Be Loud and Proud About Your Secondhand Clothing Purchases

Online retailer thredUP calls on shoppers to "thrift loudly."

thredUP images

thredUP (used with permission)

The second-hand clothing industry has seen an impressive surge over the past decade. Whereas people used to hide the fact that they were wearing thrifted items, now they're quick to announce it. What was once stigmatized is now celebrated – and this transformation is reflected in a snazzy new rebrand of online thrift retailer thredUP

Earlier this month, thredUP launched a new look and a punchy new tagline: "Thrift Loudly!" It calls on thrifters everywhere to "unite to take secondhand from stigma to status. We're flaunting our thriftiness with pride, while revitalizing our closets and fighting fashion waste. We're envisioning a brand new world. It's not enough just to thrift. It's time to #thriftloudly." 

"Thrift loudly" is a cute term that packs a lot of punch. The point is that quietly doing your own thing and buying secondhand clothes is all well and good, but when you start announcing it to the world and sharing that sense of satisfaction that comes from rewearing garments (not to mention snagging great deals), you normalize it. That goes a long way toward inspiring others to do the same and growing the industry.

As thredUP put it, the new creative direction is "inspired by the confidence thredUP has seen among its customers who shop with intention, flaunt their thriftiness, and seek to influence others." It believes that the clothes we wear have the power to change the world and slow the current reckless pace of consumption.

thredUP mottos

thredUP (used with permission)

Thrift is arguably the most effective way to clean up the fashion-related mess that we find ourselves in these days. Rebecca Burgess, director of Fibershed and an expert in restorative ecology, stated in a recent interview that materials innovation is hardly needed; we have more natural fiber on hand than we can possibly use at this point. I believe the same logic applies to pre-made clothes. We are drowning in a surplus of garments, so many of which can be repurposed without needing to make anything new. Companies like thredUP help make this possible.

The online resale industry is booming right now, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected to grow 69% between 2019 and 2021, while brick-and-mortar clothing sales (including secondhand stores) are predicated to shrink by 15%. Seventy percent of consumers say they're open to buying used clothes, and two-thirds say there's no stigma associated with it; for some it's a source of pride, and even more so for Gen Z shoppers (those born between the late 1990s and early 2010s).

A fashion revolution is afoot, without a doubt, and thredUP is well-positioned to be a leader within it.