The future of fashion is circular and no longer are we limited to buying second-hand threads in the city, town or suburb we live in. From luxury brand resellers to vintage 90s streetwear stores to pre-loved thrift shops, the online marketplace is giving all equal access to quality second-hand clothing from the comfort of your couch.
For those that love to shop online or are tempted by fast fashion’s ease of home delivery, you’re out of excuses to avoid a sustainable choice when it comes to hunting for used clothing within your budget, needs or desires. With prices as low as $5, free shipping and AfterPay services available the pre-loved clothing marketplace has firmly stepped into the online world.
Sure the thrill of uncovering the perfect denim jacket might not be the same when you can hit the search bar and filter the results, but the ethical values remain the same. Buy less, buy better, buy second-hand and give pre-loved pieces another chance.
In this article we’ve rounded up the best second-hand online stores in Australia into general marketplaces, vintage stores, luxury consignment resellers and op shops.
General second-hand marketplaces
Facebook surely needs no introduction. On the marketplace section of the social networking platform you can expect to find just about anything second-hand including clothing. The beauty of it is that if you have a Facebook account you can easily message the seller or upload snaps of clothing and shoes you no longer need.
Selling a car or in the market for a couch? Gumtree is likely the place you’ve looked. Switch over to the clothing category and you’ll find a massive 365,000+ results. As with Facebook, you can drop a fairly narrow location zone, hunt for things in your neighbourhood and organise a pick-up to avoid postage and packaging.
Since its Australian launch in 1999, ebay has been the platform of choice for selling and buying brand name clothing, shoes and accessories. Of course, it’s not all second-hand fashion so be aware of shopfronts and sellers peddling brand-new goods.
Melbourne-based Reluv is one of Australia’s biggest secondhand fashion retailers. If you’re looking for threads for work or to workout, for a formal event or to sit on your couch, browse through the categories and curated edits. Every garment passes through their hands, ensuring you don’t purchase things that are stained or damaged, and they offer AfterPay.
Mottainai is a Japanese word that describes the sense of regret over waste and need to use items for their entire lifespan. This second-hand clothing exchange wants to extend the use of pre-loved clothing. Each garment is nicely photographed with solid descriptions and easy category search with prices as low as you’d see in op shops.
The Closet is an online thrift store that resells second-hand fashion to reduce the impact of the industry. To date they’ve given a second life to more than 10,000kg of used fashion. The reseller collaborates with Dress for Success Brisbane, a charity that gives women the tools, support and attire to achieve economic independence. Shipping is free if you spend over $30 and AfterPay is available.
Vintage and streetwear
SWOP is the place to take your best vintage or brand-name threads and exchange them for store credit or cash. Beyond the shopfronts in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, the clothing exchange is now online with sweet pictures of various quality second-hand pieces that will give you change for $50.
Bringing you the best vintage from the 1940s to 2000s, Melbourne’s RetroStar is a treasure trove of goodies to pick through. They have a physical store too, so if you’re after something specific they say to call them and they’ll hunt the floor for more options for you.
More than just a global fashion marketplace, Depop wants to be the space where people buy, sell and connect over pre-loved streetwear and vintage threads. The aim is to make fashion more inclusive, diverse and less wasteful while building a community of creatives and creators around it. You buy, sell and take inspiration from others on the platform that’s part social network, part store.
Melbourne’s Vintage Marketplace does all the hunting and hustling to find the best cult favourite vintage streetwear for its physical and online stores. Two friends – Katie and Jai – took a trip to the States to find sweet threads to bring back to Melbourne in 2009. Since its basic “first in, best dressed” Facebook page model, Vintage Marketplace has grown into the online and offline spot to find 90s Harley Davidson tees, vintage Levis plus 90s vibe Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and more.
Selling threads from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s, Storeroom Vintage has a similar streetwear vibe to Vintage Marketplace. Expect to pick up American college jerseys and tees, vintage sportswear and more.
Imagine touring America’s Route 66 in the 1970s, 80s or 90s. That’s the vibe of the vintage classics you’ll pick up at this second-hand store that launched in Australia in 1983. Expect everything from prairie dresses and cowboy boots, to vintage tees and quality denim.
Pre-loved luxury brands
If you love to drink Dom Perignon but only have a Moet budget, Vestiaire is the second-hand global marketplace for you. Here people buy and sell designer labels – from Gucci to Louis Vuitton, Dior to Prada – with each item passing through checks with Vestiaire HQ. Beyond the luxury labels, it’s possible to shop clothing and accessories from high-end brands like Acne, Bassike, Bec & Bridge, Zimmermann and hundreds more.
Extending the life cycle of luxury items and creating a circular fashion economy is what The RealReal aims to do. Similar to Vestiaire, the site stocks hundreds of luxury and high end brands. It has four physical stores in the States, 10 luxury consignment offices and millions of online shoppers passing through to pick up luxury goods.
Closer to home, this Sydney-based luxury reseller helps you buy and sell second-hand items from Australian and international designer labels. Find authentic luxury clothes, shoes, bags and watches from brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, YSL, Zimmermann, Carla Zampatti and more.
Another Sydney-based luxury consignment store, Blue Spinach has been reselling a curated selection of luxury goods since 1996. This is the spot to find second-hand international designer goods at a steal. Each consigned piece is authenticated, photographed and held at the Sydney store for buying in person or online.
Timeless style and quality pieces are the pillars of French fashion. It’s no surprise then that this Australian high-end and luxury brand reseller was started by a young Parisian in 2016. Similar to the above, the consignment site only accepts high-end or luxury brands in top condition.
Online op shops and thrift stores
The Salvation Army needs no introduction. With 340 op shops around the country, no doubt we’ve all stepped foot in one of its thrift stores. It recently launched what it claims to be Australia’s biggest online op shop, offering clothing for everyone with new items listed daily and hassle-free returns. There are more than 5,600 items listed just for women and it’s one of the more sophisticated online op shops as you can search by clothing subcategories, op shop locations, colour, material, brand and size.
Wayside Chapel says it provides love, care and support to people experiencing homelessness, addiction, mental health issues and social isolation in Kings Cross and Bondi Beach. Usually you can drop into the nearby op shops, but now you can shop a range of eclectic fashion for men, women and children online with all money going back into the community. As you’d expect for inner-city Sydney, the shop is stacked with brand names like Marc by Marc Jacobs, Karen Millen, Sass & Bide, Gorman, R.M Williams, Scanlan Theodore, Cue, Stuart Weiztman, Ksubi and so many more.
With the online store you can shop by category and then by brand name (hello Cue, Bassike, Veronika Maine…). Every garment has pictures of the front, back, label and a close up of the fabric. On top of clothing for men and women, you can purchase books and homewares through the online store too.
Buying secondhand from Family Life helps support its work with vulnerable children, families and communities. The online store features the best clothing for men, women and children, homewares and more from its five physical stores in Victoria.
Money raised with this Brisbane-based op shop chain supports The Developing Foundation’s brain injury work. Its online thrift store lists clothing for the whole family plus books and some homewares. There is free shipping if you spend $30.
All profits from sales support people in need in the outer western suburbs of Melbourne through The Earth Village Community project. With a physical op shop in Melton, the online store gives all of Australia a chance to shop pre-loved fashion.
Shop with Good Sammy and support creating wider employment opportunities for people with a disability. With 28 physical op shops in Western Australia, the online shopfront features excellent clothing from well-known Australian and international brands such as Country Road, Sass & Bide and Lorna Jane.