Tips for Finding The Best Thrifted Pieces, From The Founders of an Instagram Thrifting Business

So, you're welcome in advance, because I just found your new IG store obsession. Meet Well Clothing Co., a business founded by two college students with a mission to create a more sustainable way of purchasing clothes and looking ultra-cool while doing it. From cropped button-ups to must-have mom jeans, Well Clothing Co. provides a huge selection of carefully chosen thrift gems that you wish you yourself could find in a thrift store every time.

How does Well Clothing Co. work? They're based completely on Instagram where they announce upcoming launches and post their available style pieces in a drop style. The first one to DM them for the piece gets dibs (TBH, this is the only way I want to shop online from now on). Well Clothing Co. takes their time in choosing only the best looks, scouring their favorite local stores for tops, bottoms, overalls, hats, purses, backpacks and more. 

We chatted with Abbey and Alex, the two who started the curating business in an effort to help others do their part in shopping sustainably. Here's why they founded and created Well Clothing Co., how they decide which thrifts to sell, and their advice for finding all the best pieces next time you're out thrift shopping.

How did you get involved in reselling thrifted clothing?

Abbey: My love for thrifting definitely began with the influence of my friends in high school. The coolest people I knew thrifted, and I wanted to be a part of something cool too! But my true passion for it has definitely grown in college as my style has developed — so has my understanding of the impact has developed. My heart for sustainability and limiting the amount of waste I am contributing to how grown the more I become educated. I’m lucky enough that my hobby of thrifting, my passion for creativity, and my heart for sustainability were all able to merge together into something so good.

Alex: I began thrifting clothes when I was 14-years-old as a freshman in high school. I quickly realized that I enjoy searching for clothes and changing them to make them more stylish or suitable for the current fashion season. I realized that it would be a fun job to have: to find clothes and then resell them to college students or anyone local. As I also got more involved with the environment, I learned of our impact on this world and how we needed to question our consumption. I then put thrifting and the environment hand-in-hand and realized that thrifting and buying used clothing is a way of recycling.

What is your process for finding and reselling thrifted clothing?

Abbey: The process is simple but definitely takes effort! Alex and I scour all of our favorite thrift stores to create a good inventory of pieces. Then we will schedule a photo shoot, contacting our creative friends to be the photographers and our models. We use our photoshoots as a time to be super inclusive, truly anyone is welcome. Our photoshoots are super laid back, but gives us awesome shots of our pieces IRL. I edit our pictures and get them ready for launch! We keep our followers updated with the date and time of our launch. Once the time comes, we basically spam our followers with all the pieces. And it is first come, first serve for our one-of-a-kind pieces. We usually sell most of our pieces within two hours of our launch.

What's are the top things you look for when trying to find clothes to resell?

Abbey: Finding clothes to resell is a balance of knowing what our customers want and knowing the direction that Well wants to go. The brand is very much a reflection of Alex and I’s personal styles, so things that I like in the store tend to sell quickly. We want our customers to feel cool and confident in our clothing, so if a piece gives me those vibes, I buy it.

Alex: When looking for clothes, I look for style, different sizes, and current trends. I look for pieces that I think my friends or that I would wear. I try to keep an open outlook on a clothing item and ask myself how I would style the pieces.

What trends have you been noticing to be popular from thrift stores as of lately?

Abbey: Our staple piece is always a good mom jean, and that tends to be a big trend from thrift stores right now. We also are super into cropping men’s button-down shirts and making really fun tops for women. Super quirky, graphic tees are also a big trend, and we think they are super fun!

What advice do you have for college students who go thrift shopping and want to find some good finds?

Abbey: Accept the fact that you rarely will find something with just a quick scan. You have to put in time looking through racks to find the hidden gems, so don’t get discouraged after five minutes in the store! Thrift stores are not like traditional stores that have 30 pieces showcased across 3 racks and you have seen it all in 10 minutes. You have to look hard, and look often. Take advantage of weekly discounts given at places like Goodwill! This is a great way to save money, just by choosing pieces with the colored tag of the week. Also ask if your thrift store offers student discounts! I would also say, find a balance between having a vision and being open-minded. Pinterest provides me lots of outfit inspiration, so I might try to find similar pieces. But it’s also so important to be open to what you're gonna find. Also, try and see the potential in each piece! A giant man’s button up shirt can be cropped, tied, or made into a dress! A floor length cotton dress can be chopped to be a mini! Jeans can easily be made into shorts! There are so many possibilities that just take a little bit of vision and creativity. And altering pieces like this always makes them more special in my opinion.

Alex: I would tell college kids to be patient, and to not get overwhelmed when going thrift in. There are many options, but many pieces also can be very versatile or can be styled differently. I would also advise college kids to go outside their normal style range and try wearing something new.

Check out Well Clothing Co. on Instagram.