Our pick of the best online thrift shops on the internet for clothes. If you love op-shopping and searching for thrift store fashion treasures as much as I do, then you are going to love this post about the best online charity shops.
First of all let’s just confirm why we should all be op-shopping!
For the uninitiated, shopping at a thrift store or charity shop is beneficial, not only for you, but also for the planet.
Online charity clothes shops offer many benefits, from financial to feel good, including …
- You’ll pay cheaper prices for good quality clothing.
- You’ll be supporting a charitable organisation or social enterprise.
- You’ll help decrease the landfill caused by throwaway fashion.
- You’ll have a lot of fun shopping while helping to save the world!
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What is a Thrift Store or Charity Shop?
“A charity shop (UK), thrift shop or thrift store (USA) or opportunity shop (others) is a retail establishment run by a charitable organization to raise money.
Charity shops are a type of social enterprise. They sell mainly used goods such as clothing, books, music albums, shoes, DVDs, toys, and furniture donated by members of the public, and are often staffed by volunteers. Because the items for sale were obtained for free, and business costs are low, the items can be sold at competitive prices.”Wikipedia
Not all thrift shops are part of charity orgnisations, but even so, by shopping for second hand clothes instead of new ones, you’ll be helping to save the planet.
According to The Closet, “Every year, the fashion industry emits more than 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere,” which means we are slowly killing the world.
So the more you buy and sell second hand, the less waste there is overall.
You are also more likely to find beautiful quirky and vintage items at thrift stores and charity shops online, than you will find at the chain stores in your nearest town.
10 Best Online Thrift Stores and Charity Shops
Here are 10 of the best thrift shops online, and the best charity shops I could find on the internet. Happy shopping!
The Red Cross says, “We are a movement of people, we help Australians act for humanity. Each in our own way, and together with communities and partners, we give each action a far greater impact.”
The online store offers a curated selection of charity shop online clothes; featuring top-quality clothing and accessories chosen by the pre-loved fashion team, vintage clothing, and much more.
There are filters you can use to choose the colour, condition, material, brand, size, and price of garments which makes it really easy to find specific things you’re looking for.
Don’t forget to shop the ‘new arrivals,’ from the drop down box on the right hand side.
Thrifted is an online store selling what they describe as circular fashion, not fast fashion.
Thrifted believe in circular fashion. “In quality clothing that can have three or more lives.” They believe you should be able to chose clothing that’s unique and individual.
The movement at Thrifted is standing against fast fashion and its effect on the world.
“We believe that there is change coming in the fashion industry, that consumers are more concerned with where their clothes come from and the true cost of wearing something once.
Through teaching and the development of more conscious consumers, we believe wardrobes of the near future will be full of recycled and remade clothes & accessories. Stigma no more.”
British Heart Foundation
The British Heart Foundation has an eBay store selling a host of items, and includes an extensive pre-loved clothes section.
By shopping at the British Heart Foundation you’ll help fund life saving research into conditions like heart diseases, stroke and vascular dementia.
SwapUp is an online consignment and thrift store offering delivering a stylish and current collection of fashion sourced from Australian wardrobes.
There’s a large variety of second hand women’s clothes, shoes and accessories to choose from.
The SwapUp mission is to “make buying and selling secondhand mainstream, so we can collectively reduce our fashion waste and make reusing clothes the norm.”
SwapUp are one of the largest online thrift stores (also known as online op shops) in Australia.
Their resale platform makes it easy to buy like-new and secondhand clothes at up to 90% off estimated retail price.
They carry favourite brands like Forever New, Seed, Country Road, Nike, Lorna Jane, and Calvin Klein.
“The Closet is an online fashion thrift store, reselling second hand clothes, shoes, and fashion accessories.
The Closet says its mission is to help reduce the devastating impact of non-sustainable fashion consumption by:
- Providing a single online thrift shop for shoppers of exceptional quality pre-owned fashion apparel whilst saving them up to 90% of what they would have paid for the same items at the shopping mall.
- Assisting people to rehome their unwanted and surplus fashion items and earning spare cash from their sales.
Thriftify is an online store with a tagline which states, ‘The act of purchasing ethically and sustainably.’
It’s Mission is to create a movement of positive purchasing by connecting charity shops with consumers who care.”
On the Thriftify blog it states that, “Thriftify saw an opportunity in 2018 to develop an e-commerce platform for charity shops to help them overcome barriers and sell their donated items to an online audience.
Selling online would expand their reach, generating additional income and engaging the general public in sustainable consumption.”
charityBay is a not-for-profit online equivalent to op shops with the mission to bridge the gap between those that want to help, and charities.
chairtyBay operate as a marketplace where users have the opportunity to buy & sell items or services while directing 95% of the proceeds to their favourite registered charity.
Good Sammy online has a clean, easy to navigate website showcasing a great selection of pre-loved clothes. It’s a really good example of the second hand charity shops online.
By receiving donations, Good Sammy redirects around 6000 tonnes of used goods from entering landfill each year, continuing to promote the message of reduce, reuse, recycle.
Good Sammy’s aim is to create meaningful employment opportunities and pathways for people with disabilities
Salvos says that 100% of the profits from your purchases and donations help them fund The Salvation Army programs that transform lives for the better. Learn more about The Salvation Army programs to end hunger, homelessness and build stronger families and communities.
Online you’ll find an easy to navigate website with lots of great treasures to be hunted out!
thredUP says that our love for constant newness for high street clothes has come at too high a price for our planet.
The creators of thredUP say that, “Shopping secondhand reduces the cost of fashion by giving new life to used clothes. Resale moves us one step closer to a circular fashion future.”
“Thrifting is about more than just finding amazing deals on your favorite brands. It’s about shopping with intention, rejecting throwaway fashion culture, and standing for sustainability. The clothes we wear have the power to create change.”
ThredUp has a huge variety of clothes extending the life of fashion garments.
I’ve just taken the @thredUP fashion footprint quiz to see how dirty my closet is! Spoiler alert: Shopping secondhand is the BEST way to clean it up.
Take the quiz right now to find out your carbon impact in less than 3 minutes, and find out what you can do about it. Plus you’ll find sustainable tips & tons of inspiration! Why not take the Fashion Footprint Calculator Quizz?
The Joy of Op-Shopping
Perhaps up until now you’ve only shopped in real life at retail thrift or charity stores?
And if you’ve been op-shopping with a friend, then I expect you can relate to this ….
We’re at a clothes rack in a second hand clothes store, and Emily is holding up a dress. “I love this,,” she says to the shop assistant, who nods and takes it from her to hang in the changing room.
Meanwhile I’m browsing through racks of shirts when I notice something behind me – an old-fashioned, boho inspired velvet coat with lining!
I’ve always wanted a vintage item like this, and when I look at the price I know it’s a bargain.
Excitement gets the better of me and I try on the coat to see if it fits before bringing my find to Emily.
She laughs when she sees me wearing it, and says, “It looks absolutely fabulous. So retro! Where did you find THAT! You just have to have it!”
And so it goes on! We come out of the shop with armfulls of pre-loved clothes that we are in turn going to wear and love ourselves.
As you can see, Emily and I love Op-Shopping. I guess it’s a bit like going on a treasure hunt. There’s the thrill of the chase and the excitement when a bargain is found.
I don’t know how she does it, but Emily always manages to find a great deal. She has a great chic style and she can see the secret style in many hidden gems.
She’ll hunt down the best labels, the best fabrics, and those je ne sais quoi fashion finds that shout vintage and not tat.
Op Shopping with Emily has taught me a few things about finding the best deals when it comes to fashion buys and now you can op shop at many thrift and charity stores online which makes it a whole lot less time consuming, and you can do it from your sofa!
10 Tips for Shopping at Online Charity Shops
Nobody will ever guess that you’re wearing second hand clothes if you follow these tips.
- Take your time. To find a treasure, you’ll need to be prepared to do quite a bit of online scrolling.
- Keep an eye out for your favourite brands and designer labels, because often this is where you’re best finds will be discovered.
- While most charity shops check and sort the clothes first, please do your own due dilligence. Don’t buy anything that looks tattered or worn.
- Visit your favourite online op-shops egularly so you can keep up to date with their most recent listings.
- Make sure you know your size in cms and inches, and don’t assume that something not in your size will stretch to fit!
- Understand not only the shipping costs, but also the refund and return policies before clicking ‘Pay Now’!
- Be patient – If you’re looking for something in particular, it’s worth waiting for the perfect find.
- Really make use of the search features on online stores – some are better than others.
- Remember, charity shops are all about doing your best for the planet and giving back to those in need. So if you do happen to make a mistake and buy something that doesn’t fit, then take your mistake on the chin, and either re-sell the item, or gift it to a thrift shop in your own town.
- Don’t forget that many online charities also take donations of clothing and other items which can help you declutter your own closet too.
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