I recently found out that ThredUP has a clothing subscription service and you bet your sweet bippy I hopped right on that!
Hi, it’s me again. If you don’t remember who I am, it’s probably because I haven’t posted anything since January because #life, man. Anywho, I’m now six months older, but probably not six months wiser.
In my last post from January, I spoke about my 2018/2019 makeup resolutions and how one of my focuses continuing into this year was to minimize buying. I referenced another previous post about the New Consumerism, which is a shift towards “new priorities” brought about by consumers asking themselves what they truly value, wrote about in April of 2016 by Euromonitor International. While I didn’t quite minimize my buying as much as I had hoped, I have at least followed that shift towards one of the eight trends Euromonitor International identified: the circular economy.
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a circular economy “entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources, and designing waste out of the system” and is based on three principles:
- Design out waste and pollution
- Keep products and materials in use
- Regenerate natural systems
Sustainability Guide puts this into more layman’s terms, defining it as being “restorative and regenerative by design and aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times.”
Rather than a more “linear” economy, where items are purchased and then discarded after they’ve worn out their usefulness (which is what we’re all pretty much used to at this point), the endgame of a circular economy is to “throw nothing away and to reduce the need for purchasing new commodities.”
You can see this trend presenting itself in the “mainstream” community just by heading to YouTube and searching “thrift haul,” which will spit out tons and tons of videos, some with thousands of views, where people will take you vlog-style through a thrift store and show you all of the things you can find. This has been a little bit of a sensitive trend (see Medium’s pretty interesting article on thrifting & gentrification), but at least contributes to a circular economy as rather than items being thrown away when the original user tires of them, they have the opportunity to be given new life by another user.
All of this long-windedness has brought me to the point I was trying to make about my 2019 resolution in that I might not have cut down on my purchasing, but I’ve at least shifted my purchasing habits towards a more circular economy. I don’t really frequent thrift stores because there really aren’t many by me, but I have found an online solution that is pretty rad: enter ThredUP.
ThredUP is basically an online secondhand store that also has its own Circular Fashion Fund (CFF), a non-profit organization with 501(c)3 status currently pending with the mission to identify, vet, and distribute funds to organizations and individuals committed to a more sustainable future.
I’m not going to take a moment and throw out the disclaimer that this post is not sponsored by ThredUP in any kind of way and they definitely have no idea who I am. I’ve just been shopping at ThredUP since my sophomore year in college in 2014 and it’s been a total game-changer when it comes to online shopping and recently delved into one of the ~newer features~ they just started offering, of which I’ll be talking about in a bit. But for now, I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
Anywho, one of the cool things about ThredUP is their Clean Out service, where you can order a Clean Out Kit (or just generate your own shipping label), send your clothes to them, and you’ll either get an upfront payout or consignment earnings, depending on the kind of items you send them. As ThredUP has pretty high standards and only accepts around 40% of the items they’re sent, you can either have the non-accepted items sent back to you for a fee of $10.99, or responsibly recycled.
Another cool thing is what I was alluding to earlier, and what this post was actually supposed to be about: their new Goody Boxes.
This is similar to basically any other clothing subscription box model where you pay for the clothes you keep and can return anything you don’t like for free. I actually have never tried any clothing subscription before, so I thought this would be a fun way for me to dip my toe in the water. With ThredUP, you get 10 items each at an approximate price point that you can choose at a frequency that you can also specify, but more on that in a bit. Additionally, each Goody Box will be charged a non-refundable $10 deposit that applies towards items you keep, so if you decide to keep nothing, you’ll be charged that $10 anyway.
ThredUP gives you a variety of options when it comes to this box. You can either go rogue and create your own entirely, you can favorite a bunch of items and have as many as possible included, or you can shop a few themes (such as Summer Essentials, 9 to 5 Styles, or Red, White & Cute, as seen above). The route I chose was the “Just For You” one, where you can get a “custom mix” of items handpicked by your stylist #fancy.
When you start off taking the style quiz for this, you can choose up to four kinds of items for your “stylist” to choose for you. I chose dresses, tops, and skirts, as I have difficulty buying pants or shorts online (I actually have to try them on first). Next, for each kind of item that you chose, it prompts you for your sizes. After that, it asks you for your budget and how much you’re willing to pay per item – I chose the $20-$40 range because I’ve only got $20 in my pocket – and then it asks you the style of items you’d like. I went for Bohemian because I just want that carefree vibe and you’re supposed to dress for the vibe you want or something (or job, same difference).
The next few questions have you choosing the kinds of brands you usually shop at, the option to give your age, height, and weight, and any other preferences (anything they should avoid, details on your lifestyle and what you’re looking for, and the option to share a Pinterest board you like). I kept it short and sweet and basically just said I was looking for fun pieces that I could wear in a business casual environment. Lastly, the quiz asks what interval you’d like to subscribe for. I chose every two months, but I might change this later on as this might be too frequent for me.
The Moment of Truth
I will say that the turnaround time on this was pretty quick… I submitted my first order on 6/20 and received the box on 6/29. Like a kid on Christmas morning, I immediately went through everything, and only ended up deciding to keep two out of the ten items.
When you get the Goody Box, you can actually give feedback on each item to assist your stylist when it comes to the next box – below are the items I received and my reasoning for keeping or not keeping them!
I kept the first two because they were cute and I could definitely wear them to work. The first dress is what I would describe as boho business, and the second top is a really nice denim basic for me to have in my wardrobe.
I decided to not keep this denim dress because I just have so many denim dresses in my closet right now – I wish there was an option other than “other” to explain this, but I have no beef against the dress.
These two tops were just a big no from me, dawg. The first one gave me serious prairie picnic vibes and the second one made me look like a woman in mourning from the Victorian era who didn’t get the memo about the rules for wearing black for two years.
These two items I wish had fit me because they were right up my alley, but alas, they did not. The jumpsuit was just a little too long and a little too tight, while the dress was way loose on me. I think I may have picked Size 14 by accident because I was absolutely swimming in it, which is a shame because it was really cute!
If I were still living in Italy, the skirts above would have been where it’s at, but since I’m a #workingprofessional now, there’s no way I could justify buying three miniskirts if there’s nowhere for me to wear them 😦
So What’s the Sitch?
Overall, I was pleased with what I decided to keep, and while a few of the items were just a miss, it’s probably better this way as it saves my bank account. One thing to note is that they give you a 7-day return window, but you can also click the option of extending that window, which will give you two more days. I’m not sure if this is always an option after your first box, but I’d be curious to see.
I will also say that I’m not 100% sure that I would describe each item in here as “Bohemian,” but in full disclosure, I may also just not have a grasp on what Bohemian really means. What do you guys think? Have you tried this before, and if not, would you?