It’s what I do with friends and family when I come back from shopping at my favorite consignment stores with bags of fashion potential. The things I love most about consignment shopping are that it fits my style, my budget and my environmental ethic — keeping great clothes out of landfills, supporting local economies, and reducing the need for mass producing even more clothes, shoes and accessories.
I like keeping my wardrobe up to date with outfits that are new to me. I find department stores dizzying with too many choices that don’t interest me. Clothing in a consignment shop has already been selected twice, once by the original buyer and next by the shop owner, so I find the choices are better. Because the prices are much less than a retail store, I have been known to take fashion risks, like the lime-green leopard jacket that I couldn’t resist or the “flapper” sequined cocktail dress that has now been demoted to Halloween-wear. Depending on the shop, I have been known to clinch famous designers, like Betsy Johnson, Halston and Escada for a fraction of the original prices.
Consignment shops tend to have one-of-a-kind and size (unless they are re-selling stock from a closed boutique) so there is a great opportunity to mix and match for your own body type, for what looks best on you. With rare exception, I only make purchases that are in perfect condition, don’t need major alteration, and that complete an outfit. My latest cost-saving strategy is to start my shopping in the $10 and $20 rack and build my outfit from there. Environmentally, consignment shopping helps me hang onto some of my existing favorites by purchasing a new accessory or complementary item to update my look for the next season.
So now that you know how to spruce-up your fall wardrobe in a cost effective, eco-friendly way, get out there and do some shopping.
About the author: Lorna Rosenberg is the Green and Healthy Schools Coordinator in Region 3. She is grateful to have been located in Center City Philadelphia with EPA for 28 years which has contributed immensely to her clothes consigning acumen, office couture and the local economy.