I absolutely love shopping on Poshmark! It’s a massive online marketplace where I have had incredible success finding pre-loved items for my sustainable closet. If you are unfamiliar with sustainable shopping and why it’s so important, feel free to reference my posts here and here for some really important background information on fast fashion and sustainability in general.
When I first decided to give Poshmark a try, I was just beginning to take an interest in “slow fashion” and so I decided to shop the same way that I would shop on a fast fashion website like Zara or TopShop…by browsing endlessly.
This is not the best route to take with Poshmark. Browsing endlessly, unguided, resulted in mass confusion and frustration for me. I knew there was a wealth of items that I wanted but I couldn’t seem to locate them, or if I did find one, the item wasn’t in my size, or I would have unconsciously have wandered into the “fast fashion” side of Poshmark, which takes me to my first and most important rule about shopping sustainably on Poshmark, which is…
1.Filter out “Boutique” items, only shop for “Closet” items.
Boutique items are essentially people who buy up a large amount of fast fashion at a discount. For example, they will snatch up 50 Zara sweatshirts on a Black Friday sale or some other type of super-sale, and then sell these items on Poshmark somewhere between that discount price and what its initial full price was, so that buyers think they’re getting a deal, and the seller is making 50 profits of $20, or whatever it may be. The issue with this is that you are still, in a roundabout but extremely effective way, just creating more demand for those fast fashion items because the store that sells that item initially is not losing any money, their stock is still selling out, so they will buy a similar amount of that fast fashion product.
The golden rule of a sustainable wardrobe is that you need to decrease demand for new goods to be produced. The best way to do this is by purchasing second hand or pre-loved items.
Once your filter is set to “Closet” only items, you will only see items that are actually from someone else’s closet. It’s basically a massive thrift shop, but I like to think of it as a big clothing swap with my girlfriends all across the United States. Which brings me to a small but interesting item…
2. If you list your own clothing on your Poshmark “closet”, you can actually trade clothing with no money involved.
This is absolutely incredible to me because it literally turns it into a massive clothing swap, which (minus the emissions that are used mailing the clothes from one person to another), is an incredibly sustainable way to create and maintain an updated closet! Now I will admit that I’ve never done this successfully because there is no way to filter through sellers who are open to trades. Normally you will find them in the comments of someone elses closet items saying “Are you open to trades?” and they usually say “No.” because most Poshmark sellers are trying to make money and not create a sustainable wardrobe. But I’ve been meaning to look on the web for some Poshmark trade groups, and I’m POSITIVE that these groups exist! Facebook Groups is probably a great way to find them. If you find one before I do, please let me know. If I find them first, I’ll make a blog post about it.
Anyways, on to the next (probably most important), rule…
3. You should really know what you are shopping for before you start shopping.
This is one of the cardinal rules of sustainability anyways! Don’t shop just to shop. Shop only to fill a need that you have identified. As I have been creating my sustainable wardrobe the past year, it’s really easy to identify items that I need. Here are some examples of items that I needed and how I quickly found all of the options on Poshmark that fit my criteria so that I could spend less time browsing endlessly and more time finding the best pre-loved items for my closet.
Large Black Backpack:
- Go to the Shop tab
- Type in the search bar “large black backpack”
- At the top bar, filter “Type” to “Closet”
- Feel free to filter any of the other categories including Price, Size, Color, or Brand
- An alternative way to browse effectively involves openly browsing by brand, which can be very useful if you do have brand loyalties and love the feeling of spending time shopping and browsing
- Browse away. Favorite any items that you love, and BEFORE you purchase, there is one more step to take….
This is really where it feels more like normal shopping. Bundling multiple items from one persons closet saves you money (you have to pay shipping from each closet you purchase from, so if you purchase 5 items from 1 closet, that’s much better than purchasing 5 items from 5 different closets), saves you time (generally, especially if you’re searching for clothing items as opposed to backpacks, you will run into people who are the exact same size as you, with very similar sense of style and you can go HAM in their closet), and saves you EVEN MORE MONEY (because sellers will give you MASSIVE DISCOUNTS if you purchase multiple items from their shops!) example below.
One time I was searching for a Brandy Melville bodysuit in black. I found a few that I liked from different sellers, so I went through each sellers closet to see if they had any other items that I could bundle to get a better deal. I found one seller who is the exact same size as me in everything, including shoes. In the end I got the bodysuit, an Urban Outfitters tank top, and American Eagle sweatshirt, a pair of Palazzo pants and a black business top from her for $26.49. Everything is in perfect condition and fits me perfectly. I ended up “favoriting” her closet and I have made 3 more insanely inexpensive bundled purchases from her in the past few months. The Bodysuit that I was looking for was listed for $10 initially. If I had bought the items from her individually it would have cost $67. But I bundled and got them for $26.49. That includes shipping.
You won’t always get a deal that good, but the discounts for bundling can be really intense. The moral of the story is that people just want to get a little cash for moving unwanted items out of their closets, bundling is a win-win for everyone.
Those are my tips for finding amazing items from Poshmark for your sustainable wardrobe! How did you find your favorite Poshmark items? Share with me in the comments!