How to Make Your Secondhand Clothing Finds Even More Sustainable

When it comes to ethical clothing, the most sustainable choice might already be in your closet or in someone else's! Embracing secondhand clothing isn't just about refreshing your wardrobe in an affordable way. When done right, it can also be a way to reduce your own consumption and the overall environmental footprint of the fashion industry. But not all secondhand is created equal! Our go-to advice for sustainable shopping when it comes to pre-loved? Opt for pieces that were originally made with sustainability in mind, like our wearwellagain collection.

Secondhand Is Here To Stay

Over the past 15 years, the global fashion industry has changed radically due to the rise in fast fashion. The industry has been churning out and discarding clothing at an unprecedented pace, from the growth of H&M and Zara to the largest brand in fashion’s history - Shein - whose supply chain is rife with both environmental and worker’s rights abuses.

Veha Dress | Wearwell Sustainable, Ethical Clothing and Accessories

Veha Dress, Mocha Jersey

But, the tides are turning: 93% of people now report that they are open to buying secondhand. It's no surprise that secondhand is on the verge of tremendous growth. According to market experts, that growth will make up more than 10% of the clothing retail market.

Where to Begin With Secondhand Shopping

Shopping secondhand can be a daunting task to find the right style, quality, and size - especially when you’re looking to find items that were also sustainably made in the first place. That's exactly why we launched our wearwellagain program – to make it easy to find clothing and accessories, originally made by our vetted brand partners.

Bella Top | Wearwell Sustainable, Ethical Clothing and Accessories

Bella Top, Burgundy

Every secondhand piece you’ll find through wearwell is described in detail, providing sizing and condition information, along with the impact of the brand that originally made the item. The best part? When you shop secondhand that's sustainable from the start, you’re making the most conscious choice possible.

Maximize Your Secondhand Finds. Caring for and extending the life of your secondhand gems is just as important as with brand-new items. After all, if you’re opting for secondhand to reduce consumption, you’ll want to make the most of your secondhand treasures! Here are our go-to tips:

Embrace Mending! Basic sewing skills can extend the lifespan of your existing wardrobe and give slightly damaged secondhand pieces a fresh lease on life. Think about patching a small hole with decorative fabric, swapping out buttons, or adding an embroidered flourish along the pockets.

Tailor it. If you found an irresistible pre-loved piece that needs adjustments, make a visit to your local tailor. A minor hem or alteration can bring a whole new look to a piece and doesn’t have to cost much. Tailoring can transform your secondhand finds into wardrobe staples that fit like a glove and cost far less than new alternatives.

Aim for 30 wears! Whether you’re buying something secondhand or new, try following the 30 Wears Rule, popularized by Eco-Age. It’s simple - ask yourself: Will I wear this at least 30 times? This helps you identify quickly whether the item is durable enough - unlike fast fashion that only lasts a couple of wears, if it’s versatile enough, and if it’s such a fit for your personal style that it deserves a place in your closet.

Keep the Cycle Going. You can pay it forward with your secondhand through a clothing swap, responsibly donating to a local nonprofit or fiber recycling program, or, our favorite: sending your pre-loved items to take-back programs like wearwellagain.

RJ Pant | Wearwell Sustainable, Ethical Clothing and Accessories

RJ Pant, Rosemary

Whether you're opting for secondhand for the unique finds, affordable prices, or lower environmental impact, it's a powerful way to minimize the footprint of your wardrobe while doing your part to create positive change for the fashion industry. Dive into our wearwellagain collection to see what’s in store.

Ready to part with your pre-loved wearwell pieces? Explore the wearwellagain program and learn how to send in your clothing and accessories!

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