The most environmentally friendly piece of clothing is the one that already exists, whether it’s in your own wardrobe or someone else’s. An already produced product eliminates the demand for virgin resources, plastics, packaging, and shipping all over the world, and eventually, it’s saved from going to landfill.
The pandemic has increased people’s awareness when it comes to the environmental harm the fashion industry is making on our planet. The amount of stuff people have accumulated and how relieving it can be to declutter one’s home plus the possibility to earn an extra buck in these challenging economic times, have shifted the focus to resale options. That’s why secondhand stores, goodwill, thrift shops, consignment resellers, online stores for reused goods, and recommerce marketplaces have boomed during the pandemic.
The biggest positive change though, is on the environment. Here are some figures to help you understand the bigger picture:
Here’s how much ends up in the landfill:
Up to 79 % of our wardrobes are rarely or never worn.
87 % of all clothes sold in the EU are incinerated or landfilled.
By 2030 it’s expected that there will be 148 million tons of apparel and footwear waste.
In the US alone, at least 300 million pairs of shoes are thrown away each year. These shoes end up in landfills, where they can take 30 to 40 years to decompose.
Here are some figures related to water pollution, chemicals, and waste:
Up to 92 million tonnes of waste and 79 trillion liters of water are consumed per year to make garments. Outdoor products are manufactured of mostly non-renewable resources like oil to produce synthetic fibers for clothing, footwear, and outdoor equipment, and chemicals to produce, dye and finish fibers and textiles. The constant production of new goods puts enormous pressure on our natural resources.
Production of textiles uses over 3,500 different chemicals.
And the carbon footprint from the apparel industry:
80 % of the climate impact of clothing consumption occurs during the production phase. Using a garment twice as many times, almost halves the garment’s environmental impact. The clothing and footwear industry accounts for up to 10 % of the global greenhouse gas emissions. The industry generates a lot of greenhouse gases during the production, manufacturing, and transportation processes of the millions of garments purchased each year. This is more than all the international flights and maritime shipping combined.
The sum of these facts:
Products need to be kept in use for as long as possible. Doubling the life of clothes has the potential to reduce climate impact by almost 50%. No other single action – such as more sustainably produced textile fibers or better recycling methods – has the potential to reduce the impact of clothing consumption as much as doubling the life of the clothes we already own.
An increase of 10% in secondhand clothing sales could deliver environmental benefits, cutting carbon emissions per tonne of clothing by 3% and water use by 4%.
Quality products can last you many, many years, and especially outdoor goods are made with durability in mind. They are made to last, to be loved and used for years to come.
To help you find those great secondhand products, we’ve made a list of the best spots on the internet for secondhand clothing and outdoor gear.
This guide is comprised of:
- general online resale marketplaces
- online outdoor resellers
- online fashion resellers
General online resale marketplaces
Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, Craigslist, Blocket, Schpock, Gumtree.
Secondhand places like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Blocket, or Gumtree can be great for all sorts of things. Clothing, furniture, gear, tools etc come at great prices, but the downside is that you have to arrange pickup with the seller or buyer.
Online outdoor resellers
The site you’re on right now. A peer-to-peer resale marketplace. Buy, sell or rent preloved outdoor gear. It’s easy to sell by registering for free and uploading the product pics and texts for the products you want to sell. It’s safe to buy gear with our secure payment solution, where we hold the money until you get the gear. What makes Sharesson different? It’s super easy to use the apps, and the site is international!
Is the outdoor brand Patagonia’s secondhand offer of gently used Patagonia products. When you send in your used gear they give you a credit toward purchases in their stores. Their Worn Wear offers are only available in the US.
Is Mountain Equipment Co-op’s way to encourage people to recycle used outdoor gear. It’s a Canadian peer-to-peer online marketplace where outdoor enthusiasts can buy/sell or swap outdoor gear. Site available in Canada and the US.
Is The North Faces’ own resale program of refurbished and repaired used North Face clothing for adults and kids. All products have been inspected and repaired by TNF before it is resold on the platform. Ships US only.
REI the outdoor gear retailer is making a difference by offering returned and traded-in gear on their Good & Used site to very reduced prices. They ship internationally with restrictions on certain brands and products.
Online fashion resellers
Is one of the first fashion resale sites, focuses mainly on luxury fashion. They are based in Paris, with several offices around the world. Their offers are available internationally. Vestiaire Collective is a peer-to-peer marketplace, but the products can be sent in for authentication. There’s also a lifestyle section for furniture and homewares.
Is more like a social network, the Gen-Zs favorite reselling app for trendy, unique fashion and vintage finds. Depop is also a peer-to-peer marketplace, available only as an app. It operates like a connector and holds no inventory. The app feels like Instagram and is very much loved for its social features and user-friendliness. Depop has several offices around the world, and their offers are available internationally.
Is a peer-to-peer thrifting shop with a very popular app. Poshmark is the biggest online fashion secondhand marketplace. 70 million users and $4 billion worth of merchandise sold since the start of the company. Poshmark has 56 mission social interactions per day. They don’t hold any inventory, just facilitate the connection and transaction of the goods. Poshmark is an American company that operates only in the US and Canada.
Is a consignment and thrift store. Based in San Francisco and operates only in the US and Canada. ThredUp is one of the biggest online thrift stores. They cover over 2 million items across 35.000 brands from “Gap to Gucci”. They are a consignment store, meaning the products have to be sent into them first, before they can be sold. A bag is sent to your home, you fill it up and send it back for free. They do the rest.
A peer-to-peer luxury fashion marketplace. Made by women, for women. People can sell straight from their closets by using the website or apps. The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, California and ships in the US.
The circular economy is one of the biggest trends and predictions for the near future when it comes to the fashion industry.
Eco-living, zero waste living, or sustainable lifestyle is what Gen Z is talking about. It’s where customers are moving towards and where brands have to follow as well. Reseller communities are growing day by day, and this feels extremely positive. People are trying to save the plane one item at a time.