Last week I made my first purchase on Vestiaire Collective. It was a pair of black suede embroidered ballerina pumps. Having searched far and wide for the perfect pair of black flats, I finally found what I was looking for!
Pretty Ballerinas usually retail at £100-200, yet I was able to find this beautiful pair in pristine condition for £50. Vestiaire Collective, stocking primarily designer pieces perform quality checks on all their items, making you feel safe that you are investing in authentic, high-quality garments and accessories. While Vestiare isn't unique, with platforms such as Depop and Vinted offering similar services, the vast amount of quality statement pieces sets it apart in my eyes.
When heading to platforms like Vestiaire Collective, it is useful to have in mind what you are looking for as not to get lost in the myriad of products third-party sellers have to offer. Taking inspiration from Anuschka Ree's book The Curated Closet, I created a list of items that I have been wanting for a long time that matches the aesthetic of my wardrobe and can either be worn with many outfits I already own or would help increase wardrobe versatility. I made this list about two years ago and it has hardly changed, helping me be sure that I am investing in timeless pieces.
While vintage and pre-loved fashion isn't a remedy to sustainability issues, especially if you buy a lot and get bored of items quickly, it does provide a more sustainable alternative if we engage with this form of shopping in a thoughtful way. Most sellers on Vestiaire do not offer returns, which is a plus in my eyes because it forces you to ensure you are making the right decision when buying a garment. It also reduces the waste problem of returns that we see with mainstream brands. According to Business of Fashion 369 billion dollars worth of clothing was returned by U.S consumers in 2018 alone. I can't begin to imagine what the packaging waste and transport emissions related to returns services look like, but I know that it will be ugly.
Investing in high-quality pieces that match our wardrobes from vintage/pre-loved fashion platforms provides a way of not only shopping more sustainably but also increasing our wardrobe satisfaction as our closets will be free from poor quality, 'on trend' or simply 'meh' pieces.
For more tips on how to shop consciously check out our post Five Ethical Fashion Intentions
Have fun shopping ethically!