Does Reselling Really Help The Planet?

Let's dig into this trend of reselling

Explore in this Article

  1. The growth of reselling
  2. So, is resale good for the planet?
  3. Is reselling the solution?
  4. Where to start reselling?

Every year, we are told to try and help the environment by purchasing less, reusing, or recycling. But how much of new fashion items do we keep buying? And how much do we resell? Do you know many people who are actually shopping sustainability? Are thrift stores really helping the planet? So let’s talk about if reselling can really help the planet or if it is only adding more to consumerism and waste.

The growth of reselling

second-hand sign jeans, vintage shopping slow fashion sustainability
IrynaKhabliuk/ Envato Elements

Recently, shopping secondhand or thrifting has been trending all over social media. A few online clothing resale sites like Depop and Poshmark have made buying secondhand and reselling easy for us. eBay, one of the oldest resale sites, draws 182 million active buyers globally and has made it possible for millions to earn money, by reselling on its platform.

Many shoppers prefer to buy secondhand items, nowadays. And you will be shocked to know that even millionaires are shopping secondhand, too. With such high demand for the resell industry, tech investors are pouring money into clothing resale sites. For example, Depop raised $62 million in 2019, making their funding $105.6 million in total in 2021; thredUp is closing a $175 million round in 2019. This shows how clothing resale sites are attracting huge dollars.

But are these huge demands really doing anything good to the planet? Let’s look more into this.

So, is resale good for the planet?

reselling thrift shop
chrissie kremer/ Unsplash

Everything that we shop, consume, and throw away, has an impact on the planet. That’s where resale shops or shopping secondhand can be a great way to save the planet. By reselling, you save the item from going to the landfill, give it to someone who needs it, and you actually increase the lifespan of that item. Resale shops can save the planet from the huge impact of pollution caused by manufacturing and distribution.

The fashion industry is solely responsible for 8-10% of global carbon emissions. The industry also uses huge amounts of water and exploits its workers and animals worldwide. Not just that, a study shows that every year, the average American throws away 37kgs/ 81 pounds of clothes. Reselling or buying secondhand clothes helps you slow down this fast fashion impact, by keeping huge amounts of clothes away from landfills.

An article in stated that “Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Morocco, Norway, Spain, and Sweden have contributed to 16.3 million tons of carbon dioxide savings by buying and selling used goods”

According to, “sales of pre-owned electronics and apparel on eBay in 2020 helped conserve 720,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.”

Lastly, reselling makes things accessible and cheaper to consumers (and makes you rich, at the same time). You don’t have to break the bank to be sustainable; just go eco-friendly on a budget. Reselling your unused items and thrifting can be your first step. Either way, you save money or make money!

Is reselling the solution?

Definitely, reselling is doing its part for the planet in so many wonderful ways. But is it changing our approach to shopping?

Resale isn’t the final solution, but our choice is. Mindful and intentional shopping can change the habit of overconsumption, impulse buying, and manufacturing and distributing pollution. For resellers, while they resell things online, they follow good sustainable practices like:

  1. Choose the platform where you want to sell things wisely.
  2. Take proper pictures of images.
  3. Source secondhand products sustainably.
  4. Recycle and reduce waste, by shipping your products in sustainable packaging.

Where to start reselling?

It is alright if you find yourself confused about where to resale clothing and other preloved items. We have made a list of the best platforms where you can resell your unwanted clothes and things to help save the planet. 

1. Offerup

All of us have ignored, yet entirely usable things, sitting pretty right in our homes, taking up valuable space. OfferUp allows us to get rid of our rarely used items and make some money. And looking out for something for yourself? Browse OfferUp to find resale items, before you go and buy a new one.  

2. Poshmark 

Poshmark is where all the cool kids are reselling. Resale clothes, designer handbags, shoes, and more trendy stuff. Unlike other resale platforms, Poshmark offers a sense of community. It even hosts virtual fashion parties with themes like best in makeup, preppy, and everything plus size.

3. Depop 

Depop is a community-powered circular fashion marketplace that allows you to resell clothing and more, while you connect to make fashion more inclusive, diverse, and less wasteful.

4. thredUp 

Thrifting is a great way to help the planet. But, going out shopping for hours and searching through stacks of clothes to find a perfect pre-owned piece can be a task. thredUp is for those who want to help make a change from their comfy couch. Browse through thousands of pre-owned clothes, or find resale ways for your own unused/ old clothes.  

5. Mercari 

Mercari is a place where you can sell almost everything. So, whether you want to declutter or discover preloved items, this reselling app will breathe new life into your space. And shipping is super-easy with this marketplace. You can get at-home pickups and same-day delivery.

As a society, we are constantly looking for ways to be more sustainable. Whether recycling or buying products made with recycled materials, most of us are striving to lead a greener lifestyle. The trend of online resale of clothing is increasing in popularity. Whether selling your gently-worn clothing at a consignment shop or on online resell sites like eBay or thredUp, you’re taking the right steps towards helping the planet. 

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