The 5 Best Online Thrift Stores
Updated: Feb 28
Water waste, toxic dies, tons of carbon dioxide - these are just a few sins of the fast fashion industry that immediately come to mind. Fast fashion is one of the most wasteful and unethical industries in the world. That’s why the environmentally-conscious shoppers have recently turned to thrift shopping (slow fashion).
Although we have all heard some incredible thrifting success stories, in real life it is actually not that easy to find a worthy piece in a thrift store, especially if you live in a small town. That’s when online thrift stores come to rescue. There’s no need to spend hours of your precious time scanning the hangers -- now you can do it from the comfort of your home. Besides, there are various online thrift stores to please every customer: high end, affordable, stylish, simple, boho, you name it. Let’s take a look at some of the online thrift stores that will definitely be well worth your time and money.
If you’d like to stick to your favorite trustworthy brands and buy second-hand closing at the same time, Urban Renewal might be just what you’re looking for. Urban Renewal is a vintage, second-hand project of Urban Outfitters. According to their website, Urban Outfitters has been collecting unique and well-preserved vintage pieces since 1970. There are several types of clothing Urban Renewal sells. Firstly, they sew new items with leftover fabrics from their own factories and create new designs with them. Some pieces are collected in thrift stores all around the world for their uniqueness. Besides, they also redesign old Urban Outfitters collections and sell the surplus pieces that have never made it to the stores or haven’t been sold. Finally, all the pieces are redesigned to give them a vintage feel. And they ship worldwide too!
ThredUp was created in 2009 by James Reinhart, a Harvard Business School graduate who didn’t know what to do with the clothes he wasn’t wearing anymore. ThredUP has come a long way since then and is now the largest fashion resale marketplace with over 35 thousand brands and 40 thousand new items added to the website every day. Does it mean James got rid of his unused clothes though? That remains unclear -- currently, ThredUp specializes in female and children’s clothing only.
If you would like to sell your clothes on ThredUP, you can order a Clean Out Kit and they will send you a big bag that you can fill with your clothes and send back to the company. After your clothes are sorted and evaluated, you can choose whether you want to receive your money in store-credit or in cash. Besides, you can also donate money to a charity, which is a great way to maximize the positive impact of your clothes. In September 2020, ThredUP only operates in the US and Canada.
Depop is the new big thing for the cool kids. With a design reminiscent of Instagram, Depop is mostly targeting Generation-Z and other fans of fun bright pieces. Depop is a social shopping startup that was founded in Italy in 2011. In 2020 it already has over 18 million users and offices in London, Manchester, Milan, Los Angeles, and New York City.
So what makes Depop special? Shopping on Depop feels very much like scrolling your social media feed, but when you like an item you can actually buy it. And for a very affordable price too! On Depop, you can post the items you want to sell on your profile, and your followers or anyone else can buy it. Some brands have online-stores on Depop too, but mostly, it really feels like exchanging clothes with your peers. Currently, Depop operates in the UK, US, Germany, Italy, France, and Australia.
Vinted, another popular online thrift store, was founded in Lithuania in 2008 when Milda Mitkute was moving to another city and realized she can’t take all of her clothes with her. Her friend Justas Janauskas helped her create a website to sell them. Surprisingly, the website got a lot of attention from the media. Fast forward 12 years and Vinted has 4 offices in Europe and operates in the US, France, Germany, the UK, Poland, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Spain, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Vinted works very much like a regular thrift store. Sell and buy any clothes you want for the price that seems acceptable to you. You can find all kinds of stuff there, so if you’re ready to spend some time hunting down the best pieces, you can find some true gems on Vinted. In fact, their motto is “Second hand, first choice”.
Everyone has heard of Etsy. It is an online marketplace for crafters around the world (I even have my own Etsy shop www.greenandhappyshop.com) but did you know that it is also possible to sell vintage items? Shopping on Etsy is extremely easy, fun, and cheap. And it’s one of the thrifters’ favorites too! Since it has so many users, you can find many affordable pieces on Etsy.
However, Etsy is also a marketplace for independent vintage brands that will satisfy even the pickiest vintage fans. There are plenty of them to choose from, but you can start with the most famous ones such as Vaux Vintage or Wayward. Oh and the best part of it? Since February 2019, Etsy offsets 100% of the shippings’ carbon emissions too, so you can shop and ship guilt-free.