Ditch fast fashion and find great consignment clothes online

How To Ditch Fast Fashion ???????? And Still Look Fly

Are you tired of feeling guilty every time you buy a new piece of clothing? Do you want to make a difference in the world, but don’t know where to start? Look no further! In this post, we’ll explore the world of ethical shopping and show you how to shop guilt-free hot finds while ditching fast fashion.

Shopping used and consignment is the best way to support reuse and the circular economy. But if you’re icked out by the concept of wearing used clothes, you can find “New With Tags” consignment and research sustainable brands that use regenerative and eco-friendly practices in their production and supply chain. Or buy consignment purses, home decor and furniture that suits your design style. Vintage design ? can stand the test of time and adds unique flair to your wardrobe.

Understanding the Terminology

First things first, let’s define some key terms.

  • ♻️ Sustainable fashion refers to clothing that is produced in an environmentally friendly way.
  • ???? Ethical fashion, on the other hand, focuses on the social impact of clothing production, such as fair wages and working conditions for garment workers.
  • Circular fashion takes it one step further by considering the entire lifecycle of a garment, from production to disposal.

When you buy pre-owned merchandise you are contributing positively to circular economy and lowering the emissions of CO2, usage of water, and waste in the landfills.

Researching Brands

Now that we know what we’re talking about, let’s dive into how to research brands. Before making a purchase, it’s important to research a brand’s ethical practices. Check their website for information on their manufacturing or supply chain. Be wary of vague or fluffy language that could be a form of greenwashing. Certain well-known fast-fashion brands are the most ecologically and socially irresponsible.

Thrifting and Consignment as a Guilt-Free Alternative

If you’re looking for a guilt-free alternative to fast fashion, thrifting is the way to go! Not only does thrifting support the reuse and repurposing of pre-loved clothing, but it’s also a great way to find unique pieces at a fraction of the cost. Plus, with online thrift markets like Goodwillfinds.com, Thredup, Poshmark (code DEMANDYCOM), and Mercari, it’s never been easier to thrift from the comfort of your own home. [Disclosure, I will get a referral bonus if you sign-up using my links. This supports my vintage habit.]

Research shows that purchasing used clothing has a positive ecological impact compared to buying new. Buying secondhand clothing can lower greenhouse gas emissions, keep clothing from landfills, reduce water and energy consumption, and minimize the use of hazardous substances1. By choosing to wear pre-loved clothing, you are helping to recycle useful items that might otherwise end up discarded in landfills2.

The Thrill of the Thrift

But let’s not forget about the thrill of thrifting in-store! There’s nothing quite like the excitement of rummaging through racks of clothing and finding that perfect piece. Plus, with the element of surprise and the potential for finding unique items, thrifting is like a treasure hunt!

thrifting in store for sustainable fashion

Planning Ahead for the Best Finds

  • Make a list of items you’re looking for: Before you start shopping, make a list of the items you’re looking for. This will help you stay focused and avoid impulse buys.
  • Do your research: Research the best places to find the items on your list. This could include online marketplaces, local thrift stores, or consignment shops. Create a wishlist of brands that last, and sizes that fit for each brand. Take your measurements. You can check the /r/BuyItForLife subreddit for suggestions on the longest-lasting quality items.
  • Set a budget: Set a budget for yourself before you start shopping. This will help you avoid overspending and make the shopping experience more enjoyable. Think about what you would spend new for the item, and how long the item will last.
  • Check for sales and promotions: Many online marketplaces and thrift stores offer sales and promotions. Be sure to check for these, or cash back sites like Rakuten, before making a purchase to get the best deal.
  • Be patient: Finding the perfect item takes time. Be patient and don’t get discouraged if you don’t find what you’re looking for right away. You can save searches for brands and sizes on many of these sites.
  • Be picky: Check for thread pulls, pilling and stains before you purchase. Also review the washing instructions.

Online Thrift and Consignment Shops

If you’re looking for options for guilt-free shopping from the comfort of your desktop, check out online thrift and consignment shops. These stores offer a curated selection of pre-loved clothing at affordable prices. Plus, by shopping at these stores, you’re supporting small businesses and reducing waste. Stores like ThredUP allow filtering by key fashion attributes, sizing and color and saving your searches. You can also view the actual dimensions of the items so you can be more sure they will fit. For a restocking fee, you can even return those jeans that didn’t fit right. ThredUP also allows you to send in your own clothes for consignment using their Clean Out Kits. Although beware, it takes weeks or months to get the items processed and then you will receive only a small portion of the final sale amount.

clean out kit from ThredUP
this 30-item kit netted me $30.58 in credit

Check out these online thrifting shops

  • Goodwillfinds.com ($20 off your first order) A collection of large Goodwills across the country have banded together to offer some of their most prized finds online. You can find some truly unique fashions and collectibles here. Ships from each location separately but they sometimes offer shipping deals.
  • Thredup (40% off + Free Shipping on first order) My latest obsession for the filterable selection of clothing including new with tags and designer.
  • Depop
  • Poshmark (code DEMANDYCOM)
  • Rent the Runway You can purchased used clothing from this popular formalwear rental service, or opt to borrow a frock rather than buy for your next occasion.
  • Mercari ($10 off your first purchase) This alternative to Facebook Marketplace is an option for when you want to buy and sell. They offer local delivery so you can shop and sell local items but still have them picked up and dropped off for you. Great for items bulky to mail but fine to fit in a trunk.
  • Government Surplus Auctions – govdeals.com

Check Out Some Recent Finds

My Favorite Local Thrift and Consignment Shops in the Triangle, NC

If you’re looking for some personal recommendations, here are some of my favorite local thrift and consignment shops:

  • Goodwill: With locations all over the country, Goodwill is a great place to find affordable secondhand clothing.
  • Trunk Show: This consignment store offers a curated selection of trendy secondhand clothing, jewelry, furniture, décor, and even records.
  • Peterson’s Consigning Design: This large furniture and decor consignment shop in Cary also has an upstairs level with clothing and shoes.
  • Habitat for Humanity Re-Store: With locations all around the Triangle, you can find furniture, construction materials, home decor and finishings.
  • North Raleigh Ministries: Large shop with tons of clothes, rotating discounts, and many home and kitchen items as well.
  • Clothes Mentor: Only some of the locations in this chain offer online sales but in-store you will find lots of options and periodic sales.


In conclusion, shopping ethically and sustainably doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. By researching brands, thrifting, and shopping at online thrift and consignment shops, you can make a difference in the world while still looking fabulous!


author avatar
Mandy Career Coach
Mandy Steinhardt, a Raleigh career and life coach, empowers women to break free from "good girl" syndrome and reclaim their power. Through one-on-one coaching and supportive women's circles, she helps them heal from past hurts, rediscover their strength and beauty, and create a life filled with purpose and balance. Whether you're feeling lost or uninspired, she's here to guide you to the career, pay and lifestyle that is perfect for you.

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