Fight fast fashion by buying and selling pre-loved clothes

The term ‘waste-wise’ often conjures up images of reusable coffee cups and compost bins, but the clothes you wear are just as much a part of it.

Every year, Australians collectively spend a whopping $5 billion on clothes, with three out of every five pieces ending up in the bin before the year is out. It’s estimated the Australians throw away 6,000 kilograms of clothing every 10 minutes.

Fast fashion is a major problem that requires a major mind shift. It’s time to change the way we think about fashion.

You can help fight fast fashion by going through your wardrobe and only buying what you really need. Borrow and swap clothes, and choose quality, sustainably-made pieces that will last.

Giving clothes a second life

Buying and selling second-hand clothing online has become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s a great way to give a second life to something you no longer wear, and prevent it from unnecessarily ending up in landfill.

Here are some popular websites and apps you can use to buy and sell pre-loved clothes:

  • Facebook Marketplace
    Most people already have a Facebook profile, which makes this a quick and easy way to upload photos of your old clothes for sale, and equally easy to browse items for sale in your local area. Facebook doesn’t charge you to list, buy or sell items on Marketplace.
  • Depop
    A social shopping platform that functions a lot like Instagram, except users’ pages operate as mini digital storefronts, where they post what their selling. You can follow your favourite  sellers and view their clothing for sale in your feed. It’s targeted at young people and has more than 21 million users worldwide. It’s free to list items on Depop, but once you sell something, they’ll take a commission.
  • Carousell
    Carousell operates similar to Facebook Marketplace, where you can browse or upload pieces for sale, then use the chat function to arrange transactions. There’s also a meet-up option, where you can search for items for sale within walking distance to avoid paying shipping costs. It’s free to browse and list items, but there is a small transaction fee for sellers on all successful transactions done via ‘pay at pickup’. More than 71 million items have been sold on Carousell since its 2012 launch.
  • Gumtree
    A popular Australian online marketplace with more than three million listings across hundreds of categories, where you can buy and sell clothes in your local area or further afield. It’s easy to use and posting ads is free, but Gumtree offers paid features to help make your ad stand out from others.
  • eBay
    A global online marketplace where you can search all sorts of items, including pre-owned clothing. The well-established site attracts some 11 million Australian monthly visitors. It’s free to list a select number of ads, however once an item sells, the seller is charged a fee.

Tips for selling pre-loved clothes online

  • Be specific with your description, include details like brand, size, fabric and condition. Think about what you would search for if you were looking for your item.
  • Be upfront about any flaws, such us as stains or holes.
  • Upload good photos, taken in nice lighting and ideally with someone wearing the item to show how it looks on (you can crop out faces to protect privacy).

Page last updated: Monday, 7 March 2022