Old school thrifting is a challenge, despite how effortless Macklemore made it sound. To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best online thrift stores to help you find beautiful pre-loved clothes faster and from the comfort of your home.
If you want to read more about why the fashion industry is a dirty business, what ethical fashion consumption looks like and why online thrifting is a no-brainer, jump to the end of this article.
And if you don’t really need that bleached denim jacket, have you thought about fashion renting? It’s like a walk-in wardrobe that just never ends. But if you do need to buy though, this list will help you find the pre-owned and pre-loved gems you need, which is the next best thing to buying, well…nothing!
So, what are the best online vintage clothing stores?
Our favorites on this list are: Etsy, who give you access to the widest range of talented vintage clothing designers near you. Then there’s Vestiaire Collective, for a huge selection of second hand designer clothing from around the world. If you’re after everyday second hand clothing, you can’t go wrong with ThredUp‘s inclusive range and dedication to sustainability.
Now let’s get rummaging with our list of the top online thrift stores!
QUICK LINKS FOR ONLINE THRIFT AND VINTAGE CLOTHING STORES
A global peer-to-peer marketplace, Etsy is most known for a huge assortment of handcrafted items from jewelry to beauty products and literally everything in between.
Well, little known to many is that ‘in between’ lies an impressive selection of vintage clothing online.
Individuals can, of course, list their own clothing if they have a shop and Etsy is the go-to platform for independent thrift businesses and boutiques. So while you may never get to visit the legendary Brooklyn thrift Vaux Vintage, you can shop in their Etsy store.
In fact, there are so many options you are sure to find a second hand clothing or thrift store near you (in your own city or state).
Other favourites of ours include:
- Maeven Vintage: Another Brooklyn based vintage online store, Maeven sells vintage clothing, jewelry and accessories. Their talented owner, Amy Yee was named by Refinery29 as an industry insider for vintage clothing and her gorgeous Etsy store as one of NYC’s best.
- Pursephone Vintage: With 15k+ reviews (5 stars!) and a wonderful range of unique vintage clothing, including dresses, tops, skirts, pants, jumpsuits, coats, shoes and accessories, Pursephone is absolutely one of the top online vintage clothing stores.
Why Etsy is One of the Best Online Vintage Clothing Stores
We love Etsy because the quirky “small business” nature of the platform actually maintains the fun of hands-on thrifting…. without all the headaches.
Most clothing items you’ll find here are unique and one-of-a-kind, not one of a thousand of the same jacket model being sold, too.
It’s also straightforward to search for clothing from a specific era, for example 80s and 90s vintage clothing. We’re pretty excited the 90s are back (finally!) so this is ideal for perfecting that “Friends” vibe.
Because reviews are taken seriously and given freely on Etsy, you also have some assurance about the veracity and integrity of the seller. Other peer-to-peer sites have no real detailed review process. As a buyer, you often have no idea if the seller’s definition of “like new” is going to mean “like five holes”.
Also, not every country has their own online thrift shops but Etsy is global so you should be able to find local sellers in your area.
This helps you to both support local and reduce shipping emissions – Etsy also offsets 100% of their shipping emissions too, which is pretty great.
2. VESTIAIRE COLLECTIVE
About Vestiaire Collective
Vestiaire Collective is an online thrifting shop for vintage and high end clothing and accessories. They were founded in France in 2009 with the ambition to bring luxury secondhand clothing back into circulation instead of sitting unused in wardrobes.
Their online platform now has a global offer, with “over 7 million fashion savvy members located in over 50 countries across Europe, the United States, Asia, and Australia.” and offices in Paris, London, New York, Berlin, Milan and Hong Kong.
They offer a huge range of designer vintage women’s clothing as well as thrifting options for menswear, kidswear, bags, watches, jewelry, shoes and athletic gear and accessories.
Why Vestiaire Collective is One of the Best Designer Vintage Online Stores
They offer one of the widest ranges of beautiful vintage designer clothing online that we’ve seen and are widely available around the world. Their products all include the location of the item so you can shop local and minimize those shipping emissions.
Super trendy right now, they have an impressive range of Levis vintage clothing, which we’re especially into!
While the prices do vary depending on what you’re after, there are definitely some bargains to be had. To ensure quality, Vestiaire carefully curates their catalogue and once sold, checks for authenticity.
Like many luxury brands, you’ll find exotic animal fur and materials which we’re not into (to say the least) for obvious reasons so would strongly recommend avoiding these options.
Available: Vestiaire Collective (available globally)
3. LUXURY GARAGE SALE
About Luxury Garage Sale
Luxury Garage Sale is a designer online thrift store based in Chicago, USA. They were founded in 2011 and curate authentic, pre-owned clothing and accessories from top brands around the world.
They offer luxury second hand clothing, shoes, bags, jewelry and accessories online and up to 80% off regular prices. If you’re a local, visit their brick and mortar stores in Chigaco: Gold Coast or Dallas.
They use a consignment model for sellers and offer pre-paid shipping labels and in some cities, a pickup service.
Why Luxury Garage Sale is one of the Top Online Thrift Stores
One of the best US based online thrift stores, Luxury Garage Sale offers a huge yet affordable range for luxury online thrifting, especially if you look through their clearance section.
They also offer complementary stylists and ensure that each piece is inspected and verified by in-house expert as authentic.
As mentioned before, you may come across exotic animal fur and materials which we do not support and would strongly recommend you avoid.
Available: Luxury Garage Sale (USA based)
4. URBAN OUTFITTERS VINTAGE (URBAN RENEWAL)
About Urban Outfitters Vintage
Urban Outfitters is a major retailer, founded in 1970 in the USA and today has over 200 stores around the country and in Europe and Canada.
While their focus is not on sustainable and ethical fashion, their Urban Renewal range is their “curated collection of original vintage items and vintage that has been carefully selected, re-designed and upcycled into modern silhouettes.”
They offer trendy online thrifting at its best including “[online] vintage Levi’s jeans and recycled denim cut-off shorts, plaid flannel shirts, broken-in t-shirts, vintage dresses and deadstock finds like camo surplus jackets.”
Urban Outfitters Vintage is One of the Most Affordable Online Thrift Stores
Urban Renewal is one of the more affordable vintage clothing online stores we’ve come across and we love that they offer renewed vintage womens clothing that takes on a completely new style.
Available: Urban Renewal
Rebag is a designer online thrift store dedicated to luxury bags. They offer every possible bag style imaginable from backpacks to professional totes.
Being a luxury second hand store, they focus on the usual designer list including sustainable fashion darling, Stella Mccartney, who unlike most luxury brands, does not use any leather or animal fur and instead uses organic fabrics and low-impact dyes.
Like most of the thrift stores on this list, Rebag allows individuals to sell their secondhand bags on their platform.
Why Rebag is One of the Best Online Thrift Stores
Rebag is a specialist store which means they have one of the biggest ranges for second hand designer bags on offer.
They also encourage ongoing re-use of the bags already in existence with their Infinity Exchange program which allows customers to return any bag within 12 months with credit worth 70-80% of its purchase price which can then be used towards the next purchase. From a sustainability perspective, this is a much better option than buying new or buying more!
Budget: $ – $$
6. ASOS MARKETPLACE
About ASOS Marketplace
This UK-based online thrift store is an offshoot of the already popular and trendy fashion site, ASOS. ASOS Marketplace, however, deals specifically in vintage women and mens clothing online.
It’s not just a run-of-the-mill seller site, either; ASOS Marketplace is essentially a meeting and posting ground of independent designers, vintage boutiques, consignment and thrift shops.
You can’t sell there as an individual cleaning out their closet, as with other sites, but if you happen actually have a vintage thrift business, you can sign up to become a selling boutique.
Why ASOS Marketplace Is One of the Best Online Thrifting Stores
ASOS Marketplace offers unique vintage clothing online, helping you achieve that super raw London edge without ever leaving the comfort of your PJs. They are also one of the more affordable online thrift stores with prices starting less than $50.
Everything on the site is modeled by real women, with a whole range of diverse sizes and body types. We love to see inclusivity in an industry so traditionally non-exclusive.
They also allow you to shop by era so you can filter for 1980s vintage clothing or 60s, 70s and even early 90s… hullo spice girls!
We’re also happy to see ASOS has a clear policy on the use of animal materials in the products that are made available for sale on their site.
Budget: $ – $
Available: ASOS Marketplace (available in the U.S. and U.K.)
A website/app tag team, Tradesy is a trendy online thrift store geared toward straight up designer brands specifically for women.
Because everything is a little higher end (with the likes of Zara on the lower end of the spectrum), expect to pay a bit more on this site. Still, there’s no better place to find killer steals on these expensive pieces.
Because knock-offs start to become a real concern once you get into these labels, Tradesey also offers a 100% Authenticity promise. If an item you buy is misrepresented in any way, they refund you entirely
For sellers, take pictures of any bags, clothes, accessories, and even shoes, and send them in. You can even sell second hand wedding dresses here!
Why Tradesy is One of the Best High End Thrift Stores
Tradesy not only offers modern second hand designer clothes online, but they also try to customize to your own personal taste. With the option to create your own “style feed”, you receive suggestions based on style and previous search or purchase history.
Plus, a core part of Tradesy’s vision is sustainable consumption. They believe in simplifying your wardrobe, paying a little more for one really nice thing you’ll treasure.
In their words:
“When it’s as easy to sell as it is to buy, the massive abundance and value hidden in our closets will be revealed, and our very concept of ownership will be transformed. Our belongings will evolve as dynamically as we do when every product has five lives instead of one.”
This 2009-born company focuses on high quality genuine vintage clothing. While some of their designer vintage pieces (like those from Miu Miu and Fendi) are understandably a bit pricier, many of their vintage items are perfectly reasonable for the market.
Not only are the pieces really vintage (as opposed to that fast fashion “vintage” sweater), but they provide the story behind each piece, such as a fascinating anecdote about something that happened in it or a favorite memory from the person who once wore it.
Why Refashioner is One of the Best Thrift Stores
Refashioner is a complete fashion refresher.They’re one of the only online thrift stores out there dedicated to keeping vintage alive and well.
With their meticulous quality control, you simply won’t get genuine vintage deals in one sweet spot like you will here. They also allow you to search by era starting with pre-1940s vintage clothing.
They’re passionate about fighting the unethical sourcing in the industry and preserving the now-dying nature of vintage:
They write about the current state of fashion, “We’re creating the end of vintage: Nothing new is worth keeping (or will last) for 25 years).”
ThredUP is an online consignment store that deals in “Secondhand Clothes, Firsthand Fun”.
This San Francisco- based company launched in 2009 originally as a men’s shirt swap company, though they now deal only in women’s and kids second hand clothing.
They are likely one of the biggest online thrift stores with over 2 million items across 35,000 brands “from Gap to Gucci”.
They probably aren’t the go-to source for unique boutique vintage finds, but offers a little bit of everything else. Purchasing works like other sites, but their selling process is pretty cool.
Unlike other sites, where you have to list everything separately, all you have to do for ThredUP is order a Clean Out Kit. They send a giant polka dot bag for you to fill with your clothes on their accepted brands list and ship back to them for free.
Upon receipt, they professionally photograph the items on mannequins so you can actually see how it fits when shopping. Once they sell, you earn money you can either cash out or keep as store credit.
Anything not accepted will either be returned to you or be responsibly recycled.
If you don’t care about turning a profit, you can also order a Donation Kit. The same process applies but instead of giving you a percentage of the sale earnings, they donate $5 to any charity of your choice.
Why ThredUP is One of the Best Plus Size and Petite Thrift Stores Online
Thred Up’s bulk selling bag makes them the single best no-mess spring cleaning partner out there.
Plus, they’re as thred up with fast fashion as we are! In fact, they want to completely reframe second hand shopping into a shopper’s first choice. With over 65 million items, you can’t help but be a little convinced that they’re actually succeeding.
They also support the sustainable fashion movement, individuals, and organizations with their Circular Fashion Fund, a 501(c)3 non-profit status pending organization.
In efforts to encourage thrift selling online, they created UPcycle, which allows you to spend your ThredUP credit at other sustainable retailers. Right now, only Cuyana and Reformation are partners but there are plans in the works for more platforms to join soon.
We also like that they’re inclusive, offering a filter for petite and plus size thrifting. And they’re one of the more affordable options out there – a great option if you’re looking for a cheap online thrift store!
Available: ThredUP (available in the U.S. and Canada)
10. PATAGONIA WORN WEAR
About Patagonia Worn Wear
A thrift store for the adventurers, Worn Wear is outdoor clothing brand Patagonia’s offer of second hand clothing online. They sell all manner of gently used clothing for men, women, and kids, as well as used outdoor gear at slashed prices.
Before we get onto that further, allow us to go on a tiny tangent about Patagonia, a company currently occupying the first position of cutting edge sustainable clothing brands.
Their dedication to corporate responsibility happily reminds us that some (albeit far fewer) brands do put their money where their mouth is.
Patagonia CEO (as well as founder of the 1% for the Planet program) Yvon Chouinard writes in his business memoir Let My People Go Surfing (an excellent read, by the way, even for the non business-savvy):
“Patagonia will never be completely socially responsible. It will never make a totally sustainable non-damaging product. But it is committed to trying.”
From their innovative anti-growth business model to their mostly organic-cotton and recycled polyester fabric choices, Patagonia does its best to design a succinct line of staple, classic pieces that last not only in quality, but never goes out of style.
With their Ironclad Guarantee, they will repair any item of Patagonia clothing sent to them indefinitely, no matter how old. If it can’t be repaired, they’ll recycle it for you.
Or if you just want to trade up and get rid of your Patagonia items you don’t wear, you can send it to Worn Wear in exchange for store credit to use on new or used items.
Why Worn Wear Is One of the Best Online Thrift Stores
Aside from the killer steals you’ll find on gently used Patagonia goods, they maintain a high level of quality control.If you send in worn or torn articles, they’ll fix it and clean for you before selling on Worn Wear. They are hands down the best option for used outdoor gear.
While the site doesn’t allow you to search by specific model (say you’re in the market specifically for Synchilla Snap-T), you can filter by general product category. Plus, then it mimics the exploratory nature of traditional thrifting, which is half the fun of it all.
With a balance of affordability, a wide product selection, and the knowledge that you’re supporting a company that cares, Patagonia’s Worn Wear is pretty Patagucci from any perspective.
Available: Patagonia Worn Wear (only currently available in the US)
Poshmark is a peer-to-peer thrifting website with an even more popular iPhone/android app that makes buying and selling used clothes online as simple as raiding from your older sister’s closet.
Definitely geared toward the more modern side (with a few gem retro pieces here and there), Poshmark boasts over 25 million items across well over 5,000 brands. For selection, Poshmark is a winner. They have everything from Prada down to Forever 21.
Poshmark also encourages bargaining. It’s true some Poshers (as sellers are called) put some pretty optimistic prices on their items, the platform encourages haggling and makes it very easy with their “offer/counter-offer” feature.
You can also “like” items if you want to be notified about any price drops. You can even score extra deals by bundling several items from the same seller for discounts. It’s the basement bargain hunter’s dream… and can it all be done from your basement!
Why Poshmark is One of the Best Modern Thrift Stores
Poshmark’s app is the core of its ease. Just snap a picture, post, and profit! For a seller looking to maximize profit, Poshmark is THE best.
Generally, depending on the brand, sellers can fetch good prices for their wares, often times upward of 50% MSRP. The downside is the somewhat hefty 25% that Poshmark retains of each sale. While on par with (and even better than) many traditional consignment shops, it’s higher than some selling sites.
From a buyer’s perspective, you can search for exactly what you want. Looking for a Synchilla Snap T that Patagonia’s Worn Wear didn’t have? Just type that into the search and have your mind boggled with the number of options.
Poshmark has a loyal following in the US with growing communities of thrifting fashionistas in both the UK and Australia.
To dip into the stranger side of online thrift shopping, next up is Depop. Depop is “the creative community’s mobile marketplace”.
Their website and app functions as a weird but wonderful crossbreed between a social media platform and a global marketplace. Wait… what?
Basically, Depop functions like any other Poshmark-like online thrifting app, except that it looks exactly like an Instagram feed! Seriously, go check it out.
Like its platform, the overall aesthetic and clothing that finds itself there is definitely on the edgier side. Some of it is downright bizarre… perfect for creatives!
London-based (with offices in New York City and Milan), Depop was founded by Simon Beckerman, co-founder of PIG Magazine and RETROSUPERFUTURE sunglasses.
Depop evolved from being an offshoot of PIG Magazine where readers could purchase things seen in the ‘zine.
Why Depop is One of the Best Unique Clothing Thrifting Stores
Depop may not be for everyone, but for those who want to go bold and really express themselves, there’s no better online op shop.
Not only are the items unique, the photographs and staging are nothing if not fun to browse through. Just like Instagram!
In true social media fashion, the site is as much about actually selling and buying the items as it is broadcasting what you’ve bought and sold.
It is a “global conduit of connection” not just for clothing, but for creativity, an essence that lies at the core of the company. We love this focus on creativity, because, really, isn’t that what fashion is all about.
Available: Depop (available in the U.S. and U.K.)
We’ve all heard of Ebay; it’s been around since 1995! Perhaps we’ve even cringed at the notion of buying things there.
Ebay gets a bit of a bad rap, and it has had its fair share of scams over the decades. However, this California-based multinational company has undeniably changed the name of the e-commerce game.
Really, it’s the company that made the rest of this list possible.
Why Ebay Makes This List
Ebay can definitely be a bit more of a crapshoot when it comes to quality control and knowing what you’re getting, but nowhere will you find a wider selection from a wider variety of places and of course, it is THE cheap online thrift store.
Many other selling sites are based in either the U.S. or U.K., two very similar cultural locales. With Ebay, you have access to all sorts of unique second hand clothing from many cultures and eras around the world… from hip hop to disco!
And since there are so many users, you can really narrow down your search to exactly what you’re looking for, down to the color… and even more importantly, as local as possible to minimise those shipping emissions
FAST FASHION IS A DIRTY BUSINESS
One of the dirtiest in the world, in fact.
So why are floral print dresses and plaid flannels so downright devastating?
Aside from the ethical sourcing issues that many people are at least vaguely aware of (like child labor and sweat shops), clothing production is riddled with environmental faux pas:
- Harmful chemicals: From insecticides and pesticides (fashion accounts for 25% and 10%, respectively, of world use) to toxic dyes that leach into groundwater.
- Fossil fuels: Clothing production and shipping alone account for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions.
- Water waste: A single pair of jeans made from plain (not organic) cotton, uses 1,000 gallons of water! Now take a look in your closet and do the math.
This isn’t even to speak of the incredibly wasteful nature of it all.
Every ten minutes in Australia, 6,000 kilograms of clothes hit the landfill. Our textile trash is out of control.
Yet we just keep producing more.
According to Greenpeace, clothing production doubled between 2000 and 2014, a trend attributed both to population increase and to a rise in “fast fashion”.
This refers to inexpensively produced (meaning someone’s getting screwed somewhere in the production line) clothing, designed to wear out fast and need replacing regularly. Fast Fashion producers typically produce a new “season” every week (so 52 seasons in a year) as a way of enticing their customers to buy more, so as to keep up with the latest trends in real time.
Fast fashion is CHEAP, in every way except the one that matters; it’s costing our planet a whole lot (watch: The True Cost Documentary for more on this). Fortunately, there are lots of counter movements starting, which we’ve gone more into detail about here.
ETHICAL FASHION CONSUMPTION – SECOND HAND CLOTHES ONLINE
This ethical conundrum is particularly tricky for those who love fashion.
As individuals, we can help by either becoming nudists or (perhaps more preferable to most) by attempting to extend the life of our clothing.
- Stop. Buying. Cheap. Trust us, it’ll actually save you money (not to mention the planet) in the long run! For those three Forever 21 blouses that split at the armpit upon first wear, you could have bought a better made and lasting one for the same cost that actually made another person’s life better somewhere down the production line.
- Extend the life of your clothes. This means you might need to stop mindlessly spending on things you don’t need. Try wearing the things you already own! Have you ever done that minimizing trick where you turn around every hanger in your closet and only right it once you wear it? See how many things go untouched over the course of six months. Really focus on wearing what you have. If we all kept clothing in use just nine more months, we could reduce carbon emissions and water waste by 20-30%!
- Don’t throw away perfectly functional clothes. Here’s a shocking statistic, courtesy of The Atlantic: Americans only donate or recycle 15% of their clothing. That means 85% is just being trashed, thrown out before worn out. It’s okay if you don’t want something anymore, but if at all possible, give it a second life by either selling it , giving it to a friend or at least donating it.
Donation centers are present in almost every community (even smaller ones) and all it requires is dropping a bag in a bin. While not everything that gets donated finds a second home, the unsold stuff from organizations like Salvation Army and Goodwill typically go to for-profit clothes recyclingcenters, such as Viltex. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than the landfill.
- Skip the new and start thrifting. Instead of spending more money on new clothes, spend a fraction of the amount on perfectly functional and even fashionable second hand clothing. As you can tell by now, there are a plethora of second hand clothing stores to choose from.
AN ONLINE THRIFT STORE – THE SUSTAINABLE FASHIONISTA’S BFF
All the problems of the fashion industry become most unsettling for those attempting to live a zero waste lifestyle.
If this is your first walk down the Sustainable Jungle catwalk to zero waste, we’ll start by reminding you that zero waste is a lifestyle guided by the ethos that asks us to reimagine how we view a product’s end of life.
Instead of landfills and incinerators, zero waste aims to either reuse or compost.
Aside from limited styles and sizes to suit your specific needs, buying used clothing won’t give you the freedom to stick to any sustainable fabric criteria. For us, this means organic, vegan, naturally dyed, Fairtrade, and sustainably sourced and made.
However, thrift stores, consignment stores, or op shops DO help keep 300,000 tons of fabric from the landfill each year.
The truth is, while not perfect, thrifting is one of the best solutions to fast fashion we have at the moment. If every person in the world substituted just one new clothing purchase with a used one, we could collectively prevent 6 billion pounds of carbon emissions.
Thrifting is a great (and somewhat adventurous) way to get everything you need. Well… most of it. For the more intimate things you probably don’t want to get second hand – see our article on ethical underwear if you need a new pair of comfy undies 🙂
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THRIFTING FOR VINTAGE CLOTHING ONLINE
It’s high time we give the fashion industry a makeover and remind ourselves that, just like us, clothes don’t need to be young to be beautiful.
If this hasn’t been enough to inspire you, we encourage you to watch the True Cost documentary. It was life changing in terms of our own approach to creating a conscious closet. Second hand clothes can mean a second chance for the planet.
Aside from buying second hand clothing, look into other options to reduce your clothing consumption, such as clothes swaps (which function online much like these) and community sharing programs.
Fashion renting is becoming increasingly popular with options like Rent the Runway in the USA, Onloan in the UK and GlamCorner in Australia. These are essentially subscription programs where you borrow clothes like you do a book from a library. It’s a pretty neat way to save money, cut your fashion footprint, and have a constantly fresh look.
We’ll end with a term we use a lot here: conscious consumerism. Every time we pull out our wallets, we cast a vote for fast or sustainable fashion. Let’s make our votes count.
We hope this has been a helpful resource for all your sustainable shopping needs.
Feel free to reach out in the comments with any other favorite online thrift sites or even just your favorite thrift store!