Want to shop for vintage and pre-loved pieces online but don’t know where to start? Digital native Síomha Connolly shares her tricks of the trade …
Main featured image via Vestiaire Collective.
One way to reduce our impact on the planet through our shopping habits is to buy secondhand, pre-loved or vintage. And with the rise in online sellers, it’s never been easier to find something you love. You might just find a bargain by shopping this way too …
Start with the dedicated online platforms which stock a wide variety of pre-loved styles and items. Vestiaire Collective, a French company which sells preloved luxury clothing and accessories through user-sellers, means you can not only buy secondhand items, but sell your own pieces too. If you are interested in a particular item, ie this season’s coveted Prada Cleo bag, set up alerts through the app and you will be notified if someone posts this item. US-based The RealReal offers a similar service.
FarFetch and Selfridges have large selections of preloved and vintage luxury clothing and accessories available to purchase online, while Net-a-Porter has gone down the consignment route, allowing users to sell their own items in exchange for credit on the website (with an extra ten per cent added) or cash, via bank transfer. Net-a-Porter’s seemingly seamless service will collect your items, photograph them and write product descriptions before listing them for sale; note you must have three items minimum to sell through this service. Visit www.netaporter.reflaunt.com.
Peer-to-peer marketplace Depop can be a treasure-trove for pre-loved finds, but you must know where to look. Always use the search function to save you scrolling endlessly through the explore page. Use keywords and be as specific as you can, ie “Sequin Rixo dress”, to find the items you’re looking for. Often, if you use search terms that relate to your style interests, you will find sellers’ profiles that correlate to your own style and can then follow them to see their future posts. StyleSwap is another user-seller platform which aims to match you up with other similar users through quizzes on your clothing interests – you can only buy and sell items over £150stg through this platform, no high street items allowed; www.styleswapofficial.com.
Ebay takes a little more time and patience. It’s good for sold-out designer collaborations or limited-release items – though be prepared to pay a premium. Setting up alerts is key here so that you can be quick off the mark. Visit www.ebay.ie.
Picture via Rêverie Vintage.
If you would prefer to let someone else do the hard work for you, there are lots of sellers who pull together curated edits and sell them online. The best way to pursue this route is to find a seller who suits your style via Instagram. In the UK, Clare Lewis of Retold Vintage (www.retoldvintage.com / @retold_vintage) curates succinct collections of pre-loved and vintage clothing with a distinctly minimalist and modern (yes, vintage can look modern!) feel. Think wool camel coats, sleek trench coats and tailored trousers.
In Ireland, Rêverie Vintage (www.shopreverievintage.com /@reverie.vtg) releases monthly drops of vintage and pre-loved items with a special focus on noughties-inspired fashion: You’ll find Calvin Klein logo T-shirts and vintage Armani blazers, all at accessible prices.
In the US, a recent TikTok find was Elodie Studios (www.elodiestudios.com / @elodie_studios) who go so far as to create individual “style bundles” for buyers. You will send a moodboard to expert sourcer Liz Ballmaier who will then go hunting in Brooklyn and Manhattan to find pieces to suit. Shoppers from Europe can avail of this service, but shipping costs will be higher.
Whichever route you choose, you’ll feel extra-smug telling friends your recent purchase was a bargain and kinder to the environment.
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