The Moral Wardrobe: #nonewclothes

Imagine: a wardrobe full of sustainable goods you paid less then 10 bucks for. 

It sounds impossible, but it’s actually completely accessible. It’s called secondhand shopping, and it has changed my life.

As I mentioned in last week’s 101 Things to Buy Secondhand post, Thredup is capitalizing on the fact that National Thrift Shop Day is this Friday (August 17th) by declaring August Secondhand Month and launching a #nonewclothes social media campaign in which participants pledge to purchase only secondhand clothing throughout the entire month.

So far, so good for me (well, with the exception of underwear). Thredup gave me some store credit so that I could share a post with readers on Instagram but I decided to discuss it more here. I ended up getting two amazing J Crew blazers, this dress and shoes, and a cool Ralph Lauren choker for under $200 (the bulk of the price was in the blazers). The outfit I’m wearing cost about $40.

Ethical Details: Dress and Shoes – c/o Thredup; Earrings – Darling Boutique Charlottesville
My ethical fashion journey has been interesting this year because I’ve rekindled my love for secondhand while also getting really honest about what I’ll actually wear. In the past, it’s been hard to limit my purchases at thrift stores because everything is fun and cheap. But I end up with so much stuff that doesn’t get worn that it becomes overwhelming. 
Now I’m reframing secondhand shopping, not as a way to idle away the afternoon, but as a part of my overall wardrobe building goals. So I might take a chance on a pair of slip-on sneakers, but I’m still going to look for the silhouettes, styles, and brands that make me feel most like me.

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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