It’s not you, it’s them.
We totally get the allure of fast-fashion dupes: they let you tap into styles at typically low prices. Buuuuut with those low prices comes low quality, and the items you buy likely won’t see the light of day past the third wear (we won’t dive into just how bad this is for the environment...). On the other hand, opting for resale or discounted versions of the items you want lets you enjoy those same styles for similarly low prices, without sacrificing quality to the same extent.
Read on for our top tips to start shopping more sustainably online.
- Know Your Style: Before you start shopping, have a clear idea of your personal style and the types of items you’re looking for. This will help you focus your search and make more intentional purchases. If you need some help figuring out your personal style, there are tons of services from ones that specialize in resale like The Resale Stylist to global style powerhouses like House of Colour.
- Quality Check: When shopping for secondhand items online, pay attention to the descriptions and photos of the items. Resellers on peer-to-peer marketplaces like Poshmark typically share close-up product shots if there are any flaws with the items, so inspect them thoroughly for notes about any damages or signs of wear and tear. Also, don't hesitate to ask the seller for more photos or details if necessary.
- Be Patient: If you have your heart set on a specific retail item, it might take some time for that item to become available at a discounted price or on a resale marketplace. To help you keep track of all the different retail items you may want, Locker allows you to save items across different sites in one convenient place. You can then reference your Locker to see if an item has gone on sale, or use the Beni browser extension to see if that same item has been listed on a resale marketplace.
- Rent: If you’re not quite ready to commit to buying something secondhand, especially if it’s for more of a one-time thing, renting is a great option. Designer-focused rental platforms like Rent the Runway and RNTL (which specializes in sustainable options) let you enjoy high-end fashion for specific seasons or special occasions, without the pressure of long-term commitment, or the high cost of paying full-price.
- Treat Your Clothes as Investments: Instead of racing to buy poorly-made items, invest in high-quality clothes that will last for years to come. Not only will they pay for themselves from a price-per-wear standpoint (#girlmath), but you’ll also likely be able to sell or rent them when you no longer have a use for them. Through the RNTL Lender program, you can even earn money on items you rarely wear — RNTL takes care of all the cleaning, shipment, and care associated with renting your clothing, while you make some incremental income and barely notice it’s temporarily gone from your closet.
By breaking up with fast fashion, you’ll finally get the quality you deserve, while still spending within your budget and doing something for the planet that you can feel good about--that's what we call a win-win-win!