Why + Where to Buy Resale in the DMV
If you’re like me, you know something about shopping. I’m not talking about grocery shopping or scouring the aisles of a hardware store for useful items like a stepladder or a tool bag. NO. I mean, you know where to find your next dose of fashion, whether it’s that trendy item (or budget dupe) that all the “it”s are wearing – or that one-of-a-kind accessory you spotted in a magazine. french fashion clothes. If you’re not an expert shopper yourself, you probably know someone who is and can tell you where to shop. Your first stop is probably the Internet. You can find just about anything and everything online and at a price to suit any budget. In fact, spending money on fashion has never been easier. Our ever-expanding wardrobes of unworn or barely worn items are proof of that. Unfortunately, the carbon footprint of the fashion industry is also increasing due to increased demand.
The statistics are sobering. A 2020 study found that 87% of materials used to produce clothing globally were landfilled or incinerated after their end use, and less than 1% of materials used to produce clothing were recycled at that time. . While “sustainability” has become an industry buzzword in recent years (New York is even trying to enact legislation – namely the Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act to impose eco-friendly practices on brands clothing or shoes that do business in the state), a recent Vogue article reported that emissions from the industry continue to rise, with fashion contributing between 4 and 8.6 percent of greenhouse gases in the world.
Mass-market retailers of so-called “fast fashion” — quickly produced, inexpensive, and trendy clothes (think Shein, H&M and Zara) — are supposed to be primarily to blame, but so are the consumers who buy them.
Knowing all of this made me reconsider my shopping habits, and so should you. Today, when I shop, it’s from “slow fashion” brands that use local materials and environmentally friendly practices. I’m also a big fan of the resale market (thrift and vintage stores) where you can find unique items at a fraction of the retail price. There are plenty of options online (Poshmark, Mercari, The RealReal, eBay, to name a few), but I prefer to shop at local businesses whenever possible. I also try to sell an item at these stores for every new item I purchase. It forces me to think before I buy while reducing cupboard clutter.
Here are my must-visit resale stores in the DMV area with a brief overview of each.
1. Current store is a consignment store which is a good place to buy and sell mid-range items. They seem to cater to a conservative business clientele in their Bethesda location, while the 14th Street store is more suited to younger, trend-conscious shoppers. I don’t know their location in Arlington, but I guess it’s like their other stores. They are well known in the area so items tend to sell well and they have a wide selection of seasonal inventory that changes regularly. Various locations; boutiqueactuelle.com // @boutiqueactuelle
2. Ella Street in Georgetown is a treasure trove for all things posh. The owners take very good care of their merchandise and do a great job of assembling a wide range of classic and trendy items for women. Designer items are priced and listed higher, but still worth the investment. If you’re a seller, you can be sure that the store’s high foot traffic and loyal, forward-thinking clientele ensure that your items will go quickly and at a good price. 3231 P St. NW, DC; ella-rue.com // @shopellarue
3. Trade Reddz is another thrift store where I sell and shop. They have a great selection of mid-range designer items, high-end finds, and a surprisingly good selection of designer handbags. They offer cash payments or store credit when you sell with them, which is great if you’re looking for a faster payment than the consignment model at Ella Rue or Current Boutique (it can take several months to receive your first check ). Like Buffalo Trading Company and Uptown Cheapskate (see below), they also buy and sell men’s items. I’ve sold lots of forgotten treasures from my husband’s and my son’s closets. 1413 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; 7801 Woodmont Avenue Bethesda, MD; reddztrading.com // @reddztradingstyle
4. Buffalo Exchange (Richmond, Virginia) and Downtown Cheapskate (Rockville and College Park, Maryland) are best at reselling fast fashion at the lower end of the price scale, and like Reddz, they offer immediate payouts. My strategy is to take whatever I couldn’t ship or sell from them and donate the leftovers. 9122 Baltimore Avenue College Park, MD; 1038 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD; buffaloexchange.com // @buffaloexchange + uptowncheapskate.com // @uptowncheapskate
I hope this article has persuaded you to consider mainstream fashion alternatives when you feel the urge to shop. Not only is it good for the environment and your wallet, but it’s also a fun way to find fashion that expresses your unique style.
Sylvia Colella is a former lawyer and passionate about effortless style for over 50 years. She runs an image consulting business and shares her love of fashion and travel on her self-titled Instagram @sylviacolella and her personal blog Simplysylvia.com. She currently divides her time between DC, New York, Los Angeles and Paris.