A few years ago, I was eyeing the Fendi 2Jours Medium Textured-Leather Tote. But, when I finally settled on purchasing it, I was too late. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but I think it was discontinued – and the last bit of available stock was long gone. (Funny enough, I just did a quick search for it and found it new on Net-A-Porter. Ah, I digress.)

Desperate to get my hands on one, I decided to check out a few online-based consignment retailers, including Rebag and TheRealReal – and there it was! An almost-new Fendi 2Jours, in the perfect size, color, and condition. While the bag had some scuffing around the hardware, it appeared practically new to the naked eye. I ordered it immediately, and it arrived in under two weeks. To this day, it remains one of my most coveted bags – durable, sleek, practical, and chic.

Buying the 2Jours was one of my first experiences with online consignment. Up until that point, I was a little weary about shopping for secondhand bags, fearing the quality wouldn’t be up to standard, or even worse, it would arrive with an unpleasant smell or something equally as dreadful or disappointing. (Hey, we’ve all heard the horror stories.)

I hadn’t considered the immense economical and environmental benefits that go hand-in-hand with purchasing a used leather good. Once I began to research, I couldn’t believe the incredible advantages associated with secondhand shopping – and I know I’m not alone.

It’s actually quite interesting: Today’s shoppers are more concerned with sustainability and recycling than ever before. Think of it as the “rise of the conscious consumer,” as thredUP, the world’s largest online thrift store, coins it. Consumers have come to expect ethical fashion, as 59 percent of shoppers prefer retailers to create clothes and other goods in an ethical and sustainable manner, according to thredUP’s 2019 Resale Report. Sustainability has moved from “perk to priority,” with nearly three quarters of consumers opting to buy from environmentally friendly brands.

“Shopping ethically has often been perceived as a luxury, because of the price points… The good news is that we now live in the golden age of secondhand shopping,” says Fast Company writer Elizabeth Segran.

In fact, consignment satisfies the two biggest demands of shoppers today, according to the report. It allows them to be frequently seen in new styles, as well as maintain their stance as “conscious consumers.” “There are numerous reasons for the recent rise of resale, including environmental benefits and the desire for frequent turnover of wardrobes especially among the Instagram generation,” according to the Raymond James Financial Center.

“If one in 100 American households shopped resale, they could collectively save over $1.6 billion and 1.1 billion pounds of CO2 emissions annually,” according to an article in Forbes. “By cleaning out their closets, they also could generate $270 million in resale earnings every year, which is enough money to cover a year’s food expenses for over 43,000 families.”

Keep in mind that online-based consignment websites should not be confused with brick and mortar thrift stores, which often include donated clothing that is sold to benefit a charity, or websites that sell new (and defective) name-brand items at a discount, according to Consumer Reports.

As for thredUp, the numbers speak for themselves. In 2016, the brand collectively saved: 128 million pounds of CO2, which equates to 8,111 households’ yearly electricity use; 14 million items upcycled, enough to fill 140 Nordstrom department stores; and 10 billion gallons of water, which could fill 15,784 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Suffice to say, we’re living in a golden age of sorts for resale, projected to reach $41 billion by 2022, according to thredUP. Fashionphile, a similar online fashion resale website specializing in women’s luxury items, is on track to sell $200 million worth of goods in 2019, up 50 percent from a year ago.

ThredUp states that increased growth can be credited to millennials and gen-Z, who adopt secondhand items 2.5 times faster than the average consumer. It’s a perfect storm, with an uptick in consumers who are acutely aware of environmental issues but also desire to wear the latest styles without spending a fortune. According to the report, “it’s why secondhand, rental, and subscription are the top three fastest-growing retail categories.”

That’s why thredUP categorizes the “closet of the future” to include a growing proportion of pre-owned or rented products. Secondhand is expected to double in the next 10 years, making it a larger subset than fast fashion.

“Resale offers the wardrobe-rotating fun of fast fashion without the guilt or waste. By driving preferences away from disposable fashion towards higher-quality clothes, reuse is a boon for our personal style and the planet.” says Elizabeth L. Cline, author of “The Conscious Closet.”

With the financial and environmental benefits that come with buying secondhand – especially pre-loved handbags – coupled with the ease of online shopping for consigned bags, you can catch me perusing sites like Rebag, TheRealReal, thredUP, and Fashionphile for my next bag find. It’s an all-around win.

Editor’s note: While this post covered the consumer side of sustainable shopping, we plan to publish a follow-up post next month focusing solely on sustainability in the production and manufacturing process.

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Eos
Eos
2 years ago

Im so happy to read this and see you Purseblog take a stand for the planet !

Linda
Linda
2 years ago
Reply to  Eos

Agreed! Purseblog has a huge, worldwide following and their message will be heard, and hopefully, utilized by everyone!

Passerine
Passerine
2 years ago
Reply to  Eos

PB can continue to support these efforts by bringing back TPF Roundup as a regular feature and showcasing a few pre-loved purchases each time.

C
C
2 years ago

I love Fashionphile – solid selection and really accurate photos and descriptions. I’ve hardly bought any new clothes or accessories lately. I’m trying to buy fewer, higher-quality items and there’s just not that many items that capture my heart enough to make the purchase worthwhile. And I do feel the wastefulness of it all more acutely these days.

In other news, Forever 21 declared bankruptcy today. A sure a sign as any that the time of flippantly buying a bunch of cheap items just to get the “new stuff high” is coming to an end!

Heidi
Heidi
2 years ago

I agree that re-sale shops are a good way to (sometimes) find a high end bag for less money. Also, that it’s important to recycle to save the planet; which is a huge worry since many elected government officials don’t agree that there are environmental concerns. We have to work together to protect our planet and only vote in elected officials that share this vision. Everyone has a responsibility to protect our planet for our children, grandchildren, etc. and not destroy it. Worldwide, people need to recognize this crisis and not “put our heads in the sand” and deny these problems exist.

Eos
Eos
2 years ago
Reply to  Heidi

I agree 100 % with you and I’m happy to read your comment !

Heidi
Heidi
2 years ago
Reply to  Eos

I’m hopeful that everyone will do better to decrease their negative impact on the environment. I do my best to buy and sell re-sale, donate items I no longer need and recycle everything that is not organic. Our planet is so, so important and I appreciate that you share my concerns!

taryn119
taryn119
2 years ago

I just bought my third purchase from Fashionphile and after reading a recent article on Fashionista about TheRealReal’s “authentication process”, I’m concerned that my desire to both save money and practice a more sustainable fashion habit might result in inadvertently purchasing a counterfeit item. I’m trusting sites like Fashionphile to really be selling verified, authenticate luxury items and my excitement over my new-to-me Saint Laurent SDJ bag has been tempered greatly by the thought that some inexperienced copywriter has deemed my bag to be authenticate after giving it a quick looking over.

anonymouspeeps
anonymouspeeps
2 years ago
Reply to  taryn119

IKR? I’ve bought from TRR, and while my bags passed muster, I had an issue with one purse and reached out to them. Never heard back. Luckily I love the bag, so I’ll keep it, and it wasn’t an authenticity issue, but y’all….
TRR better step up their game. Lots of options out here for buyers in this market!

ceebee_eebee
ceebee_eebee
2 years ago

I love consignment shopping for purses. I’ve used the real real, fashionphile, and rebag for quite a few fendi and gucci and have been thrilled with every purchase. The biggest tip I have for anyone worrying about counterfeit bags is to only purchase when the seller provides the original paperwork. It’s not foolproof, but nearly. (Which is also why when you buy a new bag you should always be keeping all the paperwork. You never know if you’ll get bored of it and want to sell and it will sell for a lot more with the papers.)

anonymouspeeps
anonymouspeeps
2 years ago
Reply to  ceebee_eebee

I keep tags, wrapping paper, receipts, everything! The other day I was cleaning out my ‘tags’ box and found all these Coach tags and paperwork from three Legacy bags I bought nearly six years ago! Still crisp and everything 🙂 Not that I’ll sell those bags, but it’s nice to hang onto them

Camie
Camie
2 years ago

Wasn’t there a more recent article on authentication issues with the Real Real? It seems wrong to focus on them by showcasing their shopping bag.

Claire Halloin
Claire Halloin
2 years ago
Reply to  Camie

I haven’t seen that article, but I’ve seen an alarming number of fake Louboutins there. Buyer beware for sure!!
Edit: Found the article. This explains a lot!
https://fashionista.com/2019/09/the-realreal-authentication-process-exposed

sev2108
sev2108
2 years ago
Passerine
Passerine
2 years ago

I’m glad this story was published because it’s a great topic, but really disappointed to see — yet AGAIN — more free publicity for Fashionphile and TheRealReal. Why are they your special pets when it comes to resellers? Enough already! They are far from the only game in town. Next time you do an article on resellers, could you please leave these two OUT of the picture and spotlight other resellers — Ann’s Favorite Finds and Labellov, to name two — that have not been mentioned here over and over…

Marie-Caroline Gmrd
Marie-Caroline Gmrd
2 years ago

Thank you for this article ! I’ve now decided to shop bags preloved, as much as I can (and as much as my wallet let me 🙂 ) I bought two preloved Balenciaga bags and coulnd’t be more happier with this new shopping way of mine ! I asked the ladies to see the bag first, and both times it was such a pleasure to have a small talk with the previous owner. The discount isn’t everything, I like the story behind preloved bags. BTW, to European readers, know that Vestiaire Collective, Collector Square and Videdressing are very reliable resellers !

Janae Bess
Janae Bess
2 years ago

I believe you meant wary not weary.

AC
AC
2 years ago

My favorite consignment store for my designer items is Vestiaire! They’re an app based in France so most sellers are from Europe which means fees can get expensive. But the seller sends the bag to the Vestiaire headquarters where they inspect it and then send it to you. The process is long but very rewarding in my opinion.

I’ve bought two designer bags from the app (Chloé Tess and Gucci Dionysus) far below what they’re selling retail and both bags look like they’ve never been worn. I also love how you can offer/haggle pricing with the seller.

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