Pietro Saccomani, a shopping apps expert from MobiLoud, shares eight apps that can help you support a circular economy this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Shopping apps today are an entrenched part of our lives. Just about everyone has some kind of shopping app they use regularly — whether it’s for fashion, grocery shopping, bargain hunting and more.

As the holiday season approaches, the allure of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BCFM) deals can be hard to resist.

However, the environmental impact of fast fashion and overconsumption is becoming increasingly evident. To put it into perspective, the fast-fashion industry is the second largest consumer of water — around 2000 gallons of water are used to make one pair of jeans! It’s also responsible for 10% of all global carbon emissions.

This year, instead of succumbing to the mainstream shopping frenzy, why not make a conscious choice to support the circular economy and sustainable fashion

1. Vestiaire Collective 

15.2k ratings | 4.6/5 app store | ranks #84 in the shopping category

If you’re into luxury brands — think Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry — then Vestiare Collective is for you. Vestiaire Collective is a luxury resale store that was founded in Paris back in 2009 to give designer enthusiasts the chance to buy and sell pre-owned luxury fashion items. 

Their app is incredibly popular, with over 7 million downloads last year, giving users instant access to the ‘world’s largest collection’ of pre-loved luxury goods. There’s plenty to choose from too — around 25,000 items are listed worldwide, every day.

No matter where you are in the world, with the Vestiaire Collective app, you can easily view new items as soon as they’re published. Or, if you’re a seller yourself, the app’s smart selling feature enables you to submit your items in minutes and manage all of your sales on the go.

2. Grailed

121.7k ratings | 4.8/5 app store | ranks #137 in the shopping category

Grailed was founded in 2013, by Arun Gupta. He launched the business to fill a gap in the market after spotting that there were no used clothing sites that catered towards men. 

Fast forward to today and the peer-to-peer service has expanded into womenswear too, making it a one-stop shop for everyone to enjoy pre-loved apparel — whether you’re into vintage, luxury, streetwear or avant-garde styles. 

If you shop with Grailed, you’re joining over 10 million fashion lovers who have access to millions of items from 10,000+ designers. 

For a more personalised user experience, you can download the Grailed app. It’s similar to Vestiaire Collective’s — letting you explore, purchase and list items straight from your mobile. 

You can follow designers and sellers, receive notifications  and filter your feed to suit your needs and style preferences. You’ll even be given a ‘For You’ page, which selects pieces of clothing that you are likely to love. 

3. Depop

488.5k ratings | 4.8/5 app store | ranks #56 in the shopping category

Another one on the list is Depop — it’s an app made for selling second-hand clothes and is probably the most well-known social shopping platform in the sustainable fashion space.

Depop has over 30 million pieces of clothing available, but compared to other apps like Vestiaire Collective, you don’t just have to bag designer brands – clothing from the high street is also frequently bought and sold. 

Since its birth in 2011, it’s generated over $2.5 billion and has around 30 million global users to date. The user base is fairly young — 9 out of 10 users are below the age of 26. 

It also offers trends and styling inspiration on the app so users can stay up to date as they scroll. The app’s built-in social feed is also interesting because you can follow friends and influencers to see what clothes they’re selling and buying. 

4. Poshmark

748.9k ratings | 4.8/5 app store | ranks #31 in the shopping category

Poshmark is another social commerce platform where users can buy and sell fashion items. It’s been around for 12 years now, and now has over 80 million registered users across the UK, the U.S., Canada and India.

The platform caters to older users when compared to Depop, but the idea is the same — the app offers a full marketplace experience for users to list pre-loved items and make purchases (with over 9000 brands to choose from!) with deals of 70% off the recommended retail price. 

A standout feature of Poshmark’s app is ‘Posh Parties’, which happen four times a day. These create a great community feel for the app, enabling users — AKA ‘Poshers’ — to come together for real-time, virtual shopping events and experiences. 

5. thredUP

282.3k ratings | 4.7/5 app store | ranks #164 in the shopping category

thredUP is an online consignment and thrift store offering high-quality second-hand fashion for women and kids. 

It was founded back in 2009 because the founder realised that he had a wardrobe full of clothes that he didn’t wear — something that wasn’t doing the planet any favours. 

So thredUP was launched to combat the fact that 73% of apparel is sent to landfill (or incinerated), with almost all of it being good enough to be used or recycled. 

With thredUP’s app, you can browse a wide selection of clothing, shoes and accessories from over 55,000 brands — some at the lower end of the market like Gap to high-end fashion brands like Gucci.

6. TheRealReal

21.2k ratings | 4.6/5 app store | ranks #197 in the shopping category

Another luxury consignment store app to take a look at this BFCM is TheRealReal, which allows users to buy and sell pre-owned designer fashion.

It started in 2011 with the aim of “extending the life cycle of luxury goods” and “creating a more sustainable future for fashion”. 

The app makes buying and selling luxury fashion simple, with over 10,000 new daily arrivals readily available, for a fraction of the original price. What’s also cool about the app is that you can save items and searches so that you never miss discounts.

In 12 years of business, TheRealReal has gained over 30 million savvy luxury shoppers and has saved over 62,559 metric tons of carbon and over 3.3 billion litres of water.

7. Good On You

443 ratings | 4.3/5 app store 

Good On You is an app that provides ethical ratings for over 3000 fashion brands and how they impact people, the planet and animals. The aim is to educate consumers on the real-life impact of fashion brands and to help them make informed choices about what they wear.

As well as providing ethical ratings, the app provides a space for you to read news, tips and style edits from the ethical fashion industry, and allows you to send feedback to brands.

8. Rent the Runway

212.3k ratings | 4.8/5 app store 

What happened to the outfit you wore to that wedding one time? The reality these days is that occasion wear is often only worn once. That’s why, in 2009, Rent the Runway was launched, allowing users to rent designer clothing for special occasions, or everyday wear. 

Signing up to Rent the Runway, gives you access to the premier designer catalogue, with thousands of options of clothing, jewellery and accessories. 

You have 4 different plans to choose from — you can rent 5, 10, 15 or 20 items per month. Or, you can try it out with one-time rentals. 

The app is particularly useful because it uses data-backed, size fitting tools to find the best sizes for you. Plus, you can see what others have said about certain items by reading the reviews for style and outfit tips.

Especially with the success of recent BFCM events, it’s fair to say that consumers love a good bargain, but pre-loved and used items are often overlooked. By exploring alternative options for this BFCM, shoppers can discover plenty of sustainability-focused platforms out there made to save them money all year round while doing our bit for the environment.