Ever tried to sell your twice-worn workout duds to Buffalo Exchange only to be promptly turned away? Well, now there’s a website for you, and people looking for discounted Lululemon threads.
Threadflip is a company based in San Francisco that created an online destination for women to buy and sell used clothing, including activewear like Nike sneakers, Under Armour leggings, and Adidas zip-ups.
But that presents one major question: Are you okay with wearing a tank that a stranger once sweat through at Flywheel?
It seems many are—and they’re scoring un-worn pieces, too. “You should know a lot of our vendors sell brand-new goods, which is the highest selling category in activewear,” says Threadflip merchandise operations director, Leslie Fong, when we asked her how many people are cool with it.
Compared to frocks and jeans, “we also have a higher level of standards with condition on activewear. We thoroughly examine the items and think about what that person was doing in that garment.” (So, they’re probably not going to accept Bikram yoga shorts that have basically become part of your anatomy.) Everything has to be odor- and stain- free, says Fong, so buyers don’t run the risk of ending up with something with yellow pit stains or a faint gym sock smell.
Here’s how it works: You send your items in for free and the Threadflip team inspects them and lists them on the website for you, as long as they’re clean and new or “like new.” If someone buys your item, you’ll get 80 percent of the sale price.
On the buyer side, you shop just like you would on any retail site, but at a discount. The amount of the discount varies by brand and item, but is typically around 55 percent off the original retail price for high-end fitness fashion, and the “condition” of the item is clearly marked. You’ll also find “rare Lululemon” at “collector’s piece” prices that approximate your student loan payment.
Even with the explosion of fitness fashion as a category, it’s hard to say if a market for used pieces will follow in step. It really comes down to personal preference, and how skeeved out you are by the idea of someone else’s sweat—or how strong your belief is in the power of laundry detergent to make scoring hot capris at a deep discount worth it.
And if you’re already renting shoes from your spin studio, you might just be a Threadflip client in the making. —Jamie McKillop
For more information, visit www.threadflip.com