Between campaigns like Second Hand September and increasing revelations about the wasteful and unethical nature of the fashion cycle, people finally seem to be realising how unnecessary fast fashion is.
And if you’re not a fan of traipsing around charity shops (guilty!), that’s fine, because there are so many great places to buy second hand clothes online. The environmental footprint of endlessly buying new clothes simply isn’t conscionable, particularly when you can pick up so many pieces in these shops that are cooler, cheaper, and totally individual. So remember your 5 Rs to reduce waste and simply refuse fast fashion in the first place.
Everyone’s got that friend who’s obsessed with Depop. Described as eBay-meets-Instagram, it’s very intuitive to use (probably because we’re all so used to Instagram and the interface is similar!) and you can pick up some real bargains. It’s also easy to sell on the app, so you can do a ‘one-in, one-out’ with your wardrobe to keep spending down!
Because the focus is on images, it can be hard to get a lot of details about an item, and it takes a while to figure out the best search filters. Once you do, you’ll be raving about it to your friends like a true convert!
Another UK site for second hand clothes that’s been relatively recently developed, Vinted looks sleek and modern, and is easy to use. Image-focused, like Depop, you can both buy and sell here – and it’s popular with younger people so you’ll get some quite on-trend items. On the other hand, this means a lot of the items are high-street, so if you’re particular about quality and material you might need to hunt a bit!
#3: Oxfam Online
Buying second hand clothes online from Oxfam has the double benefit of items being both pre-loved, and their purchase helping a charity. Anything you could find in your local Oxfam shop can also be found online; personally, we find it much easier to browse on the website as well. Another advantage Oxfam has over eBay and similar stores is the professional photography so you really know what it is you’re getting.
The first time we heard of Thrift+ we thought it was too good to be true – a second hand online clothes shop with a vast range of items, 30-day return policy, and half a seller’s profits given to charity? That’s Thrift+! We love the ethos and we love how professional the website is, with hundreds of items being added every day. You can easily switch between ‘high street’ and ‘designer’ depending on your budget.
#5: Beyond Retro
One of the original giants of vintage shopping, Beyond Retro’s brick-and-mortar shops have been supplying quirky pieces to second-hand shoppers in London and Brighton for a couple of decades. Its website means that people around the country can take advantage of the huge volume of UK second hand clothes it stocks. Set aside a couple of hours for leisurely browsing and pick up cute summer dresses, oversized shirts and more.
#6: Vestiaire Collective
One for you lovers of high-end fashion, Vestiaire Collective is a Paris-based web-shop that focuses on fashion labels, trends, and slick edits of looks. And with their latest partnership with Alexander McQueen, it's clear they want to make the circular economy a way forward for fashion.
While it is designer based, there is a wide range of price points and it’s worth checking out if you want something new for a special occasion that won’t end up relegated to the ‘bought new, worn once to a wedding and never again’ section of your wardrobe!
Want to do more to reduce your wardrobe's environmental footprint? Check out our guide on how to reduce microfibre pollution.
Do you shop for second hand clothes online? Which is your favourite store? Tell us about them in the comments below!