Fast fashion has fast become a big issue. Clothes we simply throw away after a few wears are bad for the environment and bad for those that toil away making them. Whereas fast fashion choices may be easy on the wallet, there’s a pretty simple reason for that; they don’t make them to last. With growing awareness of the downsides of fast fashion, we’re witnessing a swing back to clothing that lasts and sustainable fashion choices. Similarly, today more people seek out high-quality second-hand picks with the best online thrift stores bringing ample options directly to our online screens.
Globally we get through an incredible 80 billion new clothing purchases every year2. That’s four times more than we were buying and lining our wardrobes with a mere 20 years ago.
Typically, new clothes that fall into the fast fashion bracket get worn less than five times. People snap up the next hottest trend, original prints, styles, and looks as they roll off the production lines in an offshore garment factory. And often, last year’s favorite can sit in the back of a wardrobe doing no one any good or gets discarded.
Get Thrift Shopping With Our Picks of the Best Online Thrift Stores
Thrifting for clothes that you want to wear again and again can save money and help the environment. Grab a thrifty pair of jeans and save the 7000+ liters of water required to manufacture a new pair3.
Save a synthetic garment from landfill by giving it a new home. You’ll also be helping in a small way to prevent a fraction of the 85% of plastic pollution in the oceans that come from microfibres1 when we carelessly discard clothes.
Online thrift shopping benefits are numerous, but put simply, help the environment and save money. As you find that item of second-hand vintage clothing you were seeking, you can look the part too.
Every new-to-the-owner item of clothing that doesn’t require manufacturing has a positive impact on the environment. And each thrifting shop you do gives a second-hand clothing item a new lease of life.
At TRVST, we believe that small actions count. We’ve compiled our list of the very best online thrift stores to help you click for your next clothing choice and help save the planet a bargain at a time.
Can You Thrift Shop Online?
It wasn’t that long ago that your search for one of a kind second-hand clothing items required you’d have probably set out on the hunt for thrifting shops near me. And unless you were in one of the big cities like Paris, London, or New York City, chances were you’d find slim pickings at the local thrift stores’ physical retail space.
Regulars thrifters will have been able to find pieces through persistence and effort, leaving the more casual thrifter wanting for more.
The other problem with tipping up to your local thrift store is you can never know quite what they have in stock. As such, it can prove to be a bit of a frustrating process.
Thankfully we now have online Thrift!
Thrifting stores, sometimes also called consignment stores (whereby the store reimburses the seller after purchase), have leaped into online shopping second-hand boots and all. With growing environmental awareness and people turning to zero-waste lifestyles, many have ridden a wave of increasing popularity.
What’s more, because they list all their items online, you can browse till your heart’s content until you find what you’re looking for from the comfort of your home.
Today, of course, pretty much everything we might want for is a click and home delivery slot away from our heart’s desire. Whereas perhaps a little slower to the online party thrift websites, like most things, now come in different shapes and sizes — each appealing to a slightly different type of online thrift customer.
You’ll find you still need to shop around for pieces when choosing the online thrift store that appeals to your fashion sense and price point. The best online thrift stores make it easy to buy the brands you love, often at bargain prices and get the clothes you want delivering from shopping for the best vintage finds, quirky one-offs, to designer brands.
Little note on shipping
Most of our choices below ship internationally; however, courier fees can add up quickly should you live far away from their base or buy either bulkier or numerous items. Do check before purchase and be mindful that the best choice for the environment is to minimize the shipping distance.
Links To Our Top 23 Picks
23 Best Online Thrift Stores:
As our shopping behaviors have shifted to the internet, new online thrift stores are cropping up all the time. Here’s our selection of the best online thrift stores:
TRVST’s Pick for the Best Online Thrift Store
Shipping: Varies by seller – check before you buy
Etsy is a marketplace, meaning that anyone with a good idea, passion, and initiative can tip on up and sell their second-hand pieces on their website. What’s more, you stand to reach their 40 odd million buyers.
Founded in 2005, today, Etsy is a big business. Over 60 million items stack its virtual shelves, and the website generates over $600 million in revenue. Clearly, there’s ample demand for the less mainstream products or non-big brand items you can’t find anywhere else.
As they’ve grown, many Etsy stores have sprung up on the site to meet the ever-increasing demand for online thrift.
A Marketplace of Great Thrift
Each Etsy seller tends to survive or otherwise based on the quality of the goods they sell and the resulting reviews they receive on the platform. As such, you’ll find a plethora of unique and high-quality second hand and vintage clothing on the site for men and women. All are vying for your eye and appealing to a wide variety of vintage tastes.
Because of their sheer scale, Etsy has become the preferred choice for many smaller boutiques to retail their pieces online.
If you’re living in New York, you can browse the virtual shelves of Berlin-based SooLastSeason who retail a fantastic selection of vintage eyewear and big brand thrift couture.
If you’re in London, you can shop OldBlessing from Oregon, United States, who sell bold and colorful vintage pieces.
While Roselein Rarities does a fine line in red items, rare and plus size. In short, there’s something for everyone.
And The Curvy Elle has a great line in plus size thrift in floral prints and vintage stripes.
Most Etsy stores ship pieces internationally, though be sure to double-check before you purchase as shipping can vary from seller to seller.
So What Makes Etsy the best online thrift store in our picks?
Shopping for the best online thrift items or a quirky piece you won’t get anywhere else can indeed be a delight. Because of how Etsy works, most sellers and their stores retail unique items that you won’t be able to get anywhere else.
The only downside is perhaps that there are so many pieces to choose from, and it’s not too tricky to while away hours checking out various items of thrift delights and forget how you found the first items you liked.
Many clothes items listed on Etsy are affordable, making it an excellent choice for the cost-conscious or those looking to source pieces within a specific price point.
One straightforward Etsy tip is to click the love heart in the right-hand corner of items that catch your eye, which will save them in your favorites for later. Also, note that many stores sell new clothes as well, so to be sure to check you are indeed buying second hand with that intent in mind.
To shop Etsy with the environment in mind, you’re best to search for items using their left-hand filters for stores at least relatively local to you, which will reduce the impact of shipping.
Is Etsy Doing Good?
Etsy was the first mainstream online shop to offset 100% of the carbon emissions when shipping items. This market-leading initiative funds carbon reduction projects through a trusted third party. As such, for all those nasty emissions those planes and trucks spew out; there’s a counter that negates the same.
Etsy has also clearly laid out its efforts to reduce its ecological impact and economically empower sellers fairly. It’s not easy to ship items all over the world in an environmentally friendly way. However, we applaud Etsy’s progress and transparency.
Our Second Best For Thrift
Shipping: US & Canada only.
ThredUP lays claim to be the world’s largest online consignment store. Founded by James Reinhart, way back in 2009, they appear to have ably ridden the growth in online demand for thrift.
Now headquartered in San Francisco, ThredUP began life when founder, James, observed how little he regularly wore some items from his closet. Something we expect many readers will relate to when stopping to consider all those not-quite-right-for-the-moment garments that rarely see the light of day.
ThredUP appears to have had one of those rocky roads getting started that tend to make for great startup stories. In the beginning, 27 rejections for funding later, the simple idea of a web site paying for unused clothing finally sprang to life when ThredUP’s first funders clicked on to how the business worked and could scale.
With more than $300 million of funding now notched up, ThredUP certainly has the backing to justify its claim as the largest online thrift store.
Why is ThredUP our second best online thrift store?
ThredUP’s size and dominant market position mean that when you’re looking for second-hand clothing pieces online, there’s a decent chance you’ll find something that appeals.
Amongst 65 million items listed online and 100s of brands often at 90% of the retail price, you’re almost certainly set. The site stocks well-known brands like Gucci and Burberry and even has a great selection of designer labels under $50. Something for every budget.
Whereas the business started as a men’s shirt swap site, today, their range consists of women and kids’ clothing. They’re more designer brands and contemporary fashion, which does mean they won’t prove your first choice for second-hand vintage finds (which some of the listings below are better for).
ThredUP recently partnered with Walmart, which Forbes describes as a “brilliant strategy move.” As a result, US readers will most likely also be able to find ThredUP thrift in a mall near you.
As something of an aside, their founder, James, writes an interesting article on how they chose their name. Derived from “threadequity” and gunning for the more obvious “threadUP” TRVST notes that we’re not the only ones stuck with funny spelling.
Not just for second-hand clothes shopping
ThredUP isn’t just one of the best online thrift stores. It’s also right up there for clearing out your wardrobe of those unwanted and lesser loved pieces. True to its founding problem statement, ThredUP makes it easy to send them your old clothing pieces.
With a few clicks, they’ll send you one of their “Clean Out Kits” – a green and white polka dot bag to stuff full of those unwanted clothing items which you can then send back to them.
Once you send back your bag ThredUP does all the hard work of getting your items online, photographing them professionally, writing the product description, and shipping to thrift shoppers.
Even better when items sell, you can get paid out as much as 60-80% of the sale price for higher value items. Alternatively, you can choose to donate $5 per bag to ThredUPs selection of worthy charity partners.
They only accept items in good condition, so when sorting out your clothes pile, keep in mind that someone else has to want to buy it.
Over a decade of growth later today, it’s a massive operation. According to ThredUP’s blurb, over 40K new clothing arrivals hit their warehouses for processing onto their site every day. That’s an awful lot of thrift.
Is ThredUp doing good?
At the most basic level, saving millions of people buying new clothing pieces has to be a good thing. ThredUP claims the math works out rather favorably, resulting in nearly 8bn pounds of CO2 savings and reducing the need for around 25B gallons of water needing to be used to produce the equivalent volume of new goods.
They’ve even hived off a bunch of their capital into the ThredUp Circular Fashion Fund to support new initiatives working for a cleaner and more sustainable fashion industry. Bravo.
Luxury Consignment Sales
Shipping: International via UPS
The Real Real operates similarly to some of the other online consignment websites. Guaranteeing authenticity for “Luxury consignment sales,” sellers receive up to 85% of each item purchased while buyers can shop top fashion brands, including Jimmy Choo and Burberry.
They also have a men’s section, unlike some of the others, and you are also able to find them at four different US locations, with shops in New York City, LA, and San Francisco.
One of their unique features on-site is a paid-for “first look membership,” which provides those in the know with advance access to clothing sales and special offers.
Julie Wainwright founded The Real Real in 2011 as a self-described scrappy startup. The business remains luxury-focused and tracks its sustainability with its own calculator.
Taking steps to achieve carbon-neutral status in 2021 while saving 14,300 metric tonnes of carbon as users replace new purchasing behavior with online consignment The Real Real is the real deal.
They have an established partnership with luxury fashion brand, Stella McCartney, which offers those that consign items from the brand $100 to shop sustainably at Stella McCartney. They have since included a similar offer with London founded Burberry. Check out #reburberry on insta.
What more, they created national consignment day in 2017 and in June 2019 listed on Nasdaq. Online consignment is clearly here to stay as The Real Real pursue their mission to “empower consignors to extend the lifecycle of luxury goods.”
Curated and Authentic Luxury Brands
Shipping: Flat rate across the US and Internationally
Luxury Garage Sale, founded in 2011, has a more upmarket positioning. Their well-stocked virtual shelves include designer labels from Miu Miu through Chanel. They also cover various categories of covetable thrift from Jewelry through Accessories and Mens.
Should you find yourself local, do pop by Luxury Garage Sale’s two physical sites, one in Chicago and the other in Dallas. Don’t worry if you can’t, however, because their online experience is well-honed.
Also, offering a more personalized touch, you can drop them a line, and a personal stylist will do their best to help you find just the right luxury vintage look or piece you’re after.
Given their higher-end lines, they also offer authentication and pay reasonable rates when looking to consign your unwanted Prada dress that’s too precious to wear every day. Or any other good stuff at the back of your wardrobe that deserves to see a bit more sunlight.
Pop on over to their Instagram feed @luxurygaragesale and join 90K plus followers to get a sense of their style. At the time of writing, their feed majors are mostly on bags and accessories; however, they have a wide range of clothing online.
Stylish Thrift Edits
Shipping: Global Locations (Europe, US, Canada) and International Shipping
Urban Outfitter’s humble beginnings were as a small shop across the road from the University of Pennsylvania. Today this progressive brand has a presence in over a dozen countries with over 200 stores.
Urban Outfitters predominantly attract younger adults with consistently eye-catching items that appeal to hipsters and urban fashionistas. Their mainstay is new clothing lines. However, since 1983, they’ve also been curating an excellent range of renewed vintage finds called Urban Renewal.
The Urban Renewal site is an excellent choice for curated and trendy items that are carefully chosen by their team to appeal to a certain sense of urban aesthetic. As they describe it on their site, “a bit like your favorite thrift store finds but without the crate digging.”
Is Urban Outfitters Doing Good?
Much like some of the other best online thrift stores listed in this guide, the environmental impact of the global fashion industry and its sustainability is something that UO is working hard to address.
Their brand packaging is made from 100% recyclable materials – although still plastic. They’re reducing their energy use and actively give back in the local communities where they operate via donations and volunteering opportunities. You can read a bit more about their moves to be a better company for the planet here.
Boutique Second-Hand Finds In One Place
Shipping: Varies by seller – check before you buy
ASOS, founded in Britain in 2000, started our life as “As Seen on Screen.” The idea was simple – when a fashionable style became talked about, and in demand, as a result of being seen on TV or in films, they’d produce it fast. You could then shortly after buy an item that looked more or less the same.
Today, ASOS predominately retail new clothing across over 850 brands and has become a leading international fashion retailer.
Launched in 2010, ASOS Marketplace has built a reputation as home to the best independent brands and vintage boutiques.
Working a similar model to other marketplaces, independent retailers can set up their virtual storefronts on the ASOS marketplace and appeal to ASOS’s 18million plus international customers. With over 900 boutiques on the ASOS marketplace platform, there’s a vast array of carefully selected thrift gems, from hundreds of second hand Nike t’s and hoodies through over 6000 (at the time of writing) vintage dress selections and other vintage pieces.
You can also browse the thrift stores listed on the ASOS marketplace website. Users can pop by The East End Thrift Store (UK), the self-described “Legendary Cult Vintage Store” for handpicked sweats and denim.
Or try Adorned and support a small mother and daughter team championing people and planet for a selection of unique vintage jewelry finds, hippie prints, and one of a kind washes.
Is ASOS Doing Good?
ASOS, too, is taking steps to help create a more sustainable fashion industry. Their foundation has been supporting a care home in India since 2009, and they make 36% of their own brand clothes from sustainably sourced fabrics.
With their scale, it’s quite staggering how much a small change can achieve. The ASOS site states that by merely reducing the thickness of the plastic used in 5 of their bags, they’ve saved over 584 tonnes of plastic waste. As with most of the industry, there’s a way to go, but these steps all help move us to a sustainable fashion industry.
Of course, shopping second hand at the ASOS marketplace helps reduce the impact of new clothes production drawing on our precious resources.
Luxury with European Heritage
Shipping: International shipping with prices varying by country of origin
Vestiaire Collective specializes in higher-end luxury designer thrift. Vestiaire Collective rigorously checks the authenticity of each item stocked to make sure you receive the real deal.
For those looking for top brand items, you can shop everything from Cartier through Miu Miu. The price points reflect the original retail value, with the site usually able to offer pre-loved items at 30 – 70% of retail.
They also do designer lines in sport, dinnerware, and more. Perfect for those who might be looking for a Louis Vuitton racket cover for considerably less than the $2000+ it retails for new. Or perhaps you’re looking for a second-hand Hermés tea set like new. Even at a fraction of the retail price, some of their brands are maybe not quite the thrifty accessories prices your bargain-seeking thrifter is looking for: different folks, different tastes.
The UK’s famous Selfridges department store has recently launched a concession in partnership with Vestiaire Collective. Another testament to quite how much the second-hand thrifting market is increasing in demand as more people look for economic and sustainable fashion choices.
Is Vestiaire Collective Doing Good?
Vestiaire Collective notes that they are “always striving for a smarter, circular, and more responsible fashion system.” There isn’t a clearly called out move to more sustainable packaging or operations that we could find at the time of writing.
However, in Drapers, the business of fashion trade publication, the business’s CEO, Maximilian Bittner, makes clear his ambition to do more for sustainable operations beyond facilitating the resale of fashion. As with all of our online thrift stores, you’re still doing a decent thing for people and the planet buying second hand reused goods for your closets.
Farfetch is another substantial online marketplace, and a bit like ASOS, its mainstay is new designer pieces from well-known brands. For the purpose of our best online thrift stores, they have a dedicated “Pre-Owned” section on their website for Women. With everything from Bulgari Bags to Prada Coats, their second-hand items are well worth a browse for higher-end pieces.
Farfetch, founded in 2007, 13 years later, has a customer base in nearly 200 countries. Initially, Farfetch provided an entry point for third party higher-end bricks and mortar boutiques to retail their goods on their website. In 10 years, they’ve come from a plucky startup to IPO. Started by José Neves with five people, and riding the wave of online fashion resale, it now has over 3000 employees across 14 global offices.
As with all the other larger listings here, size does matter when it comes to range.
Is Farfetch Doing Good?
Under the sub-brand “Positively Farfetch,” they do perhaps one of the better jobs across our selection of best online thrift stores of being clear on their sustainability aims. Alongside transparently stating their progress in minimizing their environmental impact.
They clearly state their use of 100% recyclable and sustainable packaging, carbon offset delivery, and ethical sourcing. And through leadership and fashion industry collaborations, their eco-creds stack up well.
They even have their own new business and start-up accelerator, with many ventures working towards a more sustainable fashion industry, from resale to clothing rental.
Best for Variety and Bargain Finds
Shipping: Varies by seller – check before you buy
eBay makes our best online thrift store list in no small part as it was the original marketplace site, long before the likes of ASOS marketplace even existed.
Of course, they do a lot more than vintage clothing or thrift clothes finds. They’re also huge, with multiple eCommerce retailer sites using the platform to sell end of line or slightly damaged or marked pieces, amongst other items.
For those thrifted minded consumers, eBay can appear overwhelming. Something between a treasure trove and a massive online bargain bin.
However, many third-party seller sites that EBAY lists sell online vintage clothing items, band tees, and hundreds of one-off items. Users can seek one of a kind finds unique to this huge site not found on the more specialist websites.
eBay – The Original (Best?) Marketplace
Over the years, the eBay site has grown from its original beginnings in 1995, called AuctionWeb, to its current billion dollars plus turnover. In many ways, eBay is still the place to go for bargains and retains its auction functionality, which made it so successful.
On eBay, buyers can bid for items from sellers on their website and grab some amazing one-of-a-kind clothes bargains. Or you can shop by brand. You can also “buy now” to cut straight to the purchase at a price set by the seller.
A quick search at the time of writing for “vintage clothing” shows over 10K listings in the US and 20K in the UK.
But don’t fret if you choose to give the eBay site a look for a second hand Tommy Hilfiger hoodie you so covet or a one of a kind mystery box of vintage clothes their search function will help you land the clothing you’re looking for.
With so many items, they’ve also made it easy for website users to filter down on all sorts of criteria from price range to clothes condition categories.
It truly is a site likely to lead you straight to one-off costume jewelry editions through to Kim Kardashian pieces at considerably less than retail price. They even do a cracking selection of discount Hawaiian shirts should the mood take you.
Is eBay doing good?
eBay is massive. Despite this, and in part because of it, they’ve raised over $1bn for charity funds to 2020. They state their corporate responsibility goal between 2020 and 2025 is to create 3bn in positive economic impacts while preventing 3 million metrics tonnes of CO2 emissions. Progress indeed.
All About Pre-Owned Bags From Famous Designers
Shipping: International from the US
They have their own unique “infinity exchange,” which allows users to enjoy one of their bag purchases for up to 12 months, and then when you return the item, you can receive up to 70-80% off your next choice.
Given many people may choose to change bags as their style and tastes evolve, this could well be the perfect solution for the circular handbag experience.
Pre-wonder Vintage Handbags
Shipping: International from the US
Like Rebag, Fashionphile is a handbag specialist. Founded in 1999, they’ve been around longer than most and claim on their website to offer the largest selection of “pre wonder” vintage handbags, statement pieces from the luxury designers you most covet.
They also offer an item buyback, this time offering 70% of the original purchase cost within 180 days of purchase.
All items come for a fraction of what you might pay were you to part with full retail prices. Of course, as per the other luxury options we’ve listed, pieces on their website aren’t the same prices that you’re likely to find at your local goodwill or high street charity store.
Marketplace by Women for Women
Shipping: US and International via freight forwarding
Tradesy positions itself as the marketplace made by women for women. Tradesy was founded back in 2009 by Tracy Dinunzio with a stated mission to “fix fashion.” And that’s something we can get behind.
Another great starting up story, Tradesy launched with little more than the proceeds from selling a car and sprung to life from a kitchen table.
Today, they’ve sold over $1bn in pre-owned fashion to a global customer base.
Top designers on the site include Chanel, Prada, and Christian Louboutin. They also have one of the largest selection of pre-loved wedding dresses and accessories that we’ve seen in the thrift store space.
Why we think Tradesy easily makes our list of the best online thrift stores
Tradesy specializes only in trendy pre-owned women’s fashion. Tradesy is another online thrifting store where you can consign items you no longer need with them, and they’ll retail them for you. For sold items, they keep it simple by retaining a flat commission ($7.50 for items less than $50 at the time of writing), and you keep the rest.
The site offers many value-added services for website users. Their “closet concierge” provides a range of services from personal styling through to consignment assistance. Perfect for the time short consignee, closet concierge personally select clothes in your home to take away and resell on the site.
Unlike some of the others supporting the websites listed here, their cleverly pitched app gets all but 5-star reviews from users for both Android and iOS, enabling you to sell directly from your closet. You can grab it from the footer links on their site. Snap pics of those unwanted shoes, designer clothing, or Louis Vuitton sunglasses and make money from each piece sold on Tradesy.
They also have an authenticity promise that anything you buy from the thousands of items they feature is guaranteed to be real or your money back. You can even split your clothing order into monthly payments via a third party credit provider.
Is Tradesy Doing Good?
Tradesy states on their about page that their vision is all about helping to make shopping for consumer goods sustainable for people and the planet. Much like some of the other best online consignment stores listed, through their application of technology, Tradesy enables the latest trends to be passed on from the original buyer of the new product to another one with ease.
Shipping: US only
Poshmark is another one of those best online thrift stores seemingly on a march. A bit different to some of the other best picks, Poshmark pitches itself as a social marketplace for fashion.
The website and app is truly peer to peer in that any individual can list their one-off staples for resale. Someone in Miami can list Dior, and someone in NYC can purchase a Fendi handbag from a seller in California.
Rather than specializing in luxury, Poshmark is more about breadth and selection. You can also pick up some great deals and discounts by negotiating directly with the seller on price.
Orders under $500 are shipped directly to the buyer from the seller. Orders over this amount qualify for authentication, and they get sent back to base to check they are as intended.
Thrift Shopping and Selling By App
Most transactions occur on the app, with shipping labels sent to sellers for free, making it even easier – when the buyer confirms receipt of their new statement pieces, blouse, or tie-dye vintage clothes, the site takes a commission.
You can simply snap pics of those unwanted items and list them. With brands like Forever 21 through Sam Edleman, there’s likely to be clothes items just right for your look.
One of the key wins is that sellers retain more of the sale value and make good money for good brands. Poshmark retains 20% of the sale.
Today they have over 60 million community members and over 100 million items listed for sale. As such. there’s bound to be an apparel find for everyone.
With a loyal community called “Poshers” in every city from Los Angeles to Chicago, their “Seller Stylists” offer their unique takes on style looks from streetwear to country. Many also share stylish looks on Instagram using the #meettheposher tag.
Is Poshmark doing good?
The big win is that when your new season jumpsuits or band tees ship from the seller to buyer, there’s a link the chain removed from sending it directly to base removing transport costs.
Many clothing sellers are also listing items as sustainable and ethical. You do need however to do your research and ensure they are trusted and have good reviews to make sure.
Epic Second-Hand Vintage
Refashioner is another of those best online thrift stores where you’ll find the high-quality vintage pieces that you’re looking for.
Also founded back in 2009, like a number of our other thrift stores, Refashioner has a huge selection of vintage clothing at affordable prices.
Their key point of difference is that they allow the people that used to own that exclusive item of costume jewelry or retro vintage jackets, coats and more to share the story behind the garment.
“I got this years ago in London — its my Rod Stewart Jacket,” writes one seller.
True champions of the vintage clothing look, their founder Kate shares her passion on the site for remedying a fashion industry addicted to continuous churn.
Next Generation Styles
With so many thrift stores to choose from, Depop hails from London, UK, and is an app where “the next generation come to discover unique items.”
The app has a social media feel and openly pitches itself at the younger millennial and gen z audiences. As a seller, you can upload items you want to make money from, from denim shorts to Hawaiian prints.
As a buyer, you can curate your feed of those one-off items you’re feeling. Depop definitely has its own edgier style. It builds on its founding roots and history as the shopping side of PIG magazine featuring “young fresh new & talented artists in music fashion cinema arts and design.”
Depop is probably the best choice of our listed online thrift stores for those looking for one of a kind items to really express themselves.
Another peer to peer site like Poshmark without central warehousing and distribution Depop cuts out the need for clothing and other items to make two trips from the seller to the buyer.
They ship clothing all over the world, and you can also browse on their website.
Original Iconic UK Thrift
Shipping: International from UK
Beyond Retro in London is one of the most iconic retro clothing shops in Europe. They initially opened in 2002 as a bricks and mortar outlet. Beyond Retro sources its vintage clothes items from those donated to charity, preventing them from going to landfill or incineration. As such, their website is stacked full of one-off clothes finds.
They’ve since matured from this first London site to 9 stores across London and Sweden and remain a go-to destination for retro thrift hunters, local to their stores, or visiting from afar.
In 2010 their online thrift store was launched, bringing their retro wares to a broader audience. According to their website, Beyond Retro rehomed 90 million items of clothing last year – that’s pretty amazing!
Beyond retro is based in the UK, and their website offers free international delivery for orders over £100 with orders under that amount priced by weight, which you can check at the checkout.
Disrupting UK Charity Shopping
Shipping: UK only
We like what Joe and the team are setting out to achieve – providing an online contender to UK charity shop donating and shopping. After a fair fee to process the clothing that consumers send for processing in their unique Thrift+ boxes, the proceeds are equally split between the sender and a chosen charity. Nice. And this addition to our best online thrift list deserves every success.
Best of the Rest
If you’re looking for best online thrift shopping for men or plus-sized items, here are a few more of the best:
Best Online Thrift Stores For Men’s Clothing
This online website has a massive collection of vintage choices, from denim through military and motorcycle. Whereas they also do women, they’ve got a cracking menswear range. In their own words, a monster collection, and “if there must be a monster in your closet, then let it be clothing from Monster Vintage!”
With two physical locations in San Francisco, one for women and one for men, this consignment store with real shops and a stocked full online website aims to make luxury affordable.
Here the point of difference is a personalized service for higher-end goods, helping you make the most of your wardrobe consignment. With two physical stores in South Minneapolis and a well-stocked website, add these guys to your browsing list for the more boutique feel. And there’s a decent chance should you call someone who cares about the clothes they sell will answer and help you out.
More for a slightly more contemporary street and mixing in designers, this NYC based online consignment store specializing in menswear offers a low 9% commission for sellers. Their app makes it easy to buy and sell, and with nearly 700K followers on Instagram, they’re doing a lot right.
Best Online Thrift Stores for Plus Size Fashion
Bold and trendy downtown styles are this boutique’s deal and claim the crown of the first NYC retailer of plus-sized vintage and consignment pieces.
Founded by Emma Zack following a stint modeling and retailing her clothes pieces from home, this store specializes in bright and colorful plus size clothing for women deserves all success.
Are you thinking of an outfit refresh? Or have a handful of previously loved but no longer quite “you” garments cluttering the back of your closet? Have a good browse around our selection of best online thrift stores, and we’re sure you’ll find a treasure or 5.
While “someone’s trash is another’s treasure quotes,” consign or donate your unwanted clothes to a site above and give them a new lease of life while doing a small bit to help reduce 13 million tons of discarded clothing makes its way to landfill each year.
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Below are a few more thoughts and information about thrifting and links to some of the other content we’ve featured about this growing fashion trend.
What are the Benefits of Online Thrift Shopping?
Whereas some may associate the thrift experience with dusky smells and rummaging through piles of other people’s discards, the times have changed. Today’s online thrift websites enable you to browse virtual shelves for that one-of-kind item you’ve been coveting at your leisure from your home’s comfort.
The most obvious benefits are saving a bit of cash whilst preventing a new item needing to be manufactured in the first place which is good for the planet. There’s plenty of other benefits too, from the available range, unique styles, no shrinkage through doing your bit to remedy the ills of fast fashion.
Is Online Thrift Shopping Ethical and Environmentally Friendly?
There’s no getting around the fact that fashion requires lots of resources, from water, through the raw materials for manufacture and labor. And as much as 85% of the clothes that we wear are discarded at the end of their useful life, many ending up in landfills.
To aid the environment we should all be doing more to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Buying pre-loved is far better for the environment than the production of a new item.
To further aid the eco-creds of your second-hand purchases, try to buy local where possible to avoid long-distance shipping impacts. Crucially keep the mantra of reuse close to heart, the best thing you can do is reuse what you already have, the second, reusing someone else’s and when your new second-hand piece is no longer wanted, find a way to have someone else enjoy it should it still have some useful life left.
Resale Fashion – Disrupting Fast Fashion
According to the ThredUP Resale report, the secondhand apparel market is set to be 1.5 times the fast fashion market’s size by 20284.
Fashion resale is already big business as many marketplaces, online consignment stores, and smaller boutiques above show. With more and more people aware and acting to reduce their environmental impact as we face climate change and seek to clean up our mess, this looks set to grow and grow.
We welcome the innovators and first movers showing the way. And we look forward to seeing future moves that provide people with viable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly means to look good, save money, and progress towards a more circular fashion industry.
What is a thrift store?
A thrift store, simply put, sells used clothing. Of course, the same applies to online thrift stores that do the same thing on the internet. Thrift stores can also sell other second-hand items such as books and furniture. In the UK, they are typically called charity stores, many of which receive donated clothing, and the proceeds help fund the charity’s work.
What is a consignment store?
A consignment store sells goods on behalf of the owners and reimburses them after the sale for some of the amount less their cost of sale. Should the items provided by the consignee not sell, they can typically have them returned to them.
Where do thrift stores get their inventory?
Sources for second-hand clothing inventory can vary, from donated items through to end of line items they might pick up from big-box retailers. Thrift shops sometimes also buy wholesale brand items and designer clothing once they’ve left the retail shelves, usually after new items have replaced them for the latest season. Quite often retailers sell end of line items directly on eBay, from unsold band tees, Levi jeans to one-off Kim Kardashian pieces.
Vintage clothing items are often sourced from a garage or estate sales. Many are selected from those donated into charity clothing bins you can often find in supermarket car parks in the UK.
How to find the best second-hand clothes?
Clothing, fashion, and appearance is a very subjective matter. Many of the websites we’ve featured have a specific feel or style, from luxury, designer, and vintage.
Look for well-merchandised clothes and that the seller has taken the time to describe their condition and fit to avoid disappointment. Of course, many second-hand items will come with some wear, so do look around for pieces that you’d be happy with and be slightly weary of “like new” claims.
What is the history of thrift stores?
Second-hand stores have been around almost as long as clothing retail. We can trace their roots right back to Elizabethan England. At the start of the 20th century, Christian organizations such as the Salvation Army and Goodwill began the modern-day thrift movement. They sought to fund their charitable work monetizing donated goods.
Do thrift stores wash clothes?
Most second-hand clothing retailers don’t wash the clothes that they sell. They rely on them arriving at their retail outlets, be that a shop or online, in clean and good condition. Many big guys receive so many items every day; it would be largely impractical to launder them.
Send your second-hand clothes clean when donating or consigning sparing a thought for the next owner. After purchasing, wash your clothes before wearing them. There are a few tricks to help prevent the transfer of germs in the link below.
What should you not buy at a thrift store?
Whereas we’re big champions of shopping for reused clothing, some items don’t make for the best second-hand purchases. Avoid mattresses and underwear. And anything that might be old enough to fail modern safety standards such as car seats or old electricals.
How to start an online thrift store business?
With the advent of marketplaces online, anyone with some initiative, time, and ambition can set up an online second-hand store. Think about your audience, price point, and how you will best look after your customers. Doing so can be a great way to make a little more cash or even move to a full-time earner. We’ve prepared a helpful guide in the link below.
- 7 TED Talks on Sustainable and Ethical Fashion
- 12 Best Sustainable Fashion Bloggers to Follow
- What Is Sustainable Fashion And Why Does It Matter?
- 12 Sustainable Clothing Brands for Ethical Fashion
- What is the Zero Waste Movement All About?
- Sustainability & Sustainable Living Quotes
- Turning Plastic Waste Into Clothes
Sources & References:
|Accumulation of Microplastic on Shorelines Woldwide: Sources and Sinks, Mark Anthony Browne, Phillip Crump, Stewart J. Niven, Emma Teuten, Andrew Tonkin, Tamara Galloway, and Richard Thompson, Environmental Science & Technology 2011 45 (21), 9175-9179, DOI: 10.1021/es201811s|
|Bick, R., Halsey, E. & Ekenga, C.C. The global environmental injustice of fast fashion. Environ Health 17, 92 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12940-018-0433-7|
|WRAP, Valuing Our Clothes: the cost of UK Fashion, July 2017.|
|ThredUP Resale Report, 2019.|