Recycling Fashion

Fast fashion is a growing thorn in my side. As I’ve discussed on here previously, I have absolutely nothing against purchasing brand new clothes, shoes, and accessories if they are going to be worn for a long time. For instance, when I buy a new pair of shoes, I quite literally wear them into the ground until the soles are falling off.

But fast fashion is exactly the opposite – purchased usually as part of a fad and discarded in a land fill even though the garment still has a lot of life left in it.

All of this is to say that this weekend I decided to check out two unique businesses that set out to combat fast fashion – all while giving fashion mavens a chance to get a fix for cheap!

At the time of writing, neither of my orders has shipped, so the true test will be once I receive them. For now, I will tell you about my experience shopping with thredUP and Tradesy.

Both websites have unique business models: with thredUP, users send in their gently (and sometimes not-so-gently) worn clothing, shoes, and accessories, which thredUP pays them for. Then, thredUP photographs the goods on their dressforms and sells them at a premium relative to what they paid for them. While you can certainly find some designer goods on thredUP, it is overwhelmingly saturated with the likes of GAP, Banana Republic, Loft, Old Navy, et cetera. I even saw some Wet Seal and Faded Glory (Wal-Mart brand) on there. Point is, don’t go looking for your next pair of Loubs on here.

Tradesy, on the other hand, is essentially eBay for high end fashion. While it does have “lower end” nice brands like Banana, it truly caters to much higher price points, with loads of Chanel, Gucci, Chloe, Louboutins, et cetera, to choose from. And unlike with thredUP, you purchase directly from the individual owner, so negotiating is possible.

Overall, my experience with both was good. With thredUP, I definitely felt more like I was shopping a true thrift store, in the sense that I had to do a LOT of rummaging to find things I even remotely liked. I also noticed a lot of items that really looked like they were way too worn to be resold. There’s a difference between “gently loved” and falling-apart-with-pit-stains.

For example, this Lilly swimsuit (which, by the way, looks very 2003) was listed for $27.99 at the time of writing and looks very well worn. I am all about recycling fashion and buying as much pre-loved as possible, but when it comes to issues of health and sanitation regarding clothes that touch sensitive areas, I definitely draw a line. And you can clearly see that the lining of this old swimsuit is yellowed with age.

Not my photo. Photo from thredUP.

In the end, I was able to find a Lilly Pulitzer sweater that I’ve actually been wanting for about a year now, in addition to a pair of Seven denim shorts, and a pair of Lilly wedges. With an intro promo code of SWOON40, I got 40% off my entire order and paid about $60 for these items.

If they show up at my doorstep looking as nice as they do below, I’ll be really pleased!


Next I went to try my luck with Tradesy. One of the cool things about Tradesy is that it lets you filter for just how worn (or new) the item is. I managed to find this adorable (and office-chic!) Lilly shift dress for less than half of the MSRP.


Tell me, have you tried either thredUP or Tradesy? If so, what were your experiences? Do you have other online reselling apps you like better?

Until next time,

xoxo Charlotte



  1. Just wanna say – I have seen swimsuits whose linings are nude, so i don’t look at that and think it’s yellowed with age… however… it would have to be damn freaking one of a kind adorable for me to even consider wearing a used swim suit… makes me think of second hand undies… and… meh… … … that being said I am all about awesome, cute second hand clothes. I might have to check these sites out at some point… but at the moment I am waiting on a couple clothes packages to show up currently as well and hubby is likely to kill me if I order anything else!! (But I too usually wear clothes and shoes down to being worn out/unrepairably stained or until they don’t fit…)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sadly this websites don’t ship to my country. But I buy a lot of second hand clothes in local stores. My only rule is: It must look like it hasn’t been washed yet, which you can tell by the fabric and color. I’ve been known to buy Zara tops with tags for 2 euros.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just checked out thredUP over the weekend and I am feeling very “meh” about it. I agree that more than what I expected look way too worn to be sold for the prices they were going for. Also, there is almost NOTHING for people sizes 12+. I am part of the cheap-throw-away generation when it comes to clothes. Why? I am plus size and my salary does not support buying high end. I guess when they start making designer affordable (which they won’t because that defeats the purpose) and they start making more for plus sizes, I will consider buying things that are more timeless. *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is stupid that thredUP has almost nothing for sizes 12+!!! I would have expected better, based on the positive praise I’ve heard about them.

      Also, I sincerely apologize if I came off as saying that buying cheap clothes brand new is bad!! What I dislike is putting perfectly good clothes in a landfill instead of donating things to charity or reselling them. I should have phrased this all better in my post!! 😣😣😣

      It really does suck that designers don’t seem to grasp the concept that all body shapes and sizes are willing to buy their clothes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I didn’t think that’s what you were saying. If my response seemed like it came from a place of annoyance, it’s only towards companies like thredUP. However, it’s all about who donates. Maybe they don’t get enough 12+ donations?! I definitely, 100% agree with not just throwing clothes away. That’s such a terrible waste! After talking to a teacher friend a couple years ago, I’ve tried to be better. She sews and mends clothes that get holes or need minor repairs. I was like, “Wow! What a concept!” 😂😜

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my gosh me too!!!! Seriously, in college I was really bad about buying clothes and literally just throwing them in the garbage when I outgrew a fad. Even as an adult, even though I’ve gotten better about buying timeless staples that will last a long time, it honestly until recently never occurred to me to buy second hand if I could.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have made a Lilly dress purchase on tradesy also!! It was so easy to purchase and quite affordable! I think the shift dress I bought was around 80 and had only been worn once. I’ve never checked out thred up but I would be willing to send my gently used clothes into them for extra $$!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with you about the type of item being an important consideration when it comes to used clothing. I’m afraid any kind of underwear or swimming gear would be impossible for me. A coat, on the other hand…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I adore seconds, vintage and anything that seems more unique than off the rack where there a hundred like them, so I totally get it. Even though I post fashion sets for my business I think you will notice they tend to be more of an eclectic mix except in cases of contests 🙂 So I am saying more power to us all and there was another site I loved like thredup but better and they merged with a company which doesn’t have the same feel unfortunately I cannot recall the name. Its too bad I was really vibing with them and had bought and sold to them in the past. Keep up the good work! Stop by my site when you get some time let me know what you think about the new fashion consultant biz 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no, that stinks that the company you like merged and changed their vibe! I hate it when a business I love does that. And that is such a great point about buying used/vintage. You can totally be more unique and stand out!

      Liked by 1 person

    • That is so true! Honestly a lot of the things I see on thredUP are items I would have bought fifteen years ago or so. Which is one thing I love about fashion – it always cycles around again! 😍


  7. I don’t trust clothes shopping online. I’ll only buy from stores unless it’s an exclusive garment (Assassin’s Creed t-shirts I’ve bought off the internet before, but I’ve bought other things that ended up not being what they said on the tin). The most heartbreaking one was a football shirt of my favourite continental team, Panathinaikos of Greece. I always wanted one of their shirts and one year decided I’d go for it. Including the shirt, printing of a number and my name on the back and shipping it cost me about £80 for this one shirt I coveted so badly. It finally got here and I found out European sizes differ from UK sizes and it was too damned tight on me. I was absolutely gutted! Sending it back to Greece simply wasn’t going to result in anything whereupon I’d come out ahead. I haven’t been in the financial position since to buy another Panathinaikos shirt since 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • That really stinks about the jersey!! I still don’t understand why we can’t all just agree upon universal sizing conventions so that messes like that don’t happen. And I can’t blame you for being burned on buying online! It really can be a gamble when it comes to size and fit. I’ve actually just received one of the packages I bought that was in this post, and it totally doesn’t fit at all. Thankfully there’s free return shipping and I’ll get credit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It does suck, but I’ll get another one day 🙂 Glad you got free return. That definitely eases the dread about buying online, but it’s still a lot of palaver for me. I prefer the return to shop method than start faffing about with an unreliable postal service. I won’t even buy games online because I’m worried they won’t show up or whatever

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s not as terrible as people make out here in the UK, but there have been many times where items I’m waiting on haven’t turned up or I’ve been waiting far longer than I should have to.

        Liked by 1 person

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