- One-of-a-kind style
- Reducing textile waste
- Minimizing industrial pollution
- Preserving natural resources
- Instant Gratification
- No Need to Travel
- An Element of Surprise
- Side-hustle Opps
- Embrace holes in jeans, they’re stylish
- If you can’t embrace them, patch up or mend holes (and torn belt loops)
- Raise worn-out hem-lines to turn your jeans into capris or cut-off shorts
- Cut seam slits for jeans that are too tight at the ankle
- Loosen a tight waistband by sewing wedges of fabric along seam slits at the waist
- Scrub water-stained leather with vinegar using a soft-brushed toothbrush
- Tackle dirt-stained shoes suede by buffing it with a nail-file
- Deodorize your sweaty trainers by sprinkling them with baking soda and stuffing them with newspaper
- Replace dirty laces with fresh new ones
- Add insoles to extend the life of uncomfortable shoes
- Repair worn-out soles by having a cobbler resole your shoes
- Crop it
- Cut off the sleeves to turn your tee into a tank
- Cut a V-neck to remove a stained collar
- Transform your tee into a reusable shopping tote by sewing the bottom shut
- Fix boxy, unattractive fits with some darts or by taking a shirt in at the sides
- Fix bent or wrinkled collars by ironing them and applying starch
- “Steam iron” wrinkled fabrics, by hanging them near the shower
- Replace the buttons
- Reinforce buttons with clear nail polish
- Alter ugly sleeves to a different length
- Shave off pills with a disposable razor
- Pull snagged threads to the back side of a sweater with a needle and watch them disappear
- Hand-wash sweaters to prevent warping
- Crop long, boring cardigans
- Avoid washing sweaters by wearing undershirts with them
- Gift shrunken sweaters to children or dogs
- Reinforce the seams
- Reinforce the buttons
- Use vaseline on stuck zippers
- Replace a torn liner or sew a missing one in
- Spot-treat stains with a toothbrush, baking soda and vinegar
- 713 gallons of water, enough drinking water for a person to live on for 2.5 years
- 33lbs of carbon dioxide, about as much as a car driving 30 miles in the U.S.
- 998 gallons of water, enough for a U.S. household to consume in 3 days
- 74lbs of carbon dioxide emissions, as much as a typical car driving about 70 miles in the U.S.
- 48.9g excess phosphorus in the environment (eutrophication), the same as 1700 tomatoes
- Roughly 3,626 gallons of water, depending on the country
- About 31lbs of carbon dioxide per shoe
- The gift you give should be in excellent condition.
- Don’t skimp on presentation. A beautifully designed package is worth it.
- Remember that you can upcycle thrifted items to enhance their appeal.
- Pay close attention to detail. Make sure it’s something your friend/family member will love.
- Buttoned-up flannel with your favorite pair of jeans
- Unbuttoned flannel over a graphic tee
- Unbuttoned flannel over something warm
- Flannel tied around the waist
- Your flannel all dressed up
- The carbon footprint. The textile industry emits 1.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year. And that’s just one of the environmental ills. Don’t forget the water pollution from chemical dyes and excessive water consumption, as well as transportation, packaging, synthetic microfiber pollution, unsustainable farming to grow cotton and . . . that’s all I’ve got off the top of my head.
- The unfair trade. Ranging from modern slavery to unsafe working conditions, i.e., the Rana Plaza factory collapse of 2013, cheap labor is the backbone of cheap fashion.
- The hyper-fast trend cycle. Some fast fashion stores like H&M change their merch once a week, fifty-one times per year.
- The waste. Here’s where we, the shoppers, especially need to self-reflect. Americans throw away about 81 pounds of clothing each year.
- Using recycled ocean plastic to make Adidas kicks,
- Improving the working conditions of garment workers,
- Marie Kondo-ing our wardrobes down to timeless pieces, or
- Buying pre-worn clothing, so we can dodge all of the above-mentioned bullets without limiting ourselves. (You’ve got to check out our bundles.)
- Sept. 4, 2018
Online thrift is having its moment. And this may just be the beginning.
Online thrift stores are leading this boom. Fashionista claims that “digital-first” companies are responsible for making thrift shopping go mainstream. For instance, Depop’s user base grew by 4 million users in 2018.
Other popular online outlets include ThredUp, Poshmark, Patagonia Worn Wear, Asos Marketplace and StockX. Goodwill has even created its own shopping app to stay relevant.
You probably know the benefits of thrift clothing in general:
But here are the top 7 reasons why people prefer E-thrifting to browsing the racks:
In the past, you had to search far and wide for that rare thrifted find.
Today, you just need to click through your favorite site to find what you’re looking for immediately. The time it takes to thrift has dropped dramatically.
Most online thrift stores carve out a niche.
For instance, Goodfair specializes in casual wear and unisex. Other stores offer luxury goods (the RealReal), name brands (ThredUp), or user-generated content (Depop and Poshmark).
Each niche meets the demands of a targeted audience, making shoppers’ user-experience improve.
The real problem with in-person thrift shopping is this. There are no tabs, filters or search options. Shopping online makes the hunt so much easier.
You can shop from your home wearing pajamas. And even if you live where I randomly dropped a pin on the map in Nova Scotia, you have access to quality thrift online.
Many online thrift outlets are offering fun surprise options. It’s a bit like buying a lottery ticket, except you know you’ll win something.
Once you get tired of your clothes, you can easily join the resale party. Try reselling your own pieces using online apps like Depop and Poshmark to earn some extra bucks.
All of these reasons show how online thrift makes the perfect combination of old and new.
CTA: We make online shopping practical AF. Our ever-changing New tab reminds you what’s probably missing from your closet.
No one wants to lose a favorite piece of clothing to a stain or a tear. In many cases, you can easily revive your threads, even when they seem ruined. By giving your clothes a second life, you’ll keep clothing out of the trash and reduce your clothing footprint.
We like our jeans to appear worn-in. Still, a number of things can go wrong with them. Here are a few tips for coping with jeans that have reached their tipping point:
We wear them to walk, run and dance. We step on the dirty streets in them. And on unlucky days, our shoes get caught in nasty weather. This means shoes can age quickly. Give your shoes a second chance with these recommendations:
Whether they get stretched out, discolored or stained, tees can lose their luster quickly. Here are some easy ways to keep them in rotation in your closet:
Blouses and Button-up Shirts
It’s easy to get frustrated with unflattering formal and semi-formal shirts. Here are some ways to improve your chances of gaining shirt mileage:
Sweaters and Knits
Sweaters can warp, shrink, and snag. Don’t get dismayed, though. Help is on the way:
Coats and Jackets
Coats and jackets add character to our closets and warmth to our outfits. Make sure you keep them around for the long-haul:
When all else fails, remember that tailors and cobblers are your friends. Or you can simply call up your crafty aunt for help.
Let us know how you saved a piece of your own clothing from the trash in the comments.
Give high-quality thrifted clothes a second chance by shopping our Sustainability Sweetness Bundle.
When you look through your wardrobe, math is probably the last thing on your mind. But you can probably estimate the total value of your wardrobe based on your shopping receipts.
You probably can’t estimate its environmental impact, though. One of the reasons is that it’s difficult to tally up all of the precise environmental damages done by our clothing.
For a cotton T-shirt, its footprint starts at the farm, where the cotton is grown. If it’s conventional cotton, the pesticides are the first thing to take a toll. Then you have to add up the water, the GHGs emitted during the production, transportation, washing, and wasting of our clothes. You should also consider the chemicals. In fact, 23% of all industrial chemicals used in the world are used for clothing.
Basically, we should view our clothing with the same disdain as we view smoke stacks or garbage dumps, because clothes pollute. Here are some simple metrics to help you understand how our clothes have an unseen environmental cost.
To make one cotton T-Shirt, it takes:
To make one pair of jeans, it takes:
To make one pair of leather shoes, it takes:
To make one pair of synthetic shoes, it takes:
So, the next time you want to shop for a T-shirt, why not buy second hand? When you buy pre-worn clothing, its environmental impact gets halved or even quartered, simply because you’re extending its lifespan.
The mathematical beauty of a thrifted wardrobe is two-fold. Not only are thrifted clothes cheaper, they reduce the negative environmental cost of clothes at the same time.
Shop our low-impact Save the Earth Bundle. You and the environment will both gain back some dignity.
Colorful knitted scenes of Santa’s reindeer, puffy appliques of elves, and snowflake patterns that make you dizzy--welcome to ugly Christmas sweater season.
How ugly Christmas sweaters became a thing
Once upon a time in the eighties, ugly Christmas sweaters were considered cute. The bright colors, vivid graphics, and tinsel trimmings signaled merriment. But then they faded out of fashion (probably for being a bit too extra).
That is, until some brilliant masterminds decided to raid their parents’ closets.
Two Vancouver fellas came up with the idea of hosting a theme party dedicated to these knitted wonders in 2002. They wore the designs ironically for a laugh. And that’s how the first ever “ugly Christmas sweater party” came about.
Now, it’s almost been twenty more years since the holiday season’s silliest event made its debut. Here’s why the ugly Christmas sweater craze has lasted.
Celebrities flaunting ugly Christmas sweaters
First of all, pop culture is full of ugly Christmas sweaters both on and off stage. Matt Damon showed up for an interview in a Santa-clad number. And Miley Cyrus has used Instagram to share her own ugly Christmas sweater collection.
Not to mention, ugly Christmas sweaters are constantly evolving. The internet can’t forget how Devi Lovato wore a cropped reindeer sweater onstage at a Jingle Ball in Florida. Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest hosted Live with Kelly and Ryan wearing a tandem, double-headed version of an ugly holiday sweater. And of course, Howie Mandel added a new twist by sporting a Hanukkah version featuring challah holiday bread.
The future of ugly Christmas sweaters is already here
Now that celebrities are wearing ugly Christmas sweaters, makers of ugly Christmas sweaters have flipped the script. You can find Drake wearing an ugly Christmas sweater in an ugly Christmas sweater design! Pop culture has stormed ugly Christmas sweaters with everything from stormtroopers to Stranger Things.
Even if ugly Christmas sweater designs keep changing over time, classic uglies are still out there. You can always find gaudy, jolly warmth when you browse your favorite thrift stores.
CTA: Perfect your holiday game by shopping our surprise thrifted ugly Christmas sweaters.
Everyone appreciates a thoughtful gift. So why doesn’t holiday shopping always deliver those warm fuzzies to us? For starters, Americans tend to buy lots of unnecessary stuff, which can weigh on our wallets and dampen the holiday spirit.
One of the best ways to combat our throw-away culture is to give the gift of thrift this year. And hopefully next year, even more people will be willing to try it.
If you’ve never thrifted gifts before, you may worry that pre-worn or -used items might disappoint your recipients. But this assumption needs to be challenged.
Gifting thrift lets you show genuine appreciation. By finding the perfect second-hand gift, you can impress your loved ones with your deep understanding of their taste.
However, gifting thrift does come with some caveats. Here are a few guidelines:
Here are a few ideas for starters:
Vintage designer is sure to woo your boo.
A comfy tie-dyed smiley face tee, please!
Shop for a thrifted windbreaker or hoodie your friend’s favorite color.
Sassy scarves and belts
Go big, go bold, go patterny. Vintage silk or polyester scarves also make wonderful gift wrapping material.
Old stainless steel watch
Classic timepieces are an excellent addition to anyone’s wrist. Bonus points if you can find one that still works.
Owl-shaped ceramic figurine
Odd vintage ceramic figurines go well on any desk or mantle. Search for a quirky design of your friend’s favorite animal.
Nothing says winter warmth like cashmere that’s aged like a fine wine.
If you dig, you will find treasure. Search for first editions, odd-ball titles, or self-help books that deserve a second chance.
IMHO, everyone needs an Inspector Gadget coat. Find one with a good cut and no stains.
Have more ideas? Please share in the comments!
CTA: One last thing. Buy a surprise thrifted ugly Christmas sweater for those hard-to-shop-for friends. And throw one in for your mom, while you’re at it.
Hillary Taymour, the face behind Collina Strada has been designing clothes sustainably with purpose since 2012. More than just a brand, she creates a platform for social awareness and opens up the discussion for a kinder planet and how to be more mindful. She has even figured out a way to tie-dye like no one else we’ve ever seen.
This year she was nominated for the CFDA Vogue fashion fund and blocked off an entire street block for her S/S ‘20 show. On top of that, the brand has been seen on every fashionista from Courtney Trop to North West.
We got the honor to sit down with Hillary, and ask her some personal questions that others might not know the answers to. We laughed the entire time and got some perspective on how to conserve, think about the world around us, and consider the fact that there really is no planet B.
Jo: What kind of pajamas do you wear?
Hillary: Sometimes underwear.
Jo: what’s your favorite color?
Jo: Who is your favorite sustainable brand other than you?
Hillary: Misfit Market.
Jo: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Jo: If you weren’t living in New York where would you want to live?
Hillary: I can’t say because that’s my exit plan.
Jo: Is it space? I could see you definitely moving to space.
Hillary: I would definitely want to live in space because there is no planet B, but I would be happy to live on a spacecraft.
Jo: What are some ways people can become instantly more sustainable?
Hillary: Consuming less everything. Buying less. If you do buy, buy more consciously.
Jo: What are your favorite things?
Hillary: I like hummus, my dog, crime documentaries and I’d love Diane Keaton and Whoopie Goldberg to wear my clothes.
Jo: What advice would you give someone who wants to be where you are?
Hillary: Why would anyone want to be like me?
Jo: Do you want more people to start designing clothes?
Hillary: I think people need to start thinking outside of the box on how to develop good products that aren’t wasteful or harmful to the environment. I think we need people who should research and understand what the next plan should be and what the next step in fashion is.
Jo: What’s your catchphrase?
Hillary: My fall/winter phrase was “the future is in our hands, how will you make a difference?”
Jo: Anything else you want to tell your fans?
Hillary: Pick up your shit.
Article written by Jo Rosenthal
Fast fashion giant Forever 21 has filed bankruptcy. It’s the latest victim of what the media is calling the “retail apocalypse,” meaning that walk-in stores are closing down, while online retailers are thriving. As the company scales back, it will close 350 stores worldwide, including 178 stores in the U.S. It’ll also stop operating in 40 countries and “restructure” towards a more online-centric sales model.
As we all know, during the 2000s, Forever 21 epitomized fast fashion. Everything about the brand is extra. Stepping foot in one of their stores, your senses get bombarded with a synthetic color explosion and blaring pop music. The brand subliminally asserts a throw-away aesthetic as you browse the inventory: the directionless fashion sense, the extremely fast pace of fashion turnover, and the shockingly low prices.
But if fast fashion means you have to undercut garment workers and damage the environment, why bother? Second-hand fashion offers the same low prices without the unsavory side effects, right? It’s easy to speculate that Forever 21’s bankruptcy may be symptomatic of a shifting tide: young shoppers’ distaste towards fast fashion.
Fast fashion retailers like Forever 21 create a hugely negative impact on the environment. On top of unsustainable production, their massive inventories must fly globally to stock stores, burning fossil fuels as they travel. Next, customers only wear the (mostly) synthetic garments a few times before trashing them. And like other plastics, these clothes don’t even break down in the landfill. We’re literally stuck with them in the environment--forever.
Forever 21 is obviously an easy target for criticism on its sustainability. Other fast fashion brands like H&M have tried to expand their lines to include more sustainable garment options. Meanwhile, ThredUp has been making partnerships with traditional retailers like Macy’s to assist with reselling used clothing. But Forever 21 hasn’t made noticeable attempts to innovate in this direction.
With so many youth climate strikes and extinction rebellion protests underway, fashion companies need to wake up to the fact that young shoppers want better choices. Retailers should shift their focus toward sustainability before it’s too late. After all, there are just five or six years until today’s climate strike generation turns 21.
Shop our second-hand inventory to avoid the environmental and social costs of fast fashion. It’s our goal to help you keep your closet’s footprint clean and shift the fashion paradigm.
Article Written by Erica Eller
The flannel shirt is a sure bet for thrifters. It’s easy to layer and it complements almost any casual look. Read on for the five best ways to wear one. But first:
Why has the flannel shirt endured?
Made of durable wool and cotton fabric blends, flannel shirts began as worker wear. That’s why we still associate flannel shirts with the lumberjack look.
The flannel took on a new life in the ‘90s when grunge bands popularized it and gave it a counterculture edge. It has now been embraced by nearly everyone. From punk to hip hop, or Chola to LGBT hipster communities, you’ll likely encounter the flannel shirt.
This makes it an important staple to have in your closet.
When to wear a flannel
The flannel shirt is a button-up shirt, but it’s too casual for an interview. Don’t bother wearing it to formal events like weddings.
Flannels are easy to move around in, but not quite comfortable enough for playing sports or working out.
Instead, wear them on dates, weekend trips, to the movies, at picnics, concerts, parties, and for camping.
How your flannel should fit
The fit of your flannel can span from comfortable and relaxed to oversized and billowy. Avoid a closely fitted or tight flannel.
If you keep several flannels in rotation and wear them in different ways, you’ll get lots of mileage out of them over time.
5 ways to wear a flannel
This look is a no-brainer. If your jeans have holes or frayed edges, even better. If it seems too easy, try wearing your flannel with corduroys. For shoes, throw on trainers, boots or loafers. The look also goes well with a bomber jacket.
The layered flannel is one of the most iconic ways to wear your shirt. Pairing an unbuttoned flannel with a plain white tee is safe, but graphic tees let you show your personality.
Don’t worry about matching the colors too much. The idea is to make your outfit look effortless. Simple two-tone flannels are preferred for this look.
For pants, black jeans work really well. Throw on a jeans jacket or leather jacket over the top for even more layers and lace up your favorite trainers or Converse sneakers with this look.
Since flannels run on the larger side, you can easily layer them over of hoodies or sweaters. Add a puffy coat and boots and you’ve just transitioned to winter.
Flannels don’t have to be “worn” to be worn well. You can tie one around your waist, like a scarf for your hips.
Add a beanie and some mom jeans (for women) or the oldest jeans in your closet (for men) and you’re golden. Low key shoes are all you need for this look.
Style your flannel with a skirt and a leather jacket (for women) or chinos and a suit jacket (for men) for some polish. This works well with flannels that have neutral tones. Suede shoes of all shapes and colors work well with this style.
This look works well for semi-formal gatherings like art openings or social gatherings for work.
However you choose to wear your flannel, make sure you remain loyal to your shirt by wearing it for many years. This will help you keep your clothing footprint low.
Buy a bundle to recreate any of the styles in this article. Our bundles come with tees, flannels, sweatshirts, and jackets that you can easily mix and match.
Article Written by Erica Eller
In our age of apps, second-hand shopping has become super easy. One of my favorite things to do is this: Saunter around the pad in slippers, smartphone in hand, browsing great vintage Insta accounts.
This way, you don’t have to hit all of the racks to find the next holy grail for your closet. (When there’s time, that can be fun, too, though.) And, even if I’m not in the mood to buy, you can gather ideas on what to wear and how to wear it well.
There are SOOOOO many good accounts out there to follow. Yes, we are spoiled, but no complaints here. You should definitely get on Insta right now and follow these twenty eternal-scroll-worthy vintage and thrift Insta accounts.
Click the name of the company to see their Instagram page!
@KnooksVintage - Funky retrotastic clothing.
@B.JonesStyle - Laid back, eclectic SoCal second-hand fashion.
@TiffCrazyCool - Casual, streetworthy. Natural hair lovers should follow her.
@BreakfastatTiffany’s - Get your glam, sneakers and a touch of disco. A great account to browse to the crackle of vinyl.
@ResurrectionVintage - Versace-esque jewels--let your inner royalty shine.
@MercyVintage - Quirky, cool, colorful.
@TheCornerStore - How to raid your grandma’s closet and come out swinging.
@Procell - Throwback tees and sporty goods for your fashion remix.
@NaNinVintage - Going for the updated Diane Keaton from Annie Hall look? You’ve found your home.
@PersephoneVint - Pure romance. Fantastic ruffled, cuffed and tucked vintage tops.
@TheVintageEdit - Think Sharon Stone circa 1990. Get that look here.
@TwitchVintage - Curated low key thrift, bringing joy piece by piece.
@Ellen123Ludlow - A shop with the nose for eye-popping finds.
@NamesakeVintage - What to wear with your center-part.
@Worship - Don’t miss a beat. How to pull it all together.
@FeathersBoutiqueVintage - It’s all in the details.
@TheMetalVintage - Punk cake with vintage frosting.
@Mila.Guan - An easygoing, carefree take on vintage.
@Angiekyra - Style that creates its own mise en scene.
@fasinfrank - Brothers Drew and Jesse show us the ropes of the vintage game.
I grew up thrifting and I hated it at first. My stepmom and dad owned a mid-century modern furniture store in Miami and I used to hang out there after school and touch everything. I also think that’s where my ability to fall asleep in any chair came from. I remember taking trips with my parents all around Florida to estate sales and warehouses to find cool furniture. It was so boring at first because as a nine-year-old, I thought old things were disgusting. As I grew up, my hate for thrifting changed. By the time I was a senior in high school, I became a regular at my local Salvation Army. I loved the cashier who wore 40 necklaces and had a tiny mustache to match.
I feel like after spending half my life in thrift stores, I’ve mastered the art. So much so that when I visit my family in Florida, I plan my trip around when I can thrift. Here are some of my tips and tricks on how to make the most of any thrifting experience.
Don’t be afraid to get dirty
I feel like a lot of people like the idea of thrifting, but when it comes to doing it they can’t stand it. To me, the whole point of thrifting is to dig and find that incredible piece you didn’t even know existed. It means getting dirty to find it. So many thrift stores are filled with things that no one wanted, and it’s your job to weed through to find something that you do. If you can’t stand the idea of going through bins of stained/used/dirty/stinky/ripped things, maybe the thrift store isn’t the best place for you. I’ve experienced everything from finding bloodstains on dresses to cocaine and bugs in cabinets, but that hasn’t stopped me from tying my hair up and continuing to sift through garbage until I find something I can’t live without.
Remember you can always find it cheaper
Whenever I have my eye on something, I like to send pictures of it to my stepmom to see if she can find it at one of the local thrifts she goes to. Pretty much every time that’s the case, the goal is achieved. From mini dresses to Herman Miller knock offs, there really isn’t anything you can’t find at a thrift store if you’re willing to search. However, it’s important to remember that just because you found it in one place, doesn’t mean you can’t find it somewhere else. Whether you go to Ebay or Etsy or IRL to find gold, remember that you can pretty much always find what you’re looking for a cheaper price if you’re willing to do the research.
Don’t mistake vintage for thrift
New York loves to be the type of place to mark up prices on things you can find cheaper somewhere else. Since the rise of thrifting over the last ten years, vintage stores have popped up all over ready to take your money. Take it from someone who has experienced this first hand with my parent's furniture store. We’d buy things for anywhere from $10-100 and mark it up to 10x the price and sell it to someone who doesn’t want to go find it themselves. Sometimes it’s based on how limited something is, but most of the times it’s not and it’s just a matter of looking. If you’ve been eyeing a velvet couch from a vintage store in Greenpoint, don’t be afraid to look for it in other places because chances are if it’s $800 dollars in one place, you can find it for $500 dollars somewhere else. And I bet if you give the store clerk a smile, they’ll be willing to lower the price for you.
If it doesn’t fit, tailor it!
This one is obvious, but if you find something you like and it doesn’t fit, if it’s cheap enough, you should get it and take it somewhere to make it fit you. Sometimes it’s hard to find certain fabrics in other places, so if you find a fabric you can’t live without but the style is too big or small, just take it and figure out what to do with it later.
Whenever I thrift, I like to plan out my experience. Most places are cash only and you should probably bring a friend. I like to limit myself to a $50 dollar experience because you really shouldn’t spend more than that to find used goods. Especially when it comes to clothes. I like to grab a cart from the front of the store and walk through every aisle grabbings things I like until the cart is full and I can go through it and choose things I can’t live without. I like to wash things at least 2 or 3 times before wearing them because I’ve gotten lice from trying on hats. Don’t forget to make the most of the experience and not take it too seriously because that takes away the fun and laughter of looking through things that might have an insane backstory. Thrifting is a fun and easy way to refresh your closet with gems that tell a never-ending story.
Article written by Jo Rosenthal
Fashion is having its resale moment. According to thredUp’s 2019 Resale Report, the secondhand market is expected to double from $24 billion to $51 billion from 2018 to 2023. It’s putting fast fashion in the dust with 21 times faster growth in three years.
Unicorns in this space include StockX, an online collectible sneaker selling outlet and TheRealReal, offering consignment luxury and designer brands. (They’re not fanciful creatures, but private companies with a valuation of at least a billion dollars). Poshmark, a social peer-to-peer reselling site and thredUp, a brand name reseller, are not far behind.
How did this happen? And where do you fit in?
Influencers took control of style, while conscious shoppers became more and more mainstream. At the intersection of social media influence and sustainability, you land at the perfect solution: resale.
Like social media, reselling is democratic. Pretty much anyone can simultaneously produce and consume fashion online while cultivating a personal style. At the same time, resale doesn’t exploit all of that extra energy, water and labor when you sell things two or three times after they first left the retail sales floor.
Now, it’s a collector’s market and people increasingly view their own closets as boutiques. Meanwhile, the number of items we keep in our closets has fallen. We’re more likely to keep an item circulating in resale-land once we lose interest.
However, in the resale world, user-experience still makes all the difference. Long wait times and clunky sales points won’t cut it.
Ways to werk it
With photo apps like Instagram allowing you to easily upload your closet “inventory” and resell last week’s items, you can easily carve out a niche using the #shopmycloset hashtag.
Youtube hauls: the gateway between thrift and Depop?
Watch Youtube vlogger Threadsobsessed devour the racks on her thrift hauls. She takes a maximalist approach to buying and selling. There’s something strangely addictive about watching her pull, ponder and put back things that you could buy on her Depop reseller account. Do you enjoy the hunt? Could this be you?
You can subscribe, buy in bulk and splurge guilt-free
You don’t have to cut back to be sustainable with second-hand clothes. Many online sites help match your style and send multiples, giving you low hassle options. And We Evolve creates subscription boxes to receive new clothes monthly based on your style. We (Goodfair) also offer curated bundles, so you can easily rotate patterns and styles.
We can now own less and circulate the rest
Let us know how you navigate the wide world of resale in the comments.
Remember that resale is social. Wear, like and share your Goodfair finds with friends--both online and IRL.
Article Written by Erica Eller
Today’s question: Is sustainable fashion here to stay, or gone tomorrow?
Before we rush to a decision, let’s quickly recap on what’s unsustainable about today’s fashion norms:
There are lots of ways to address any one of these issues to become “more sustainable,” such as:
Most sustainable fashion trends relate in some way to circular design, which opposes excess “linear” consumerism. This means intercepting the “old stuff” in the waste stream and looping it back into the “new stuff” category. And it applies to almost every industry, not just fashion.
When you peel off the cool-sounding label, a very concrete set of limits appears. It’s possible that unsustainable fashion will eventually come to a halt anyway, with the growing population and scarce natural resources. So, something’s gotta give.
While that sounds depressing, the “circular economy” never ceases to fuel new ideas. You can now rent pieces of clothing for an Insta photoshoot or wear upcycled textile waste designs by Patrick McDowell.
So, if the circular economy effectively swallows consumer culture whole, then sustainable fashion could simply swallow mainstream fashion in the future.
Our vote? Here to stay.
Want classic, timeless pieces for your wardrobe? Shop our T-shirts.
|Article Written by Erica Eller
When taken seriously, thrifting is an art form. Just ask the pros. That’s why we went on a treasure hunt for some of the best thrifting pull-quotes online.
We hope this helps you get more for your hard-earned cash on your next thrifting haul.
“Know what you want and what you are looking for, and familiarize yourself with stores so you know what they tend to have.”
“Check all sections of the thrift store.”
“One thing I always ask myself when I’m thrifting before I buy that cute $3 dollar top is ‘would I pay full price for this?’”
“I get overwhelmed with crowds and it throws off my thrifting game. If you go in the early morning and late evening (before closing) on weekdays, thrift shops will usually be less empty.”
“I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again, shop with a friend! … A second set of eyes is always better than one.“
“If you’re shopping for quality and true vintage, look for natural fabrics like silks, wools, linens, 100% cottons and leathers.”
“It’s a good idea to ask your go-to shop so you know exactly which day of the week to expect new inventory.”
“Something that I really like to do when I go thrifting, especially when I’m looking for clothes is to wear the right outfit.”
“Somebody once told me that if you wrap the waist [of jeans] around your neck and it fits, then it means that the jeans are going to fit you.”
“Look at men’s vs. women’s denim. … At the men’s, what I really love to look at is the denim. They have really great Levi’s - those vintage kind that you can just alter.”
Amy Serrano of Pepper Pout
“If something is a few sizes too big, you can wear it oversize, belted, cuffed, tied, etc. But if you need to reconstruct the garment to make it wearable, that’s probably more of a hassle than it’s worth (or worse still, you might never get around to it!).”
For online shopping, use this hack…
“Filters are my secret weapon though! I first sort by my sizes (M/L), then the type of item I’m looking for (shirts), the color (brown), and then sometimes brand (J. Crew) or style (boho)!”
Lauren Pfeiffer, @PassingWhimsies
So, tell us. How’d it go? Were these tips helpful? Share what works best for you in the comments.
We are Goodfair and we love unisex fashion. We also make finding vintage classics easier with our curated bundles. If something doesn’t quite work out, make it a gift for your bestie.
Article Written by Erica Eller
Who has made headlines this year, and who will continue to make waves on the path to sustainability? We put together a list, if not “the” list.
Number One. Hands down.
Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish activist, has sparked the global climate strike movement, influenced world leaders and earned a Nobel Prize nomination in just over a year. Cool, calm and surprisingly cunning, her voice, captured in this track by The 1975, offers a sober reminder that climate change is an emergency. Each Friday, millions of students across the globe join climate strikes, following her example.
Youth climate activists shaking things up stateside include Jamie Sarai Margolin, founder of the Zero Hour Movement and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, author of We Rise: The Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Movement That Restores the Planet and one of the 21 youth plaintiffs in the Juliana vs. United States lawsuit. It accuses the U.S. government for failing to act on climate change.
Bill McKibben is one of Greta’s greatest allies. He is the co-founder of the site 350.org and he has authored numerous books on the environment: most recently, Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is a billionaire who wants to colonize Mars and who’s become an easy target for internet memes, it’s true. But he’s also the reigning king of techno-fixes for our transition away from fossil fuels. Get ready for a Tesla-inspired world of self-driving electric vehicles, rechargeable home batteries for solar energy storage and a solar-powered hyperloop that travels faster than a bullet train.
Alexandria Ocasio Cortes, “AOC,” is the youngest member of congress, serving New York’s 14th congressional district. She co-wrote the Green New Deal (GND) resolution, the nation’s first comprehensive climate strategy. Even though the GND didn’t pass, it received excellent poll ratings and sparked important conversations.
Varshini Prakash, co-founder and executive director of the Sunrise Movement influenced this year’s Democratic primary debates by demanding a climate-centered discussion.
Ellen MacArthur, a retired British yachtswoman, founded the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to promote the circular economy. Some of the world’s largest companies including Google, Apple, McDonald’s and IKEA are part of her Circular Economy 100 network, which shares innovative ideas to help reduce waste.
Elizabeth Cline, a journalist, public speaker and author with her sights set on weaning the world off of fast-fashion, wrote The Conscious Closet: The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good and Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.
Let’s not forget to include…
Leonardo DiCaprio, actor (obviously), is also a conservationist using his fame for good.
Jane Goodall, world-famous researcher of chimpanzees who discovered they are not unlike us. She got her start with National Geographic, and used her influence to conserve the habitats of African species.
Naomi Klein, author of a must-read book (later turned documentary), This Changes Everything (2014). In it, she only spares criticism of courageous activists blockading fossil fuel projects.
Eric Holthaus, meteorologist and award-winning environmental journalist working for Grist. (It would have been a shame not to include a climate scientist in this list.)
Lil’ Dicky made a climate change song this year with well-chosen pop music cameos. Beware. It gets stuck in your head.
Have someone else in mind who needs to be on this list? Tell us.
Goodfair sells clothes that prevent climate change and close the loop. Buy a shirt and save a shirt from getting made from raw materials.
In 2017, demand for meat-free food increased by 987% according to The Vegan Society and this year the world woke up to the devastating effect of plastic on ocean life, with a single-use plastic ban approved by European Parliament. Clearly environmentalism is on the rise and the next big issue set to be tackled could be what’s in our wardrobes.
While clothes were once seen as a long-term investment, the consumerist society we live in now has created a culture of “fast fashion” – where we buy cheap garments for short-term use before replacing them with the next trending item that’s marketed at us. The result? A disastrous impact on our environment that, as it stands, shows no sign of easing up.
According to Greenpeace, the average person buys 60% more items of clothing and keeps them for about half as long as 15 years ago. Because of this mindset amongst shoppers, the fashion industry is thriving. Clothing production doubled from 2000 to 2014 and while in 2002 clothing sales amounted to $ 1 trillion dollars, that’s projected to rise to $2.1 trillion by 2025, according to the environmental charity.
“I definitely think people's connection with and appetite for fashion has changed quite dramatically in the last five years or so,” said stylist Sophie Brewster.
“I started my career as a personal shopper over 10 years ago, and the only way you could get your trend fix would be through fashion magazines or trying to emulate what your favourite celebrities were wearing. It could be months before the high street could recreate catwalk looks, but now with many fast fashion retailers launching 100 + new lines every week, more mini trends are emerging meaning there is constantly something new and exciting to buy into.
“I also believe there is a massive link between our insatiable appetite for newness and social media influencers posting daily outfit looks which can be purchased with one click through apps like Instagram,” Sophie added.
“Fast fashion and the vicious cycle that has been set in motion by it cannot be ignored any more. First of all, cheap clothing made it unnecessary to make do and mend. Next, we lost our respect for clothing and the necessary knowledge to maintain them. Now we have lost all our inhibitions about even greater numbers of new clothing and using them for even shorter periods of time,” said Kirsten Brodde, global project lead of Greenpeace International’s Detox My Fashion campaign.
What some shoppers might not know is that fashion has a huge impact on the environment in many ways, primarily in the form of vast water consumption, toxins produced and waste created that goes into landfill.
“People don’t realise how damaging textiles are when you throw them in the bin, it’s reckoned to be the most damaging product after aluminium in the household waste stream because of the toxins that leak off the product. Natural fibres take hundreds of years to decompose and synthetic ones like polyester are designed not to decompose at all,” said Michael Lomotey, Business Manager for Clothes Aid.
Stats compiled by Clothes Aid show that 300,000 tonnes of clothing go to UK landfill every year and the global average water footprint for 1 kilogram of cotton - equivalent to the weight of one man’s shirt and a pair of jeans - is 10,000 to 20,000 litres, depending on where it is grown.
“Looking into the future and talking about planet boundaries, it is clear that consumerism is killing our planet. It's heating up the climate, using too much fossil energy, destroying habitats, landscapes and people’s livelihoods. It is not only nature that is paying the price for it, but the millions of people working in exploitative conditions,” Greenpeace’s Kirsten said.
“We do see a countermovement on the horizon that is driven by smaller and medium-size eco fair fashion companies that changed their everyday practices, and people that are fed up with throwaway fashion looking for an alternative,” Kirsten added.
The activist also believes in the power of technology to “connect us with lots of tutorials, knowledge and experiences that can be shared widely” and Greenpeace has tapped into this with its Make Something campaign which is encouraging people to make rather than shop this December.
The message is clear: fast fashion is harming the environment on a global level, but what can we do to make our own individual wardrobes and shopping habits more ethical and sustainable?
First, it’s important to note that shoppers can be sustainable without compromising their style.
According to Eco-Age, a specialist sustainability consultancy founded by Livia Firth:
“Sustainability within fashion is about pairing ethics with aesthetics. In the past, terms such as ‘eco fashion’ and ‘green’ were traditionally associated with hemp sacks, but in 2018 it is clear to see that this is not the case. There is an ever-increasing variety of sustainable textiles and fibres available to brands, as well as socially impactful manufacturing options, meaning designers can create pieces where ethics and aesthetics co-exist. High profile individuals such as Emma Watson and the Duchess of Sussex have helped champion the sustainable fashion industry by showing that fashion can be stylish, luxurious and accessible.”
Livia founded the Green Carpet Challenge, where celebrities champion ethical fashion while attending high profile events. One of her favourite GCC looks was Emma Watson’s Calvin Klein dress at the 2016 Met Gala, which was made from recycled plastic bottles.
Gene Sloan, USA TODAY
MOORESTOWN, New Jersey – Julia Mooney stands in front of a classroom of eighth-graders wearing her simple gray, button-down dress.
It’s the same outfit she wore yesterday.
She also wore it the day before.
In fact, she’s been wearing it virtually nonstop since early September.
In a project that's drawing national attention, the 34-year-old art teacher at William Allen Middle School has vowed to wear the dress every day she teaches for the first 100 days of the school year.
Tuesday is Day 50.
Mooney is trying to raise awareness of what she calls a growing “culture of excess” in America that has filled our closets to overflowing with throwaway garments.
“There is no rule anywhere that says that we have to wear a different thing every day,” she says. “Why do we ask this of each other? Why do we require that we each wear something different every day and buy more clothes and feed into this fast-fashion culture?"
Call it the antithesis of fast fashion, the inexpensive, quickly made, trend-of-the-moment clothing that has flooded store shelves in recent years, allowing consumers to expand and quickly refresh wardrobes.
Sustainable fashion is about wearing clothing made in an eco-friendly way, buying fewer but better-made pieces of clothing, wearing them more often and making sure garments eventually are recycled.
Eagan, who blogs about eco-friendly clothing at fashionmegreen.com, says the sustainable fashion movement follows the path of the organic food and clean beauty movements, which started on the fringes, then went mainstream.
At first, people began caring more about the sustainability and healthfulness of what they put in their bodies. Then they started paying attention to what they put on their bodies. Now they’re thinking more about the sustainability of what covers their bodies.
“Fashion, I always like to say, is the last frontier,” Eagan says.
The clothing industry long has drawn criticism for its wastefulness – and not just from the outside.
Top American clothing designer Eileen Fisher called her industry the second-largest polluter in the world, behind only the oil industry.
“It’s a really nasty business," she said at an event in 2015 honoring her commitment to environmental causes. "It’s a mess.”
Industry critics say much clothing is made from materials that cause harm to people and the environment. Textile makers use water that often is contaminated with bleaches, solvents, acids, alkalies, dyes and resins.
The growing volume of clothing churned out multiplies the environmental harm. The typical person buys 60 percent more items of clothing each year than the typical person 15 years ago – and keeps them for about half as long, according to a report commissioned this year by Bellevue, Washington-based thrift store chain Savers.
There’s been a concurrent surge in the volume of textiles sent to landfills.
Savers, a “purpose-driven” company that advocates clothing recycling, says North Americans send 12 million tons of textiles to landfills each year. The chain, which operates Value Village thrift stores throughout the USA and Canada, says 95 percent of the discarded items could be recycled.
Growing demand for more sustainable clothing is prompting a growing number of fashion brands and retail stores to make changes.
The global performance brand Under Armour began making NuTech shirts more than three years ago with REPREVE, a brand of recycled fiber made from recycled plastic bottles. The fiber, produced by North Carolina-based Unifi, has worked its way into 2.5 million shirts, diverting the equivalent of about 10 million plastic bottles from landfills, according to Unifi.
Other brands that use REPREVE include Haggar and Patagonia.
On the retail side, outdoor gear and clothing seller REI established social, environmental and animal welfare standards this year that brands must meet if they want a place on its store shelves. The requirements include a ban on products that contain certain chemicals, a code of conduct for manufacturers and animal welfare standards for down and wool supply chains.
Eileen Fisher has long been focused on sustainable clothing. The brand embraced the use of sustainable fabrics, eco-friendly manufacturing and shipping and end-of-life recycling for garments.
Through a program called Renew, Eileen Fisher has taken back more than 1 million garments from customers. It uses the material to create designs.
Taking back clothing at the end of its life cycle is a growing trend in the industry. The global retailer H&M, GUESS and Columbia Sportswear partnered with the textile recycler I:CO to take back old clothes from customers via collection at stores.
I:CO processes the clothing for reuse or recycles it into other products such as cleaning cloths, fibers for insulation or even new clothing.
In August, the fitness brand Reebok unveiled an entirely bio-based “Cotton + Corn” line of footwear featuring cotton uppers and soles made from a corn derivative instead of the petroleum-based synthetic rubber common in the industry.
The product is designed, in part, to keep petroleum-based products out of landfills. Reebok’s long-term goal is to have a shoe that is fully compostable.
Bill McInnis is head of Reebok’s Future Team, which focuses on creating products and techniques.
“Every athletic shoe on every shelf in Foot Locker or Finish Line or wherever you happen to go is made using petroleum products, and everybody knows that’s not a sustainable material,” McInnis says. “The idea was to replace the petroleum products with something that grows.”
McInnis notes Reebok, like other companies, tried developing and marketing eco-friendly products in the past, only to see little interest from consumers.
It’s clear the times have changed. McInnis says an initial batch of several thousand “Cotton + Corn” shoes, priced at $95 a pair, sold out in a single day.
“We’ve really seen a shift in consumer tastes here,” he says. “For the first time, you’re seeing consumers seek (these products) out and be willing to pay more for it.”
The point is significant, given that sustainable clothing often costs more than traditional garments.
The old knock on sustainable clothing, McInnis says, was that “everybody wants green, (but) nobody wants to pay for it.”
He says that’s no longer true.
Reebok continues to tinker with its new line. In early November, the company unveiled a second round of the “Cotton + Corn” shoes with a twist: In addition to being bio-based, they’re vegan.
A tiny bit of vegetable-tanned leather that had been on the first version was replaced with a vegan-friendly material, McInnis says.
Mooney documents her “One Outfit, 100 Days” project on Instagram. Her @oneoutfit100days account gives credit to fashion brands that make it a mission to offer sustainable clothing.
She bought the dress at Thought Clothing, a London-based company that uses natural, organic and recycled fabrics, including wool, hemp and wood-pulp-based Tencel.
Thought, which calls it approach “slow fashion,” says the clothing is designed for long-term use. The company encourages customers to wear garments more than once before washing, to fix worn pieces and to find new users for unneeded or unwanted articles to give them a longer life.
Mooney says consumers shy away from better-made clothing that will last longer because it costs more. The thinking is flawed: Better-made clothing can end up being cheaper in the long run.
Mooney paid about $50 for her dress. Over the 100 days she’ll wear it during the project, that works out to just 50 cents a day.
“Because we have to wear something different every day, (we think) it can’t be expensive," she says. "So we buy more cheap clothing that isn’t really high-quality and that uses a lot of natural resources to produce. And then we throw it out.”
Mooney says she buys used clothing from thrift stores and other venues to give it a second life. All of her three young children’s clothing is bought used, she notes.
“It’s cheaper, but even if it wasn't cheaper, I don’t care, because I feel good that I’m reusing something that’s perfectly good,” she says. “And (the kids) don’t care. They think they’re perfectly new.”
Mooney bought a sewing machine and is teaching herself to make her own clothes – something she says we all should do. She's also learned to knit.
Mooney says her middle school students are at the perfect age to start thinking about such issues.
“Middle schoolers are trying to define themselves, to figure out their identity," she says. "And just naturally – partly because of their age but also because of the culture – they are defining themselves and judging each other based on the brands that they are wearing.”
Mooney didn’t talk about the project with her students at the outset.
“I kind of let it go at the beginning to see who would notice and who would bring it up,” she says. “Some kids noticed on the second day, and some didn’t notice at all.”
When she had a class discussion about the project a few weeks into the school year, she says, the students were very receptive.
“None of them have reacted like, ‘Oh, that’s so gross. You’re so weird,' ” she says, and laughs. “Some of them understand it on a surface level, because they’re 12. But I think even on a surface level, the ideas are important, so whatever they’re getting out of it, I think, is positive.”
Student Nate Bunting says Mooney's example prompted him to consider wearing the same clothes for more than one day in a row.
Not for 100 days, though.
Maybe "for two," he says.
"I think it’s really cool how she is doing it for a bigger cause," Bunting says.
Adults in Mooney's world have been mostly on board, she says. A few joined her in wearing the same outfit for 100 days.
Among them is Mooney's husband. Patrick Mooney, a teacher at nearby Moorestown High School, has worn the same khaki pants and dark blue shirt to classes since the school year began in September.
"It seemed like a pretty simple way of promoting something that most people probably overlook," says Patrick Mooney, 38. "I was a little intimidated by the prospect of rewearing the same thing every day, but it's really become quite simple."
Moorestown High School teacher Beth Glennon was inspired by Mooney's project to create her own 100-day wardrobe challenge.
When her triplet sons went off to college a few months ago, they left a closet full of shirts. She wears a different one of her boys' shirts to school every day.
"With so many clothes left behind, there was no need for me to do any back-to-school shopping," Glennon says. "For me, it's not just (about) wearing their hand-me-downs. It’s a fun way to keep the boys on my mind instead of missing them every day.
"Plus, I’m forced to clean out their closet."
The idea spread to Moorestown's George C. Baker Elementary School.
"I thought if there’s a chance for me to be more sustainable, I’m gonna take it," Baker student Sofia Rubich says.
Sofia, a 7-year-old at the grade school, decided to join Mooney in wearing the same outfit for 100 days after reading about her in a newspaper.
"You shouldn't be buying new clothes when you should be using the ones you have," she says.
She says her effort is making an impact on the Earth.
"It was kind of hard when I started out, because you want to make your own ideas and let your style be free," she says. "Then the fun part about it is that it is so easy to get dressed in the morning, and I can add my own style to it with leggings and different accessories. So my style still shines through."
Original content from https://thriftstyleblog.com/2018/10/17/thrift-shops-love-halloween/
Thrift stores and Halloween are quite a pair. It’s a holiday that brings first-time thrifters across the threshold to find already-made costumes or clothes and accessories to create their own.
all thrift stores jump on the Halloween bandwagon, but Goodwill rolls out a big publicity campaign for the holiday. It puts up billboards, posters, special displays, an on-line costume generator, makeup tutorials and uses the slogans, “Halloween Happens at Goodwill” and “Halloween Comes Alive at Goodwill,” adding the hashtag #GoodwillHalloween.
Its website, http://www.goodwill.org/Halloween, lets you explore costumes by theme, in categories such as silly, scary, pop culture, animals, fantasy and sci-fi. Ideas for DIY creepy figurines and post-apocalyptic wear help you plan your festive night. For example, an 80s break dancer can be assembled with a boom box, athletic shoes, black jeans and a puffy jacket.
We saw this creativity in all its glory at the three-level Goodwill in downtown Denver. (There are six Goodwills in Denver and this one is in a former department store in the center of downtown at 21 S. Broadway, with free parking behind it.)
Every doorway, countertop and display window was filled with costumes, masks and bride-of-Frankenstein mannequins. Halloween-iana of every description lined its shelves, from new, under $10 kids’ costumes in bags to pumpkin baskets and skeletons galore. The store stocks new, but bargain-priced, cards of Halloween makeup, fangs, fake blood and other witching necessities.
In St. Louis, we noticed multiple clever billboards throughout the city with arresting graphics advertising Goodwill as “your original Halloween costume shop.” At its store in University City, an orange T-shirt with the legend “Witch and Famous” was elevated atop a clothing rack.
Rows of new and used kids and adult costumes were bargain priced, most in the $5 to $7 range. We particularly liked a new, instant kids costume of a cheeseburger, complete with lettuce, tomato and sesame seed bun. The store’s doorways were filled with purple cobwebs, fake spiders and skeletons.
At the Goodwill store in Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Central Square location, multiple long racks were devoted to costumes. Another array of already-made costumes adorned the walls. Most were in remarkably good shape and all were quick, inexpensive answers to last-minute revelers’ prayers.
Here’s hoping that shoppers exploring thrift stores for the first time in October realize the value of re-use for their everyday costumes the rest of the year.
By Sandra E. Garcia
Many mornings, Julie Lisi and her husband, Michael Lisi, head to a thrift store in Jupiter, Fla., to look for treasures. They will walk around for 30 minutes or so, and usually leave empty-handed.
“We are retired, and it is something to do,” Ms. Lisi said.
But on a trip to the store last Wednesday, they were floored. There, sitting on a shelf, was a baseball glove that belonged to their son Christopher Lisi, 40 years ago in Willoughby, Ohio, where the couple raised their family and still spend part of the year.
“My eyes just happened to glance to it,” Ms. Lisi, 78, said in a phone interview. “It didn’t really register. Things were whirling in my mind.”
The glove was weathered. In its 1,000-mile trek to Jupiter from Ohio, the mitt’s once lustrous dark leather patina had been worn down to a sandy shade. The gloss was gone, but the name was still written in bold letters on the mitt.
“I could see the name Christopher Lisi written down it,” Ms. Lisi said. “That is when I thought it is his, but it really didn’t seem possible.”
Michael Lisi, 81, could not immediately tell what was going on.
“When I first saw my wife, she was on the verge of tears and shaking,” he said. “I thought something happened and she turned the glove over and right down the side I could see.”
Ms. Lisi immediately sent Christopher, 52, a photograph of the glove. He responded with a text that simply read, “buy it,” and so Ms. Lisi paid $1.49 to get the glove back.
“I thought, ‘It can’t be,’ but you can always tell the markings on your kids’ things,” she said.
Her son is now a math teacher and a football coach at a high school in Ohio. He was always into sports, according to his mother.
“Even before he could play, he’d go out and play catch with his dad,” she said.
“I was just a little kid that liked to hit the ball and run around the bases,” Christopher told WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio. Phone calls to him were not immediately returned.
In 1978, he was on a Little League team in Willoughby. That year, during the season’s final game, he hit two home runs and his team won. His parents recorded him on their 8-millimeter camera as he was mobbed by other players in celebration.
In the excitement, Ms. Lisi said, her son may have put his infield glove down.
He never saw it again.
“The next day, he went back to find it and it wasn’t there,” Ms. Lisi said. “He never did tell us he lost it.”
Her son knew immediately that it was his glove.
“He was thrilled, he was jumping up and down,” Ms. Lisi said. “He just said, ‘Mom, bring it home.’”
Baseball gloves carry emotional weight in the family. Michael Lisi keeps his own 70-year-old glove on top of his television, where it sits next to a Yogi Berra bobblehead and a Yankees cap. He did not pass that glove on to his son, but Christopher intends to do so with his newly discovered mitt.
“He plans to pass it on to a grandson someday,” Ms. Lisi said.
In an ever expanding world of growth and progress, America’s consumption of apparel is not going to slow down any time soon. It is arguable that if that did happen, the effect on the industry ( 2% of World GDP) would send shock waves through the greater global economy. With no slowdown in sight and the discards mounting, the question of what to do with the 10 Billion TONS of clothing that Americans must get rid of to make room for more looms not so subtly in the collective consciousness of the population.
We’ve seen startups attempt eBay type categorizing of individual products but each piece of discarded apparel requires the investment of photography, measuring, describing, color correcting, and uploading.(Failed ones include Niftythrifty, LikeTwice, Thredflip and many more!) It’s a flawed model, not only from the perspective of investing more than a garment is worth into it’s cataloging. But also flawed from the perspective of scalability. Ex. If there is a shirt that is uniquely appealing- there is only one.
So, we have this huge supply, and a nation full of hungry consumers who also want to do right by the environment- how do we connect them? It turns out if the price is low enough and the brand is trusted enough people are willing to forgo the exact specifics of an item in order to receive something that is part of a broader category.
The notion of a grab bag has been around since the early days of the Grand Bezaar of Istanbul. It has been applied as a liquidation technique by almost every retailer who has ever existed. It has also risen to prominence with the burgeoning of subscription commerce. The largest and best subscription commerce companies are able to provide fantastic excitement with the delivery of each mystery product allowing the customer to be happily surprised as well as content with the value. We’ve seen this best executed with makeup, comic books, toys and doggy merchandise. I would argue that the amount of verticals that it can also be adapted to will explode in the next decade or two. But what is also exciting about the pioneering of this industry is that there are almost as many opportunities in used categories as there are in new. Admittedly, one would not want used makeup or dog toys delivered to one’s home every month but there are plenty of reusable goods that would be very well suited for this method of retail. To evolve it one step further- imagine if mystery retail made your surprise shirt, or cowboy boots or sunglasses available not only for subscription but for single purchases as well. This would instigate more customers who were on the fence with a subscription and allow them to experience the brand without much commitment.
The implications of this new form of retail are tremendous. Not only will millions of tons of goods be saved from landfills, but billions of dollars of disposed value will be unlocked. In the way that many different iterations of Subscription commerce companies have popped up, Mystery commerce companies will be the wave of the future because of their lower overhead and inherent social good. Anything recyclable will be available in this form from baseball gloves, to toys to kitchenware, the digital world has finally cracked the code on how to offer used goods. Don’t even get me started on the technological and data advancements. (That’s for my next article.) The future is bright, and thanks to Mystery Commerce, going to be a whole lot greener.