Less Waste Clothes Shopping

Kids will be headed back to school, are you looking to do some back-to-school clothing shopping? Good news, fashion doesn’t have to mean “new” and for those growing kids that constantly grow out of the clothes they do have buying new can be expensive. Trends come and go, but the clothes don’t. So you might consider looking at how you can shop used and possibly local. Here are some good options below.

Shopping Secondhand Locally

If you are here in Arizona there are a number of options to shop secondhand and some very niche like Antique clothing, such as Antique Sugar. Some of the places I have frequented are Goodwill, Twice as Nice, Savers, Buffalo Exchange, and Plato’s Closet. All have a good variety and a large section of shoes, accessories and clothes. Not all have kid and baby sections so look or call them up before visiting. Pack up all clothes your kids have outgrown as well so someone else can use them and you can get credit toward new items.

For my job, I am manage and attend a variety of events, including some cocktail and black tie events. A cocktail dress in a departments store can run from $60 to $200 depending on the quality. I will wear these once, maybe twice so that makes it even sadder. So looking for these second hand helps my wallet and my conscience. I got the red dress above at Twice at Nice for $7, that’s right, $7!

Look up what is available in your area, you might be surprised at how many options are out there.


For those that just can’t find the time to dig through a local thrift shop, check out ThredUp. You can get name brand items and because of their detailed search engine you are able to narrow down what you are looking for. They will take your gently used items and you can either get money or credit back. They sell more than clothing: accesories, bags, and shoes. Expecting? They have a whole maternity section and a plus section for anyone that finds traditional sizes don’t work for them. I love the way Banana Republic fits me so I got these 3 items used from Thred up and the look brand new.


The “Rescues” section has items that have been sitting too long or need a little touchup to be usable, if you are open to a project, this could be for you.

Goody Boxes®

If you are itching for a box subscription you can try their Goody Boxes®, $20 for 10 unique items, learn more about it here.

Check out ThredUp for yourself, it is worth a look especially if you have something every particular in mind.

But buying used clothes sounds so dirty…

Consignment stores are very particular about what they will accept, but yes, you do need to look over the items closely. Maybe a rip or snag is not super obvious and I always wash my clothes before wearing them. Most of these clothes have not been worn more than a handful of times, so they have not been worn down to threds otherwise the store would not accept them. Visit a store and see for youself.

Not completely on board?

Consider special times to check out these stores. Halloween is a big in the used clothing industry, get your kid’s costumes at a lower cost. Themed parties? Find that cowboy, 20s or 80s look gently used. Have a big painting project or camping trip, try finding something that you won’t mind getting dirty or damaged.

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My name is Kate and I'm a world traveler looking to make a positive impact by reducing my waste and single plastic use.