“Giving Back to Your Closet: Reduce, Reuse, Resale”
Budgets and the Ecosystem may not be the first things that come to mind when you’re thinking about shopping that retro 50’s look. However those “hip threads” are doing more for you than just making you a cool-cat. Shopping vintage is so much more than buying into a trend.
As much as we may not want to believe it fads, Fendi, feathers, and fringe are not the only vocab words located under “F” in the fashion dictionary. So let’s explore an F-word that many fashionistas may not get too excited about Finance. While the start of this article may make it sound like it belongs in the Wall Street Journal rather than High Fashion Living, it’s about time we discussed the dreaded topic of where our funding that fuels our Prada and perfume collections comes from.
As much as we all love the idea of our magic plastic cards that supply us with endless accessories and cocktails, we all know we’re kidding ourselves. I’m not saying that we all need to go out right now and open a 12% investment account or completely re-evaluate our pension plans, but when the cost of being fabulous is living paycheck to paycheck, it may be time to reign it in.
Saving money isn’t all bad though, thrifting for vintage styles and items have always been desirable within the fashion industry and community. With that being said, the economic temperatures right now have made it stylish to be mindful of your spending habits, especially amongst young consumers, which has created a higher demand for second-hand goods.
Shopping second hand isn’t only beneficial for your wallet either, thrifting and sifting through consignment shops is also a perfect example of “reduce, reuse, recycle.” With the prevalence of fast fashion in the world today we see more textiles and clothes end up in trash bins than before. Between tank tops being in one week and out the next, were seeing our closets empty and refill many times over in one season, let alone one year. All those items you don’t haul off to Goodwill inevitably end up in a landfill and with polyester being the most widely used material, that poly-satin blend will mostly likely remain there for decades. Bringing old looks and accessories back to life from one decade to the next aids in the reduction of material waste that comes out of your closet into a landfill.
Even with financial and environmental benefits aside, there’s another great reason to shop second hand- it’s fashion with a story. You’re buying a bracelet or a dress that comes from a different era, or a different timeline than your own. It gives you an opportunity to delve into the archives of fashion and bring back a look that inspired many other outfits and designs, maybe even influenced an era, it lets you have your Miranda Priestly Moment (hashtag Miranda Priestly Moment).
Luckily for us its easier than ever to be financially and environmentally friendly while looking hella good to boot because now there are Clothing Resale apps! Yes! Thank Gucci for apps, because now you’re one cell phone pic away from earning a few bucks and recycling your closet threads or one scroll n’ click away from those gently used snake skin boots that will LITERALLY go with everything you own (who knew all you needed was a pair of Gucci boots to complete your life), it’s as easy as that.
The hard part is navigating between the plethora of consignment and thrift apps out there nowadays. Good thing you have us to give you the lowdown on all the differences between them.
We went out and did the research for you, sifted through the many, I’m talking MANY clothing resale apps to find which are used the most, which are the most mutually beneficial and which are the ones everyone is talking about.
The Real Real:
The Real Real is a true luxury consignment app. What started out as a company working from the CEO and creator, Julie Wainwright’s kitchen table has now grown into a thriving company with over 600 employees. Included on this employee roster are a team of authentication experts, horologists (watch experts) and gemologist that work to ensure every luxury item that passes through The Real Real is, well, real. Because of this, they deal exclusively with luxury brand elements, the more high-end, the better, and even deal with fine art. They tout that most items put on the site sell within three days and even make the shipping process painless by sending people to pack up your items to ship for you, if you live in one of the participating cities. If you don’t, however, they will send you a pre-paid shipping box to send your goods out through. The catch with The Real Real is they take 40% of your earnings unless you sell $5,000+, then you will keep 70% of total earnings. If you think about it though, $5,000 isn’t that hard to reach when you’re selling Chanel.
Poshmark is the closest to a real thrift or consignment shop out of the bunch. Whether you’re unloading Gucci or Gap, Fendi or Forever 21, you can take it to Poshmark, Poshmark was launched in 2011 by the former CEO and founder of Kaboodle. The app is available on iOS and Android and is very easy to scroll through and use both for the seller and the shopper. If you choose to sell through Poshmark you will be responsible for getting the items in the mail; however, Poshmark provides a paid 2-day shipping label. Poshmark does take 20% of earnings leaving you with a respectable 80%.
Rebagg is different from the apps mentioned above. With Rebagg you are paid for your items upfront by the company. Similarly to Plato’s Closet, Rebagg will quote you a price they think your item is worth, you simply upload photos and a description of your item, and they will respond with a quoted value within one business day. If the price is rich enough for you, you will then send the item in a pre-paid box and be paid as soon as Rebagg receives it. The rub with Rebagg is they too only take high-end luxury items and keep a very narrow list of brands they are willing to pay for, however, if you have something to sell off their list of labels, you’re payout is immediate.
Tradesy is a highbred of the two concepts, they allow you to take your own photos and price your own listings and then after your listing goes active, you will send your article of clothing into Tradesy, again using a pre-paid shipping box, and they will take it from there. They do this so they can control the quality of goods and the shipping and return process more closely. Tradesy will only take a 9% commission if you choose to use your earnings on the site, but will take 11.9% if you choose to pull the money out via Paypal or bank account. The thing that sets Tradesy apart from all the other apps is there Wedding section that is entirely dedicated to all things bridal from bridesmaid dresses to stationary.
There are still other options out there to explore: Closet Rich, Vaunte, Snob Swap and Thred-Up to name a few, but these four seem to be the best when it comes to return rate on earnings, ease of use for sellers and how closely the oversee the quality of goods being sold.
As much as that sparkling new Prada bag may add to our confidence, there is a separate confidence created in knowing you are preparing for your financial future and the future of the planet we live on (and looking damn good in the process). Now go forth and contribute to the health of your bank account, the Earth, and, most importantly, your closet.
Written by: Kit Royce