Today I want to share my very favorite ethical shopping trick with you. This trick has saved me so much money and kept me motivated to continue pursuing thoughtful consumerism for the last three years. Second to price, the opposition I hear most to thoughtful shopping is "I can't find things I like". I get this. While the fair trade and transparent fashion movement has grown a ton over the past few years there are still very few options when compared to the conventional market.
I've mentioned before that while I was in grad school I worked at Anthropologie and literally (and I mean literally) spent half of my paycheck there. Very bad set up financially but excellent for my closet. When I first started shopping ethically I was disappointed to see that the more upscale stores I loved, like j. crew and Anthropologie, shared the same crappy manufacturing practices as brands like Forever 21.
Today's cheat sheet can help you still shop the brands you love, at a fraction of the cost, without contributing directly to systems that create labor abuse and fill up landfills. Here's how you do it:
Since my beloved Twice is going out of business (tragic) I'm going to use Thred Up as an example.
1. Go to ThredUp.com (sign up using this link, I'll explain later)
2. Click the button that says "women" (or whatever you are looking for)
3. On the left side of the page you'll see a button that says "create a personal shop". Click that!
4. You will be given 4 style options, choose one and then choose your size. On the next page you'll find an instantly curated set of clothing based on your personal style. Easy.
But let's say you're like me and you don't have a strong, personal style. You like what you like, when you like it and you want to see all your options.
1. Click women
2. Scroll down until you see "brands" then choose your 5-10 favorites (I pick Anthro, j. crew, kate spade, Loft, Banana Republic and Vera Wang)
3. The click whatever two sizes you most frequently wear.
4. Go to whatever items you want to look at. Let's choose tops. Click that button and then click "view all"
Now what you'll see is a perfectly curated selection of tops in your size from brands you love.
A few more tips:
If you want to make sure you are ONLY buying second hand, ignore the things that have a little red tag next to them. This means it's "new with tags" which could technically mean someone is using Twice to sell stuff they couldn't unload. I don't like supporting that so typically I try and avoid it.
If you want only absolutely perfect pieces, click the button that says "exclude tiny flaws". Of all the purchases I've made I've only had one piece I've had to return due to flaw, but if that matters to you click that to make sure the pieces you receive are perfect.
NOW FOR THE BEST PART. Click THIS LINK and you'll get $20 off your first order. I'll also get $20 to spend (thank you!). Also if this is your first time shopping at Thred Up, google "thred up first time coupon" and you'll likely find a coupon to get 20-40% off your first order. If you can't find that, sign up for Thred Up...then wait. You should receive a deeply discounted coupon within the next two weeks. With a combination of coupons I've purchased a retail value of $750 worth of clothing for $100.
As of the time of publication ALL OF THE PIECES YOU SEE ABOVE FROM ANTHROPOLOGIE AND J. CREW ARE ON THE THRED UP SITE!! Get crazy!!!