As a reseller, sustainability is something I strive for.
I LOVE being able to say I helped keep clothing out of a landfill. But, I am always looking for ways to make my small reselling business even better for the environment.
Here are some ideas I have had. I hope this inspires you to make your shop more green!
1. Skip the Free Gift
I know it seems like a nice gesture and good customer service, but in reality, most people throw these items away. We are trying to promote sustainable fashion and adding product does not reduce waste.
2. Source Second Hand Instead of Retail Arbitrage
I’m guilty of doing retail arbitrage. There are so many pieces of clothing at the thrift store that are just waiting for a new home!
3. Sell Locally to Reduce your Carbon Footprint
Not only do you reduce your carbon footprint by selling on Craigslist, OfferUp, and Facebook Marketplace you also get more money by not having to pay commission fees!
4. Don't Wash Every Item
It may sound gross, but honestly, most clothing do not need to be washed. Your buyer is likely to wash them when they receive them. As long as they do not have visible dirt, I think steaming the item is perfectly fine!
5. Use Eco-friendly Laundering
Use natural laundry detergent with little packaging and wool dryer balls!
6. Fix Up Items with Flaws Instead of Passing on Them
In reality it is easy to fix a lot of flaws on items. Especially shoes, see how in my other post HERE.
7. Skip Storing items in plastic bags
By all means, if you already have the plastic bags please keep using them and reusing them! My view on sustainability is if you already have it, it is not sustainable to not use it.
If you don’t already have them, maybe store items in reusable bins to organize them but refrain from packaging them again in more plastic!
8. Use Scrap Paper for Labels
Re-use paper that you were already going to recycle!
9. Bring a Reusable Bag With You While Sourcing
Here in Seattle, most thrift stores actually give you bags that were donated when you buy an item. But if your thrift stores don’t do this, I encourage you to BYOB (bring your own bag)!
10. Reuse Shipping Materials
Not going to lie, I pick through my apartment complex’s recycling center for other tenant’s Amazon boxes to reuse. I’m not even embarrassed of it. If the box is clean I think it is a great small gesture for our planet to help reduce waste.
11. Use Eco-Friendly Packaging
Single use plastics are very harmful to our environment. I know it is tempting to buy cute plastic polymailers, I’ve done it too. Let’s take a step to end this!
Some alternatives are:
- USPS Free Mailing Envelope. It is similar to a polymailer but made of paper so it is recyclable, it is also extremely durable!
- Compostable polymailers, ideally people take the initiate and compost them. In reality, a ton of people do not compost, making these end up in the trash. Below is a link (affiliate link) to compostable polymailers on Amazon if you want to make the switch!
12. Use Local Pick-up from USPS to Reduce Carbon Footprint
It is convinient for you and is good for the enviornemnt. USPS has a feature where you can schedule pick ups from your postman while they are already at your home.
HERE is more information on how you can get started with it!