Iman in Mary McFadden Silk Pajamas circa 1977…these stores are hunting grounds for fabulous finds like this!
Pre-loved luxury is beginning to pick up steam in the fashion world.
It is the easiest solution to the question: How to buy fashion with zero carbon footprint? Buy pre-owned.
And even better, go back to the old trusty way our parents used to handle our used clothes –give them to someone new. Every now and then on the Internet, you may come across several interlacing, jargon-filled circle graphs, from well-known brands like Adidas with their “three-loop circular economy” to smaller scale companies. But circular fashion, at its core, is nothing more complicated than making (good) use of second hand pieces.
The great thing about circular fashion is that it is not only good for the environment, but also one of the best ways to shop for fashion on a budget. It is estimated that 95% of discarded clothes are reusable, and the price of pre-owned items rarely gets past 70% of the original price tag. ln short, you’re getting a bang for your buck, only when shopping at reliable stores, of course. Worry not, because we have compiled a list of the best online upscale vintage boutiques and consignments. Pick up your fashion investment from No Kill’s edit of the most reliable pre-owned designer retailers (and consign services) below.
Founded in 2005 by Misty Guerriero, an interior designer, the brand quickly grew from just a personal collection of rare vintage items from Misty’s vacations to a grand fashion boudoir, attracting stylists for A-list celebrities. Though young, the online boutique prides itself on its alphabet of designers, ranging from Azzedine Alaia to Zandra Rhodes; with all the Chanel, Gucci, Hermes, Missioni, Pucci and Yves Saint Laurent in between. However, most of which come at mid-end price, making Vintage by Misty one of the best destinations for high-value clothing.
Rihanna’s favorite place to pick up bomb pieces. If that does not convince you to skip buying the same short-lived fast fashion item over and over again and start investing in a vintage designer piece that nobody else has, I don’t know what will.
Plus, they have carbon neutral shipping with ZERO charge.
ARCHIVE was founded by Kerry Bonnell, a former Parsons student and fashion stylist. The name ARCHIVE perfectly describes not only the characteristics of ‘60s–’90s archive fashion being sold, but also the fact that this is where industrial stockists visit for their editorial shoots for some of the biggest magazines, namely Italian Vogue. Things are a little pricier here, but since its best features are heavy outerwear, and sometimes even haute couture art pieces, you can bet it’s a lifelong worthwhile investment.
Price range: $$$$
Best for: Jackets/tops/accessories, Comme des garçons and Jean Paul Gaultier vault.
The lengthiest name of them all, but also the longest to stay in the preserved luxury market. Since opening its first store in Soho, New York in 1993, WGACA has paved the way for pre-owned fine craftsmanship worldwide and has a cult like following.
Immerse yourself in the mini department store of WGACA, where the finest pieces of each brand are meticulously chosen and curated. From simple Levi’s jeans to rare Rolex watches, everything displayed in their five stores across the US is certified authentic, and of pristine quality that’s hard to find anywhere else.
Price range: $$$$
Best for: Designer handbags and accessories – Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton
Looking for your first designer handbag? You may not want to miss LXRandCo. LXRandCo is a digital-first omni-channel retailer of authenticated pre-owned handbags and personal accessories. With nearly 400 bags under $1000, you’ll most likely be able to find your favorite at the convenience of your house.
One of the nice things about LXRandCo is their transparency in everything: their well-explained condition rating system, detailed authenticity claims, and most importantly, clear consignment procedure.
It seems like the Parisians know best when it comes to preserving high-quality fashion that is to be used for a lifetime, or lifetimes. Vestiaire Collective, originally a French company, is still able to retain its Parisian DNA despite being a household name for pre-owned designer finds since 2009. Thanks to its international scale, Vestiaire receives 25,000 new items submitted by their community of sellers every week, which enables buyers to search over 3,500 coveted and must-have fashion pieces a day. With their app that helps maximize ease of trading items, Vestiaire really is one of the most dynamic marketplace for luxury consignment to date.
Consignment: yes. There’s an app specialized for it.
Price range: $$ – $$$$
Best for: Clothing and bags from well-known designers
The RealReal really is the company with the most focus on its social impact, which perfectly explains its recent popularity among conscious US consumers. First starting out as a home-based consignment service in 2011, the recommerce company has successfully built a global community on authenticated luxury. Establishing themself under the label of “a sustainable luxury company”, the company further goes on to identify itself as a team of diversity, as well as the only resale company with impeccable authenticity. They have a rigorous, brand-specific authentication process, overseen by hundreds of experts and brand authenticators, including gemologists and horologists, which really holds up to the standard indicated from its brand name. The RealReal offers numerous sale programs up to 80% off once you are a subscriber, making it the ideal place to shop for quality vintage and secondhand designer items and stay within a budget.
Consignment: Yes. Receive up to 85% of each item’s sale price here.
Price range: $ – $$$
Best for: anything and everything but great for entry-level designer fashion finds at reasonable prices
Farfetch is not well-known for its sustainable practices – it’s most commonly seen as an E-commerce platform for designer clothing, perhaps the platform with the most variety. Now, they have branched out to offer a wide selection of pre-loved Chanel, Louis and the likes, at a more accessible entry point.
The nice thing about Farfetch is its beautifully curated edits, making buying fashion, especially the higher end ones, seem like investing in an artwork chosen from an art gallery. The Farfetch App is also one of the best out there for fashion buyers, with a Visual Search feature which helps you buy your favorite outfits much faster (scouring for that 80s Pinterest skirt is tiring). Plus, they have just launched their Farfetch Fix service, which amps up other circular services and makes online vintage fashion finds a full-fledged bespoke experience.
Consignment: Yes. Farfetch offers free pick-up, but you get paid with Farfetch credits (which can be used for purchasing in Farfetch), not actual cash.
Price range: $$$ – $$$$
Best for: Well-known designer clothing and bags
Other marketplaces for pre-loved gems
Isn’t the list over yet? The list is infinite – beautifully preserved valuable items can be found in any online consignment store. You just have to work a little harder to find the good ones AND make sure it is authentic. Some of our other favorite places for you to treasure hunt: