A guide to local second-hand shopping


Photo by Lena Nadaner

Freshmen Olivia Cohen and Hannah May search through the aisles for second hand clothes at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

Lena Nadaner, Reporter

Finding ethically made apparel that does not break your wallet is a nearly impossible task. Alternatively, buying second-hand clothing is beneficial to the environment, does not directly support child or forced labor and is a way to find unique pieces for a lower price. 

Going thrifting can be a fun and inexpensive way to shop and get out of your fashion comfort zone. Thrift stores sell apparel for bargain prices because they receive items through tax-deductible donations. The majority of the clothing items in these stores are heavily used. Goodwill, Planet Aid and the Salvation Army Family Store are all thrift stores located near the CESJDS Upper School campus. 

Freshman Olivia Cohen frequently shops at thrift stores and offers tips to maximize a trip to the thrift store. “Look in sections that aren’t traditionally something you would look at,” Cohen said. “Be open-minded for items and think about ways you could wear them or upcycle them.” 

Consignment stores are a way to find lightly used apparel from nice brands easily, but are more expensive than thrift stores because the pieces are curated. Reddz Trading is a consignment store with locations in Bethesda and Georgetown that sells high-end clothing, shoes, bags and jewelry. Reddz Trading has a large selection of brands like Lululemon Athletica and various designer brands. 

Uptown Cheapskate in Rockville specifically focuses on and sells more trending items in good condition. They screen all apparel for broken zippers, stains and tears. Uptown Cheapskate can be cheaper than Reddz Trading and has a more extensive range of brands. These consignment stores are an ideal option if you want to shop secondhand in-person without having to look through aisles of clothes. 

Using apps and websites to purchase second-hand clothing can also be a convenient option. Depop and Poshmark are commonly used apps and websites where people sell their clothes, shoes and accessories directly through PayPal. These apps allow you to search for specific brands and articles of clothing with available filters on sizing and price and have pages with suggested items specifically for you.

I have found that these apps tend to have the most trendy clothes and brands, making the clothing selection appealing to many; however, they are more expensive than thrift and consignment stores. The selection of clothing ranges from new with tags to heavily used.  

Mercari and Vinted are less popular apps with good and economical finds, although the selection is smaller and more arbitrary. These apps are better for purchasing specific clothing items, while the more popular apps have a larger selection of prominent brands and apparel. 

Another benefit to buying from used clothing apps and websites is that items that are sold out or discontinued from the original store may be available. The downside to using websites to buy secondhand is the shipping costs which can be pricey, and you cannot see the item in person and try it on before buying. 

When buying from a well-known or popular brand through an app or website, it is best to look at all the options to make sure you are getting the best price. Lwn 

With many options to choose from, hop on the second-hand clothing train, and discover a better and more ethical way to shop and sell apparel.