Published on March 6, 2019—  Leave a comment

You’re in Good Company: Meet the Amazing Ladies Who Choose Used!

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The thredUP team is proud to be part of an amazing community of women who celebrate Mother Earth AND fashion by choosing used. To spread love, good vibes, and thrifty wisdom, we tapped into the secondhand community and interviewed inspiring women who love choosing used as much as you do. Read on to meet your fellow thrifters! 

BRANDICE, THRIFTER EXTRAORDINAIRE

Lover of all things fashion, Brandice loves to make every out of the day special. She’s an avid thrifter who is obsessed with brands like Anthropologie (particularly Maeve), Who What Wear, J. Crew, and Zara.

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How do you celebrate the women in your life?

I celebrate the women in my life by showing them love, honor, and respect daily. I, unfortunately, lost my mother in my early twenties, with her passing it made me look at the women in my life with even greater respect. I take note of the best qualities and characteristics of the women I know and see where these can make me a better person. I also try to let them know I appreciate them and who they are by word and/or deed.

One little (or big thing!) you are doing to make a difference in the world:

Shopping secondhand! Currently, my wardrobe is about 85% used (I am proud of that number, but I am striving to make it higher!). By buying used I am helping to keep more items out of landfills and giving these goods a longer life. This also helps to cut down on manufacturing demands and cost.

What’s a bad habit you have no plans to break?

A bad habit that I don’t plan to break is (you guessed it) shopping secondhand! It’s exhilarating when I find those hidden gems just waiting for me. I absolutely love fashion and this is a way I can shop without breaking the bank while getting pieces that I adore.

KARA, ECO-FRIENDLY DYNAMO

This eco mama hosts the Cultivated Conversations podcast, where she supports women, especially moms, on their journey to living ethically (cute clothes included).

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What excites you about fashion today?

I cannot fully express how excited I am about where the fashion industry is today and where it is headed. Women have been demanding that brands treat the women and men that make our clothes with dignity, the environment with respect, and animals with care. And just in the last few months, we have seen major brands announce they have fair trade lines coming out! WE did that. We put our money where our mouths are and brands started listening.

Someone once told me that I am casting a vote for the kind of world I want to live in every time I spend money! When we purchase from companies like thredUP we are telling the industry that these things are important to us and we’ll purchase from brands who hold tightly to our same values. It’s so exciting!

What’s one little (or big thing!) you are doing to make a difference in the world?

For my family, we have a big heart for welcoming refugees to America. If refugees land in our hometown, we are there to welcome them. It is our heart for every refugee to know they are welcome, wanted, and valued! It’s just a small thing, but bringing a joyful smile and simple “Welcome to America. I’m so glad you are here” can help. I am proud to say, my son’s best friend, who brings light to his whole world, is a former refugee we welcomed at the Tulsa International Airport!

What’s the one thing you would tell someone about thrifting if they were skeptical about shopping secondhand?

How cool is it to answer “I love your outfit” with “I got it at the mall”? It’s not! When I get compliments on my leather jacket, I get to tell the awesome story about spotting it hanging on the wall in a flea market in Iceland. It tells a story. Secondhand reminds us of our favorite vacation, the last minute date we needed a special dress for, or the jewel we found for a great price online!

ELIZABETH, SUSTAINABLE SUPERSTAR

Author of one of our favorite books, Overdressed’, Elizabeth Cline is an amazing journalist at the forefront of sustainable fashion. You go, girl! 

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Why do you choose used and what percent of your wardrobe is used?

I was once a bit of a fast fashion addict, so shopping used allows me to still update my closet without the impact on the planet. It’s also dirt-cheap. I have built a dynamic, high quality wardrobe for fast fashion prices by shopping used. There is too much clothing out in the world already and 16.4 billion pounds of reusable or recyclable clothing is going into U.S. landfills every year. Shopping secondhand is a win-win for the planet and my personal style. My wardrobe is 90% secondhand.

What excites you about fashion today?

This is one of the most exciting moments in fashion ever! So many people are becoming mindful and conscious of how their fashion choices impact the planet. Sustainability can be beautiful and accessible, and it can be as simple as buying more of your wardrobe used! Just a few years ago, everyone thought sustainable fashion meant wearing a hemp sack dress. Now we’ve got resale and rental companies and some of the most cutting-edge brands in the industry making sustainability easy.

What’s your #1 self-care tip?

“There’s a wonderful preoccupation in caring for something that’s beautiful.” – Geoffrey Beene. I mend my clothes. I learned how to darn sweaters and patch jeans this year, and it’s surprisingly easy to learn and incredibly therapeutic.

What’s a bad habit you have no plans to break?

Watching The Bachelor and reading celebrity gossip. I like to unplug by watching or reading something silly at the end of the day.

ELISE, CLEAN OUT QUEEN

With 211 accepted items under her belt, Elise truly puts joy into every Clean Out bag. She’s a working artist who finds beauty in nature and a sustainable closet. 

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What excites you about fashion today?

I love that designers seem to be making clothes to fit more shapes and sizes. I’m excited to see the wider range of sizes available and that mainstream brands are featuring body positive models. I’ve noticed that some even offer a view of the same clothes on different models. What a concept! Clothes should make us feel at home in our bodies.

I also love that clothes are including more details and combining interesting textures. I prefer wearing natural fibers –cotton, wool, silk– and there seems to be a general trend towards fabrics that are soft and breathable in that way.

How do you celebrate the women in your life?

The majority of the galleries I work with are women-owned businesses, which is extraordinary to consider. I feel so supported by them, and love surrounding myself with strong examples of women who are thriving in the arts. I have found that artists can be incredibly supportive of one another, often cheering for each other’s accomplishments and building each other up. It feels very hopeful when my colleagues are doing well. It means that there is a belief in living with original art and beauty.

What’s the one thing you would tell someone about thrifting if they were skeptical about shopping secondhand?

The items I’ve purchased from thredUP have all been in amazing condition. Brand new, but without that retail price tag. I also think about all the effort that goes into making these clothes and how it just makes sense to use them better. I love the idea that my favorite sweater was once sitting unloved in the corner of someone else’s closet.

MICHELLE, BADASS MAMA

A badass mom and US Army Officer, Michelle is kicking fast fashion to the curb for her closet and her two kids as well! Her closet is comprised of a whopping 90% used clothing and her kids’ wardrobe is close behind. 

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What excites you about fashion today?

After three years of either being pregnant or losing the baby weight, I am excited to bring fashion back into my wardrobe. It has been fun following fashion hashtags and designers on Instagram as I try to inspire and develop my own style as a professional and a mom. I am especially excited that nineties fashion is making a comeback! Thanks to the variety of items thrift shops offer, I can find it all at one store for much less.

Name one little thing (or big thing!) you are doing to make a difference in this world.

I am very much inspired by Mother Teresa’s quote: “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” I take it to heart and make my family my priority every day. At work, I make sure my employees have the opportunity to do the same. Family obligations are supported, support agencies are available, and I make certain that family time is always a priority.

How do you celebrate the women in your life?

I celebrate the women in my life by celebrating with them! We love to make a day of fun together. We usually start with a workout, like a yoga session, then we will get some great food and drinks and just talk and laugh. If the kids are with us, we will do something outdoors, like the zoo. I can’t think of a better celebration then spending time with some great women paired with some great food!

ANGELIN, DESIGNER DIVA

From Rachel Comey and Acne Studios to Everlane and Madewell, this fashion-savvy mama of four (two boys and two dogs) knows a good deal when she sees one. 

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What do you love about choosing used?
There’s nothing better than seeing a huge rack of clothes, sorting out what works out and what doesn’t, and bringing home the items that “speak to me”. Plus, the amount of inventory is INSANE, and I love it! The real fun is mixing the “new to me” garments with my current wardrobe. At this point, I’d say my wardrobe is 65% used/vintage, 35% new.

What excites you about fashion today?
I love seeing designers who push creative boundaries to create wearable art. Yes, most runway looks are not practical for my everyday life as a mom of 3-year-old twin boys. But I love the fantasy of fashion. I try to take inspiration from these outrageous looks and apply it to my wardrobe. Besides, who says you can’t look fabulous during a late night Target run!?

Name one little thing (or big thing!) you are doing to make a difference in this world.
Not sure I made a difference in the world, but what I did meant the world to a stranger. On December 6, 2018, I donated my bone marrow anonymously to someone I matched with on the Be The Match registry. I’ve made it my personal mission to encourage people to look into becoming a bone marrow donor. You never know whose life you may save!

All these women are real thredUP customers, and we’re happy to disclose that they were each given shopping credit as thanks for participating in this feature!

We’re so thankful to be in the company of amazing ladies who choose used. Are you a sustainable hero? An expert treasure hunter? Tell us why you choose used in the comments below.