According to luxury resale platform Vestiaire Collective, consumers really do want to be more sustainable, especially as it pertains to their fashion choices. In a recent survey, the site found that not only did 77% of consumers in Europe, the US, and Asia feel that sustainability in fashion is crucial, but 41% also shared beliefs that the industry overall needs to offer more sustainable alternatives. Even so, most — over 70% to be exact — have yet to try a circular fashion model, which essentially elongates the life of a garment. In a circular fashion model, pieces are made ethically, enjoyed, repaired, and resold to someone who will love them even longer. Many consumers hadn’t even heard of the concept.
For a lot of shoppers, convenience is of the utmost importance, sometimes at the expense of the environment — which is likely why fast fashion is such a successful model, despite its environmental impact. Online secondhand shopping provides the best of both worlds: sustainability, and convenience. Now that vintage and pre-loved pieces no longer reside only in Goodwills, flea markets, and stressful, overstuffed vintage shops, shoppers can finally find rare and exclusive secondhand fashion items without having to spend hours sorting and sifting. Instead, they can simply scroll, click, and purchase.
Still, many shoppers continue to opt for fast fashion over secondhand, probably in part because of the sheer number of options when shopping on sites like Vestiaire Collective, The RealReal, and Heroine. Even more daunting are auction and DIY platforms like eBay and Etsy. If you don’t know exactly what you want, things tend to get overwhelming.
So, in honor of Earth Day, we thought we’d use our well-trained eye for secondhand scouring to scrounge up some of the best pre-loved and vintage items on the World Wide Web right now. From ‘40s-era rockabilly button-downs and ’90s Helmut Lang tops to barely-worn Loewe flats and Philo-era Céline handbags — if you haven’t yet given circular fashion a try, this is the perfect place to help get you started.
Click on for 22 secondhand fashion items that are not only Earth-friendly, but will also fill your wardrobe with pieces that can’t be found anywhere else. And remember, to truly follow the circular fashion model, you too have to recycle your unwanted clothes and accessories for someone else to enjoy.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.