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Stitch Fix vs ThredUp: Sustainable Fashion or Fast fashion?

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Have you heard of the term “fast fashion”? It’s a growing problem in our world today, and is the type of clothing that is mass produced in a cheap manner so that the clothing doesn’t hold up as long or goes out of style quickly. Oftentimes fast fashion ends up in the trash and subsequently the landfill, and the process of creating fast fashion is wasteful and can be bad for the environment. On the other hand there is “sustainable fashion” or ethical fashion. This is the term used for clothing that is good quality and has been created meeting rigorous environmental standards. A form of promoting sustainable fashion is thrifting clothing.

This brings us to today’s topic. We’ll be comparing two clothing services online, Stitch Fix and ThredUp. Stitch fix offers both fast and sustainable fashion options. ThredUp is a consignment-based service that offers thrifted and ethical fashion. Let’s get into it to see which is better for you!

tl;dr: Our pick is Stitch Fix

How Do They Work

Stitch Fix sends you a box of pre-curated clothing pieces that you can decide if you want to purchase or not. ThredUp, on the other hand, is an online thrift store where you can shop for quality clothing at a steal of a price. ThredUp used to have a subscription service as well, but they discontinued their Goody Box at the end of 2021.

Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that caters to men, women and children. Here’s how it works: first, you’ll take the style quiz on stitchfix.com. This style quiz will help your personal stylist pick the perfect pieces for you based on your body type, color preferences, and more. It’s very detailed and fun to take. My favorite part was rating pre-curated outfits according to my taste. It’s like Tinder for clothing!

Once you’ve taken your style quiz, you’ll then get to choose the frequency in which you’d like to receive a “fix,” aka box. An awesome thing about Stitch Fix is that you don’t have to have a subscription to get a box! You can absolutely schedule your fixes, or you can simply order one whenever you want to.

Before your box ships out, you’ll receive a preview of what’s inside. There’ll be 5 items of clothing, and you can take a moment to accept or reject certain pieces. Anything you reject will be replaced with something new that is hopefully more in line with what you’re looking for. When you do get your box, you’ll have 3 days to try everything on and send anything you don’t want to keep back. If 3 days is too quick for you, no problem! You can extend the try-on window on your profile.

ThredUp

ThredUp is an online consignment/thrift store that caters to women and children. It is ThredUps mission to “inspire a new generation of shoppers to think secondhand clothes first” to promote sustainable fashion. They’ve made it easy to do so with their service where you can send your old clothes to them, and you can purchase lightly used clothing at an amazing price. They even carry designer products such as Gucci at a very discounted price to you. So let’s chat about how this works…

First off, I want to start by saying that ThredUp used to have a subscription service called the “Goody Box.” In your Goody Box you would receive a collection of thrifted items, curated specifically for you, that you could try on and purchase if you decided to keep them. ThredUp discontinued the Goody Box at the end of 2021 and no longer has subscription services. That being said, you can still shop on their site. You’ll do this by creating an account, and then (the fun part) just start shopping! Once you have added a bunch of thrifted goodies to your shopping cart, you’ll check out and be sent a box of your purchases. ThredUp ensures the quality of the clothing by doing 3 separate quality checks, and prices each item at a discounted retail price.

ThredUp has 3 different shopping tiers depending on how much you spend in a given year. The first tier, called star, you’ll automatically join by signing up. You’ll need to spend $79 to qualify for free shipping in this tier. The next tier up is called SuperStar, and you qualify for free shipping after spending $59. The last tier is, you guessed it, VIP. In this tier you’ll only have to spend $29 to qualify for free shipping. But remember, you can only advance tiers by spending more.

If you’d like to sell some of your clothing through ThredUp, you simply order a clean out kit on their website, fill the kit with your gently used clothing, and return it using a prepaid shipping label. ThredUp will then filter through the clothing and either send back the rejects for a fee or donate them depending on your preference. All the items they do keep get listed on their website, and you’ll receive a small profit when your item is sold.

Pros and Cons of Each Service

Neither service is without pros or cons. They’re both very different and it really comes down to personal preference.

Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix is a great clothing subscription service where the pros outweigh the cons. Let’s get into it.

Pros:

  • Get matched with a personal stylist.
  • Set a monthly budget of what you’d like to spend.
  • No subscription required.
  • Clothing available for men, women, children as well as maternity.
  • Work with sustainable clothing brands.

Cons:

  • Quality of clothing can be inconsistent.
  • Your first couple of boxes may be a miss as you and your stylist get to an understanding.

Thredup

This one has a good amount of both pros and cons. Does the mission of the company outweigh the cons though?

Pros:

  • Get expensive items for a significantly reduced price.
  • Get 50% off of your first order.
  • You can filter your shopping by brand and even shop curated outfits.
  • Help save the environment through purchasing sustainable/ethical fashion.

Cons:

  • No mens clothing available.
  • ThredUp doesn’t launder the clothing before it’s sent to you.
  • Selling your old clothing on ThredUp is not an easy process and the payout is minimal.
  • Their return policy isn’t great.

How Much Do They Cost

Both Stitch Fix and ThredUp are very affordable ways to update your closet.

Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix has a $20 stylist fee that can be credited toward anything you decide to keep and purchase from your box. The items in your box will range in price, but you can set a budget for what you’re comfortable spending on any piece of clothing. If your stylist nailed it on the head, and you want to keep every item in your box, then you can get 25% off everything. Honestly, this is a win!

Thredup

Once again, ThredUp has recently discontinued their subscription service called Goody Box, so the cost is going to depend completely on you and what you purchase from their website! You can find deals up to 90% off the estimated retail value, and you can also find good items such as Gucci and Lululemon. I’m honestly quite intrigued by this company…

What Style Of Clothes Do You Get?

Both companies carry a wide variety of brands, styles, and sizing to fit the needs of their customers. Stitch Fix does offer options for men as well.

Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix has no shortage of brand variety. They carry popular brands such as TOMS, Dolce Vita, Cole Haan, Sperry and more! Your stylist will choose a variety of brands and styles for you based on your answers to the style quiz. Sizing is standard and as follows:

  • Women’s 0 – 24 W (they have a Stitch Fix plus option)
  • Men’s XS – 3XL
  • Children 2T – 14

Stitch Fix also carries a line for Maternity and petite!

Thredup

Being a consignment and thrift store, you better believe that ThredUp has no shortage of brand variety. They carry 32K brands from Gap to Gucci. Some popular ones you may be interested in are Lululemon, Kate Spade, American Eagle, Nike, etc. Sizing is dependent on the item of clothing you purchase, but they do carry sizes for Maternity, tall, petite and even childrens clothes. Child sizing is standard also.

Final Thoughts

Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that sends you clothing for you to purchase. This clothing can be a mix of fast fashion and sustainable fashion. With Stitch Fix a subscription is not necessary. They make shopping for a new wardrobe SO easy! ThredUp is similar, but they don’t have a subscription option at all. They also don’t have a personal stylist assigned to you. You can, however, shop their website for gently used thrifted clothing at a steal of a deal! I do love how this creates sustainable fashion and isn’t wasteful.

Although I love the idea of helping the environment! My personal recommendation is that if you’re short on time or don’t want to scroll through a bunch of outfits, Stitch Fix is your best bet. If you don’t care, and want to help the environment, then ThredUp is your new bestie.