Fast Fashion vs. Thrifting: Which Is Better?

Last Updated on by Bree

Fast Fashion vs. Thrifting: Which Is Better?

The battle of fast fashion vs. thrifting has been ongoing for years.

Some claim they only buy new fast fashion because it’s more hygienic.

But just like thrift shopping, you can’t vouch for the cleanliness of fast fashion.

And that’s mostly because people walk into these stores and try on clothes.

Or they buy, try, and return clothes just like you do.

So what you think you’re buying new has been tried on by other buyers.

But that’s not the whole point of this blog post.

In this post, we’ll compare secondhand shopping vs. fast fashion to see which is great for your pocket, wardrobe, and the environment.

Let’s dive in.

Pros of fast fashion

Trendy new fashion.

While researching fast fashion vs. thrifting, I discovered that some people prefer fast fashion because they have more current styles.

So, if you’re the type that follows trends, then you’ll enjoy fast fashion.

And when new styles hit the rack, you can grab them and enjoy the instant gratification of buying new stuff.


Let’s be honest here.

Fast fashion is very affordable.

While we encourage each other to wear sustainable fashion, we shouldn’t ignore that they are crazy expensive.

I still ask why clothes and shoes made from recyclable materials are more expensive than fast fashion.

If you know the answer, please leave it in the comments.

Anyway, it’s natural that some of us will buy fast fashion because sustainable fashion is too expensive.


Another pro of fast fashion is that it is convenient to shop.

You can shop fast fashion from your computer or mobile device.

Or you walk into a fast fashion store, scan the racks, and pick what you need.

The stores are usually organized and have enough in your size.

Also, you can try clothes, see how they fit, and return them if you don’t like them.

What’s not to love about the convenience?

Cons of fast fashion

Though convenient, fast fashion has its downsides.

Let’s discuss them.

Unethical labor practices

One of the major cons of fast fashion is the working conditions of the factory workers.

To keep the prices of fast fashion low, the cost of production, working conditions, and wages are not ideal.

Low-quality clothes

I’ve worn both fast fashion and secondhand clothes all my life.

However, I noticed that the quality of fast fashion has declined over the years.

Some fast fashion clothes are so cheaply made that sometimes you’ll notice a hole in the seam.

It’s mainly from the thread missing the material while sewing.

Also, some fast fashion clothes fade, pill, and even become misshaped after a few washes.

Talk about the skinny jeans I bought from Asos three years ago.

That stretched so much that it wasn’t skinny anymore.

Fast fashion is trend-driven

This means the fast fashion clothes you bought this year might be out of style next year.

And if you’re always following trends, you’ll be forced to buy the new collection.

Which is not a realistic way to wear clothes.

But it is what it is.

Pros of thrifting

I enjoy thrifting as I usually find quality items that I normally can’t afford for a fraction of the retail price.

And I sometimes wonder why such great clothes are in the thrift store.

You know what they say: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

But thrifting has its pros and cons, too.

First, let’s discuss the pros of thrifting.

Thrift fashion is affordable

One of the main reasons I love buying pre-owned clothes is that they are affordable.

I’ve bought brand-name jeans that retail for almost $200 for less than $10.

On my own, I can’t afford or justify paying $200 for a pair of jeans.

Especially if I can get it much cheaper from Thredup in like-new or sometimes new-with-tags condition.

Of which clothes like jeans still look great even when faded.

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Secondhand clothes are unique.

Another pro of secondhand clothes is that they’re unique.

You’ll rarely find two of the same clothes from a thrift store.

And some secondhand stores sell only vintage clothing.

So you can’t run to the thrift store where your friend got that vintage coat and expect to find another.

You might check all the thrift stores in your area and never find that coat.

So, if your fashion style is standing out from the crowd, then secondhand fashion is where it’s at.

Secondhand fashion is sustainable and environment-friendly.

Buying pre-owned clothing reduces waste by saving these clothes from ending in landfills.

So embrace secondhand clothes as a sustainable option because they contribute to an eco-friendly lifestyle.

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Cons of thrifting

Thrifting can sometimes be annoying.

Let’s discuss the cons of thrifting.


There’s no way to sugarcoat this: thrift shopping is not for the impatient or faint of heart.

It takes time to find what you love in thrift stores.

Because you have to take time and scour the racks to find what catches your eye.

And it’s not any easier when thrift shopping online, too.

And some of us don’t have time for that.

Which is understandable.

The clothes might not always be in the best condition

Another con of thrift fashion is that the clothes might not be in tip-top condition.

Thrift stores inspect their clothes before listing them.

But you know, they can miss a few here and there.

And if you don’t inspect the clothes before buying them, you might be disappointed.

I’ve not had any issues with odors from thrift store clothes.

But I’ve bought a secondhand sweater covered in animal fur.

It took several shakes and washes to remove the fur.

So keep that in mind when thrift shopping.

Thrift stores have a limited selection

Like I said about thrift stores having unique pieces, it can be a con for some of us.

Because when you see a jacket or top you like, it can be disappointing not to find it in your size.

Thrift stores have variety, but you won’t always find what you want.

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The verdict: thrifting vs. fast fashion

Both fast fashion and thrifting have their merits.

But thrifting takes the crown when it comes to sustainability, ethics, and individuality.

It’s a conscious choice for your wallet and the planet.

And it may also help you discover your unique style.

To conclude the debate: fast fashion vs. thrifting, which is better?

Remember, fashion is a journey, not a destination.

So stop following trends.

Grab your reusable tote bag and scour the racks of the thrift stores in your area.

Or scroll through online consignment stores like Thredup,, etc., and score some great deals for a fraction of their retail prices.

Your wardrobe (and the planet) will thank you for it!

I hope this blog post helped answer the mind-wrecking question about thrifting vs. fast fashion.

Do you have any thrifting tips and experiences?

Please share them in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

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