Why I Shop Second-Hand First - Greater Austin Moms

Photo by Alyssa Martin Photography

Oh I love a good bargain! I think I love talking about the bargain just as much as the actual treasure I found. Over the years, with a growing family, finding the best deal became a priority for our budget, but I didn’t want to sacrifice my kids looking cute and myself feeling put together. Fashion has always been an artistic outlet for me and I wasn’t ready to let that go! Read on for tips about how and where to shop second-hand for your family without sacrificing quality, style and brands you love.




Fast forward to four opinionated kids later, and I’ve had to (at least try) let go of control of how they look when we walk out the door. My commitment to being fashion and money savvy has stayed the same, but my convictions about why have deepened, so I hold on to control about where our family buys from!


Why I Shop Second-Hand First:


  1. Decrease my economic footprint. Every pair of jeans, toy, or book requires raw materials to be made.
    While I absolutely want my family to make a mark on this world, by shopping second-hand I greatly reduce my family’s negative footprint on the world’s resources.
  2. Save money– kind of obvious, but by shopping second-hand I can actually shop brands I love, but I might not normally buy, knowing everything will have holes and stains before I know it. Surprising benefit? When I buy second hand designer brands the items last a lot longer, decreasing the frequency of the need to shop (with exceptions for growth spurts), so I feel like I’m saving double!
  3. Peace of mind that I’m not contributing to modern slavery (this a BIG one). This article at Fashionista shares some of the heart wrenching results from a study published by the Walk Free Foundation. 
  4. First-hand knowledge of how our well-meaning donations hurt the international textile markets. While living in Uganda, I would frequent the clothing markets to shop for our family. It was always a thrill to dig through the piles of clothes, checking the tags for treasures from my favorite American brands. I couldn’t help but notice that many of the clothes still had tags from well-known collection centers in the US and UK. Did you know that your donations that do not sell here in the US flood the markets in 3rd world countries to be sold there at a fraction of the price? Intentions of these organizations are good, but the textile market in those nations take a deep cut from our donations.


If there’s anything I love more than saving a buck– its helping other moms to join in the fun! So here are a few of my favorite ways to shop second-hand first.


1. Poshmark (sign up with code CRYSTAL_KEHN for $5 off your first order). My best tip: know your favorite brands and sizes that fit you the best and search only for those! My go-tos: Franco Sarto shoes, Adriano Goldschmied jeans, and Free People tops for me. All things Naartjie for my kids!


2. Thred Up (sign up with my link for $10 off, for new customers only.


3. Uptown Cheapskate is the best place in town to find high end, on-trend fashion items in like new condition. Bonus: you can buy and sell here! So bring your like new items from Free People, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and the like, when you come in to shop.


4. Toyphoon Toys– convenient renting of safe, educational & eco-friendly toys right here in South Austin!


5. Play It Again Sports- I’ve found the employees at the S Lamar location to be both knowledgeable and helpful when choosing sports equipment, which I’m completely unfamiliar with, for my boys.


6. Apps like 5 Miles let you select the distance you are willing to travel to keep your search small and local. To avoid falling into the black hole of listings I keep my searches specific with brand names that fit my style i.e. “Restoration Hardware” or “Pottery Barn” instead of “bookshelf.” I use this same search method on Craigslist.


Some of my favorite finds seen here, On Me: Free People Army Green Jacket, AG Adriano Goldschmied jeans, Club Monaco Blazer, J Crew Vintage Tee, Born flats. On my daughter: Naartjie skirt and top.


Happy Shopping, Mommas!


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