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How to Shop Secondhand

An Easy Way to Shop Ethically


Shopping secondhand can also help change the world.  Buying used prevents more products from being mass-produced in sweatshops.  Buying second hand also helps the environment.  Since I cannot always find (or afford) ethically-made products, I frequently rely on secondhand purchases.  Here are 8 tips for getting started shopping secondhand:


Do a Google search or ask for recommendations on the best local thrift stores. Thrift stores provide local jobs, low-cost goods for those in need, and also often support local charities or schools.


For higher-end used clothing, find a local clothing swap (or start one), try a consignment shop or check out Silkroll.  (You can also join the Facebook group "Buy, Sell, Trade: All Things Ethically Made" to find lightly-used ethical & fair trade clothing.)


Shop an online thrift store, such as ThredUP, Goodwill or


Use an online service like Offer Up or Facebook Marketplace to find people selling their used furniture, electronics and more in your area.


To keep your kids in clothes, reach out to families you know with kids to swap hand-me-downs.  For babies and toddlers, check out Rent-a-Romper's amazing service which keeps your growing little one supplied with an affordable, gently used capsule wardrobe.


For used books, games and DVDs try a local used bookstore like Half Price Books or shop for used books online at Thrift Books.


Try garage sales.  If you have the time on a sunny weekend, you can find lots of great deals and meet people in your community. Plus often there are community, church, and organization rummage sales which raise money for worthy causes. 


Go "dumpster diving."  Use sites like Trash Nothing, Buy Nothing on Facebook or FreecycleTM. to find free stuff people in your neighborhood are getting rid of.  Someone else's trash may well be your treasure.

A Beginner's Guide to Ethical Shopping: How to Shop for Ethical & Fair Trade Products.
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