Secondhand Shopping Challenge: 6 Months of Buying Used

Back in August I decided to challenge myself to only shop secondhand for six months. Part of the challenge was to save money, although I do know it isn't always cheaper to shop used. The second part was to shop more ethically and sustainably. Ethical and sustainable clothing is often more expensive, and I don't have the budget to buy all my clothes this way. However, shopping secondhand is a step in the right direction towards buying less fast fashion.

I haven't done much to make this challenge "official", but by the end of this month it will have been six months. So, how did I do?

- I didn't make any formal rules, but from the beginning I decided that gifts don't count. I accepted a dress from eShakti, and I also got some fun jewelry for Christmas (including another pair of my favorite Nickel and Suede earrings!).

- I also don't count things that I consider necessities, like underwear, pajamas, and socks.

Secondhand items: J. Crew black jeans; Merona leopard flats; Gap navy cardigan; J. Crew Factory jeans; Fergalicious taupe ankle boots

- Other than those, the only new purchase I made that broke the "rules" was shoes. I've been looking for black ankle boots for a while, but haven't had any luck finding any secondhand. I came across a buy one get two (!!) free boot deal at J C Penney and ordered black and brown ankle boots and a pair of rain boots. I have to return the rain boots, but I'm keeping the other two pairs.

Secondhand items: Loft lace tee; J. Crew black jeans; Fergalicious taupe ankle boots; Talbots plaid scarf

- The only place I've been shopping (other than my cheat buy at JCP) for the past five months is ThredUp. I tend to be loyal to shops and brands that I like, and for me shopping secondhand doesn't get any easier than with ThredUp. I do think it can be fun to browse the racks at thrift or consignment stores, but I have to be in the right mood, and, more importantly, have a bit of time to do that. With ThredUp, they have a wide variety of options and carry the brands that I know work for me. I like shopping online these days, but I also like to (mostly) stick with brands I'm familiar with, so I know for the most part how the clothes will fit. ThredUp is also great when there's something specific I'm looking for, because their website is searchable and broken down into categories just like any other online clothing store. This isn't sponsored--I'm just a fan! (I haven't had nearly the luck with selling clothes to them, however.)

Secondhand items:  J. Crew denim skirt; Loft navy print blouse

- Favorite recent secondhand purchases: J. Crew denim button-up skirt, Fergalicious taupe ankle boots, Talbots plaid scarf, J.Crew black jeans, Gap jeans. I have a hard time finding jeans I like and I recently ordered 3 pairs through ThredUp and liked every single pair!

Secondhand items: Gap navy striped sweater; Gap berry cropped pants; Loft navy striped cardigan; Loft yellow blouse; J. Crew Factory jeans

Overall, I'd say I did well on my challenge, and other than with not having much luck with secondhand shoes, I never felt like I was giving anything up. I still found clothes that I loved thanks to a great used clothing website. I don't plan to continue my challenge after February, but I will definitely continue to shop at ThredUp often. In the future, I also want to be more thoughtful about what I buy new, and not fall into the trap of buying something because it is on sale. I'd also like to do more shopping with ethical brands when I can make that work in my budget.

What are your thoughts on shopping secondhand? What about shopping more ethically and sustainably--is that something you think about? (Please know that I'm passing no judgment here; I've spent plenty of money on fast fashion and I'm sure I will continue to do so.)  

Disclosure: while this post isn't sponsored by ThredUp, we will both receive $10 in credit if you sign up using the link I've provided in this post. However, I wouldn't share this link if I didn't love the store! 

Linking with Oh Hey Girl and On the Daily Style

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