Luxury items 

Need a facelift but don’t want to buy new? Download these 6 second-hand clothes apps

Do you often wonder when you will give up fast fashion? Or how to reduce, reuse and repair your wardrobe.

Reorganizing your old clothes can give them a second life, trying to live sustainably can feel like information overload.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, though. Even governments recognize the need to curb our harmful addiction to fast fashion. The EU recently warned consumers to stop using their clothes as disposable items, proposing plans to counter fast fashion waste.

European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans said the clothes we wear “should last more than three washes”. Sustainable fashion activists like Livia Firth would say it should be a lot more, at least 30 garments per item.

A slew of clothing resale apps have popped up over the past few years in an effort to keep unwanted items off the landfill. And, although they don’t fix the fashion industry on their ownthey have a lot to offer when it comes to fixing your own wardrobe.

A note on buying used

Before you dive into our recommendations for the best clothing exchange and resale platforms, there is one thing to consider. The number of times you plan to wear something really matters.

No matter where your clothes come from, you shouldn’t fall into the trap of buying items you’ll only wear once or twice, sustainable fashion expert Dorothée Baumann-Pauly told Euronews Green in April.

“It doesn’t matter if you buy second-hand. It doesn’t matter if you rent, it doesn’t matter if you buy. What really matters is how many times you are going to wear it.

So now we’ve cleared that up… let’s jump right into our curated app recommendations.

Vinted: For clothing swaps

Focusing on big brands, Vinted is popular around the world with 50 million members buying and selling second-hand clothes.

There are no selling fees and once your item has been purchased, Vinted sorts everything down to the shipping label. Simply print out the prepaid label, take it to the nearest drop off location, and when the buyer receives the item, you will be paid.

It also provides users with the ability to swap clothes. If you’re ready to trade instead of exchanging money, you can mark an item as available for trade.

Look for items with the exchange symbol in the item description, as these users might be willing to set up an exchange.

Depop: For a wide variety of styles

Launched in 2011, Depop was originally a social network. It has now transformed into an interactive second-hand shopping app with over 20 million users across the world. Somewhere between eBay and Instagram, it offers a mix of brands with individual sellers offering a wide variety of styles all in one place.

Because anyone can sell on Depop, watch out for fast fashion resellers buying large volumes of the same item of clothing to resell for a profit on the app. Inexpensive imported items can also be a problem, with sellers referring to them as designer items. The best way to avoid these issues is to be suspicious of anyone listing multiple sizes of the same garment.

If you’re looking to get rid of some items yourself, it’s easy to settle on the app. You won’t be charged for listing items like on some other platforms, but there is a 10% fee to be paid when selling.

Dotte: For children’s second-hand clothes

Dotte is entering a second-hand market otherwise overlooked by other online marketplaces: children’s clothing.

Created during the pandemic, its co-founders Samantha Valentine and Louise Weiss came up with the idea following parental frustration. Their children grew without their clothes at an alarming rate, going through about seven different sizes in their first two years of life alone.

With no way to dispose of these unwanted clothes, they decided to build a platform where they could be passed on to others. Parents can buy, sell, donate and recycle oversized children’s clothes in one place.

The startup is currently funding an app launch later this year that will make it even easier and faster to resell these items.

They have also launched a partnership with several different brands, including Marks & Spencers in the UK, to reward parents who extend the life of their children’s clothes.

thredUP: For sales with minimal effort

Known as the world’s largest thrift store, thredUP makes it easy to sell your unwanted clothes online. The company sends you a prepaid bag or mailing label, you send them your items, and the staff takes care of everything else, from descriptions to photography.

Once your clothes have been put on the site, all you have to do is sit down and see what comes off. Listing items on thredUP is free with a small percentage of the profits from the sale of your items.

If they don’t sell, the company will send them back to you or recycle them depending on what you choose.

Double: For students

Dopplle calls itself the number 1 clothing swapping app for college students.

The student-run startup was founded by Sam and Izzy while they were still studying to try to encourage people to swap items within their university or college community. Both wanted to trade with their friends when they started college, but struggled to find others who shared their sense of style or body shape. Doppler was the answer to this problem.

With nights out and college events, a lot of students want to look good. But that can be difficult on a tight budget and the couple hope the twin goals of saving money while living more sustainably is something the youngsters can support.

To get started, simply download the app, create an account, upload your items, and search for an item to trade.

Nuw: For the loan of your clothes

Launched in 2018, Nuw users can trade or lend their unwanted clothes to other people. It was created by Aisling Byrne who says she was a fashion-obsessed teenager, wanting a new outfit for every event.

A volunteer trip to India opened her eyes to the problem of overconsumption and she set off in search of an accessible and affordable solution.

While many apps focus on reselling or renting high-value luxury items, Nuw hopes to recreate the experience of rummaging through a friend’s wardrobe to spruce up your own.

You start by lending, listing an unloved piece of fashion that someone then contacts you to borrow. You can arrange collection in person, delivery by bicycle courier or postage.

Once you loan your first item, you’ll unlock the ability to permanently trade with others. Each item you list earns you a “token” which you can use to set up a trade or loan and each new trade costs 99p (€1.18).

Related posts