fashion…” claims that the resale market is growing 21 times faster than the retail one. With over 50 million women were buying used goods last year, up almost 10 million from years prior, the sale of secondhand goods is projected to double to $51 billion by 2023 and $64 billion in the next ten years. Fashionista

Why the stark but subtle change in the retail market? In a world of prevalent environmental concerns and fast fashion, thrifting through sites like Poshmark and thredUP are becoming increasingly popular with eco-friendly shoppers. 72% of consumers would rather buy from environmentally-friendly brands (a statistic we are quite happy about!). Buying just one used item reduces its individual carbon footprint by 82%, especially when 60% of produced garments will end up in landfills. To see the global effort and energy it takes to make one t-shirt that could most likely end up in your closet, check out NPR’s “Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt.” You can watch the five chapters (cotton, machines, people, boxes, you) here.   FashionBeans

I know it’s tempting to wander into cheap stores like Forever21 and H&M with their low prices, flashy marketing, and up-to-date styles, but stores like these purposefully produce products to have a short life span. Therefore, as a consumer, you’d end up buying more than you should have and are monetarily supporting the environmental harms of fast fashion. But we know the transition isn’t easy (Uniqlo and Victoria’s Secret are still so cute!), so there are some easy ways to reduce your consumption of new clothes. 

Avoiding fashion trends by buying one high-quality piece that lasts you longer than consistently buying new pieces is key! If you’ve heard of Patagonia’s famous “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign, the message is to consume less. Don’t just consume less, but wash less, the average household does 400 loads of laundry each year according to sustainyourstyle.org (it’s not gross, we promise! Switch to a green detergent, re-wear items, and don’t always dry them). Buy from sustainable brands. Below is a photo from attitudeorganic.com highlighting tons of ethical brands that you may not have heard of, check them out! If consumers demand more ecofriendly goods, corporate brands will respond accordingly. You have the power to be a part of the demand shift in the retail market (and that’s pretty sweet!). Pinterest - Eco Warrior Princess

If you’re looking to give away some clothes (and maybe buy a few more sustainably!) here in Boulder, Buffalo Exchange on Pearl Street and Plato’s Closet on Arapahoe are great options. For Buffalo Exchange, you can bring your clothes in at any time with a valid ID, and they’ll give you 30% of their reselling price in cash or 50% in-store credit. See their website for items they are currently looking for. Plato’s Closet is similar— bring your ID and gently used items, and you’ll walk out with cash or a new outfit. 

Buffalo Exchange

Buying used clothes allows you to try more styles without spending your entire paycheck. An entire new wardrobe for less than $100? Yes, please! But maybe you don’t want to head to your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, or Arc. Good news then: recently, there has been a rise in Instagram-specific thrift accounts that are super trendy, often just individuals looking to make some extra pizza money. Brands include Lululemon, Champion, Patagonia, Brandy Melville, and other coveted brands can be paid for via Venmo and other cash apps. As someone who has ordered a few things from various Instagram accounts, I’m pleased to say I’ve been happy with my purchases. What’s even better about Instagram accounts is they are often girls just like you and me selling clothes that are in style now. Check out accounts from all over the country like @twogirlsgotthrift, @organicthrifttt, and @thelocalthrifty. Every account has different “rules” regarding BIN (buy-it-now) purchases and bidding, in addition to their payment and shipping methods. Many accounts give shoutouts to each other, and you’re able to discover more and more handles! @mythriftedthreadss @thriftyeasy @everything.thrifted

What’s your take? Will you do some autumn-cleaning and take your clothes to your local consignment store? Can you rock a Goodwill piece or put together an Instagram-thrifted ensemble? Send us your thrift-inspired looks!