Sustainability as well as saving money driving millennials to consignment shops

CHICAGO (WLS) -- From vintage jeans to gently used handbags, consignment shopping has been around for decades.

But fashion experts say the resale industry is seeing a new wave of loyal customers: millennials.

Well, part of it is because this age group doesn't always have the money to spend a lot on clothes and accessories, but younger shoppers we spoke with say it's more than that. They want to be less wasteful, more intentional, and wear their second-hand items with pride.

"You're getting good use out of it," said shopper Brinne Carey. "If you're not going to wear it, someone else will."

Carey and Michelle Lang have made this shopping trend their thing, and it's due in large part to social media.

They say Youtube and Instagram "influencers" have transformed thrifting into a sustainable fashion trend where recycling old items is now cooler than ever.

"Those people are influencing what we feel like we should be doing, and if they're finding these great deals, we want to do that too," Lang said.

And that's great news for Leslie and Sarah, who own the "Savvy Sister" pop-up consignment shop in Elmhurst.

"Right now, being green is trendy," said Leslie Schlesinger. "We're seeing a lot more minimalists and they're buying things that aren't as expensive."

Meanwhile, in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, Joyce Otuwa is in consignment heaven at the Silver Umbrella. And she, too, has found this shopping trend enjoyable and rewarding.

"I think millennials get a lot of criticism but to be honest, I think we're very conscious of the world that we live in," Otuwa said. "We're conscious of the environment...and that's why it's important to think of how we wear things and how they can be reused."

But make no mistake, these ladies realize that consignment shopping isn't new and they're thankful for the more seasoned shoppers out there who have made sustainable shopping possible for them.

"Thank you, 100 percent. You guys made it easy for us to enjoy trends across ages," Lang said.

Fashion experts believe as social media influencers continue to thrive so will the rise of resale fashion.

For more information on the consignment shops you can visit the Savvy Sister or The Silver Umbrella.
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