Have you seen the Rescues boxes from thredUP? Wondering if they might be for you? Check out this detailed review from a thredUP veteran to help decide if you should snag a Rescues box next time you’re looking to refresh your wardrobe.
Thanks to thredUP for sponsoring this post. You know I’ve been a huge fan of thredUP for years and buy so many of our family’s clothes from thredUP. I received the Rescues box as a gift but all opinions were my own, as always!
What if you could shop ’til you drop without breaking the bank or burdening the planet? What if your shopping actually helped our Earth? With the transition from steamy summer to cooler fall days, I felt the urge to add a few new things to my closet. However, I didn’t need anything specific nor did I have any particular wish list items in mind. I struggled to justify paying a lot of money for new items that didn’t serve a specific purpose.
As a work from home mom, I wear a lot of athleisure gear no matter the season. I also try to keep my closet fairly limited. I don’t use a capsule wardrobe, per se, but I definitely let go of clothes I don’t wear.
Discovering Rescue Boxes from thredUP
Ready to refresh my wardrobe, I always start in my closet to assess what I have. Then I consider secondhand and refashion options. During my search this time, I discovered the Rescues boxes from thredUP. Have you heard of them?
The Rescues boxes are essentially treasure troves full of a variety of mystery items at a significantly lower cost per piece. Each box includes items that didn’t make the cut for being posted on their standard site or were posted but never sold. You select the types of pieces and general size you wish to receive. For example, you can request Medium-sized tops or a mix of a medium sized tops and bottoms.
A few months ago, I ordered my first Rescues box, and it was so much fun to receive. For just $40, I received eleven dresses. A couple of the dresses were perfect as is. A few of the dresses fit me but were more appropriate for office environments, so I gave them to my sister who wears business casual to work everyday. As expected, a couple of the dresses weren’t really my thing, but that’s part of the game. Given the price, receiving a couple of items that don’t quite work or need a small dose of TLC still totally works.
The Rescues boxes are perfect for people who enjoy a fun style challenge, have a dose of DIY skills and love to modify their clothes a touch, or relish in receiving a bunch of great pieces for a really low price to see what magic they can make. If you’re someone who only wants a few pieces that absolutely perfect for you, Rescues boxes probably aren’t for you. But if, like me, you enjoy a bit of a DIY challenge or just aren’t sure what that one item will be that revives your wardrobe, it’s totally worth a shot!
Unlike traditional shopping, the clothes aren’t new, so you’re not adding to the textile waste pileups by trying out a few new things.
Pre-Loved Dresses to Secondhand Shirts, Pants and Skirts
My first experience went so well, I reached out to thredUP and was gifted another box to try. Honestly, it was even better than the first and better than I expected. I received a Mixed Clothing box this time that had 50 items in it. The box sells for $120 on thredUP, which equates to $2.40 per piece, and just about everything I received fit like a charm. I didn’t love every item, which is to be expected, but I really liked enough of them that it felt like a great value. Some of the things I received and loved included:
- Olive GAP pants (about which I’ve already raved on Instagram and wore three times)
- Black and white Ann Taylor pencil skirt
- Black pencil skirt with lace overlay
- Yellow Ralph Lauren button up shirt
- Red and white floral dress
- Pink H&M silk camisole
- Lululemon workout top
- Black GAP corduroy pants
- Olive green dress pants (new with tags)
- … and lots more shirts, sweaters and shorts
Many of the items above you’ve already seen me share on Instagram. I also included several of them in my 10×10 Glam Capsule Wardrobe.
Everything in both boxes I received was in new or like-new condition. While a few things felt dated, particularly in the dress box, nothing required mending or modifications to be worn. In some cases, I’m not even sure why items ended up in the Rescues boxes.
On A Mission to Fill Closets Without Filling Landfills
thredUP receives millions of items from sellers throughout the year. While they add 1,000 new items to their selection every hour, according to their 2018 Annual Report, many items don’t meet their stringent requirements for posting on the main resale site.
Often, however, the clothes have plenty of life left in them. They might be old or feel a little outdated. A piece may have a minor imperfection. Sometimes, pieces just don’t sell after being posted on their site for a while. Although they are great pieces, they didn’t make it back into the fashion cycle upon first arrival at thredUP’s warehouses. The site has thousands of buyer and over a million pieces, so you can imagine that matching up timing of the right piece being seen by the right buyer is no easy feat.
thredUP isn’t satisfied with just one attempt at finding the right home for each of the items they received. The company is on a mission much larger than turning a fair profit. thredUP wants to lengthen the life of every garment, compete with fast fashion, and tackle the global and growing textile waste problem by changing the way the world thinks about secondhand.
To achieve their ambitious goals, the company wants to lengthen the useful lives of clothes. Many of our clothes end up in donation boxes or trash bins long before they are unwearable. Despite good intentions, we also donate far too many clothes to non-profit organizations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. They can’t sell all the items we donate, so many end up in landfills or sent to third world countries. Across oceans, those clothes flood and destroy local apparel markets. thredUP wants us all to keep our clothes in the Unites States and out of landfills for much longer.
In order to accomplish these goals with any significance, thredUP has to scale to compete with fast fashion. When fast fashion is the input at the beginning of the cycle, our secondhand market has to be large enough to handle the output from this fashion chain, and thredUP wants to be a leader in this space. thredUP is creating more programs, like their Rescues boxes, to hopefully reach a broader customer base, grow their impact, and become a force with which to be reckoned countering the fast fashion “regime” in our style culture.
Let’s All Think Secondhand First
We are in the midst of a massive global textile crisis through which landfills are being filled with clothing and textiles at exponentially-growing rates. For thredUP to play in the same sandbox with the “big guns,” they need to explore a variety of distribution channels and price points to reach as many potential customers as possible.
To meet their ambitious goals of putting the breaks on the fast fashion churn effects on landfills and limiting the damage our leftovers are doing to third world apparel markets, thredUP (and all players in the secondhand market) need to give shopping secondhand a reputation refresh. Secondhand shopping needs to become mainstream, socially acceptable, and even cool.
We also need to see more secondhand shopping channels that appeal to a variety of consumers. A decade ago, we were limited to dingy and unorganized thrift shops with a few cool consignment shops sprinkled in the mix. We have far more options today, and thredUP aims to create and sustain new channels with the massive inventories available to them. If we want to see a meaningful shift to secondhand, we need everyone to participate (and that’s not an impossible feat).
Rescues boxes offer one more unique way for stylish shoppers to participate in the secondhand market, and the more teammates we have in this endeavor the merrier. Have you tried a Rescue box from thredUP? If not, head on over and check them out (and then let me know how it works out if you try it). Don’t forget to use this link to get $10 off your first purchase if you’ve never tried thredUP before!